10 Things Your Eye Doctor Wants You to Know

Hi my name is Crystal, and I am a Reader’s Digest junkie. As a kid growing up in Austin, Texas, my family would often take trips up to rural Oklahoma to visit the grandparents. My grandparents’ house is old and a little rustic. To this day it still smells like oak and Dove dish soap. Of the many things I loved about visiting my grandparents one that particularly stands out is the treasure trove of back issues of Reader’s Digest.  Between the gobs of trivia, the vocabulary quizzes and the joke section, I was in bookworm heaven. In fact, I now get RD on my nook, and it never fails, I still read every issue from cover to cover.

One of my favorite recurring articles in RD is the “10 Things your _______ never told you.”  I’ve gleaned a lot of useful information from this section. With that in mind, I decided that I would give you something similar.  It may not be a recurring thing.  Every time I try that I fail miserably.  But, for your reading pleasure and in honor of the industry I work in, I give you “10 Things Your Eye Doctor Wants You to Know.”

Note: These are NOT in any particular order of importance!

1. Everyone thinks their eyesight is the worst. Whatever your level of near or farsightedness, it’s not the worst, and we’ve seen it all. So you need glasses or contacts?! There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Poor vision happens, and for that matter, aging happens. Unless you have bionic eyeballs, everyone will need help someday. But seriously, we really are excited to help you be able to see clearly.

2. Glasses cost a lot. Period. For most, glasses are a once-a-year investment, and they help you to SEE. Which is pretty essential in any book. It’s never really the frames that make your glasses expensive (well unless you’re wearing a fancy-pants Prada, Fendi or Gucci) It’s the lenses. Take it from the budget master, Dave Ramsey, and plan ahead. Save a little and get the glasses you need not the ones you can barely afford.

3. Get your kids’ vision checked early. Developmental delays can be linked to poor vision. Many offices (including ours!) are a part of the InfantSee program, which allows participating doctors to offer free comprehensive eye exams to infants within the first year, usually between 9 and 12 months.

4. On the subject of kids, glasses now don’t always mean glasses forever. To everything there is a season. Eyes change as kids grow.

5. And one more thing about kids, (we see a lot of them) a kid’s first eye exam often means dilation. Most kids have never had eye drops let alone one that stings briefly and makes their vision blurry.  A good way to prepare? A week or so before the exam, practice putting a couple drops of artificial tears in your child’s eyes. This way, they won’t be totally thrown off and scared when dilation time comes.

6. So . . . let’s address the proverbial elephant in the eye doctor’s waiting room – over-wearing contact lenses. It’s no joke folks. We’re not trying to keep you from stretching your dollar; we get that, but we are more concerned with your health. Over-wearing disposable contact lenses deprives your eye of oxygen. It can cause swelling, increase the likelihood of infection and even worsen your prescription. Seriously you guys, don’t do it. And the eye doctor . . . they can tell just by looking at your eyes. That, and the guilt-ridden facial expressions give you away. 😉

7. We know this stuff is expensive. There are often rebates for contact lenses, coupons for RX eye meds, and deals to be had for buying more than one pair, etc. We’re always looking to save you money, but lest we get busy and forget, just ask!

8. Insurance is a complicated beast. Vision insurance can be especially persnickety since it’s a small part of your major medical coverage. With the exception of a couple of the most popular plans, we have no way of knowing what your benefits are prior to your visit. Save yourself (and us) a headache and call your insurance company ahead of time. They’re happy to tell you what’s covered and what isn’t. Take a few notes and bring it with you to your exam. It will save time and help us give you a better idea of how much everything will cost versus getting hit with a bill later.

9.  2 Weeks. With any new prescription, we will tell you to give it 2 weeks of consistent wear to adapt. Here’s the skinny: your eyes need time to get used to not working so hard to see. They will resist. Give it some time and don’t swap between new and old scripts, and it will get better. If after 2 weeks it doesn’t, then don’t hesitate to call. We don’t want you to be miserable, we just want you to give it an honest go.

10. Not all lenses are created equal. There’s a reason we ask you a bunch of questions about your hobbies and your job – you need to see to do those things, and we can help you get into the best lens to make your glasses work best for you.

So, there you go. Hopefully this will help you to be more informed and little better prepared for your next vision screening.  Happy seeing!

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