Over all the years that I practice as an Optometrist, I have gotten that “what does that have to do
with you?” look when I start my comprehensive eye examination so many times.
So, I decided to let you in on a little secret:
I am not nosy, but everything has something to do with me… or at least to do with your visual
system. So, when I start a consultation, whether a comprehensive eye examination, a pathology
screening or a simple driver’s licence visual screening, I will always start with a chat. The information
that you give me during those few minutes are invaluable when it comes to evaluating your eye
health and visual system in general and in treating you.
Here are a few questions that I ask and why:
- How old are you? (your age determines what level of development your visual system
should have reached by now and what eye diseases and conditions I have to look out for)
- What type of work do you do? (I get all kinds of fun answers on this one, but it is not for me
to know how important you are or aren’t, but to know what type of demand you put on your
visual system. A software developer will spend more time in front of a digital screen and be
exposed to high energy level blue light, compared to a sales representative or pilot. A
truckdriver needs to be able to see more clearly with night-time and daytime driving oppose
to a stay-at-home mom)
- How is your health and are you on any medication? (it is funny how many times people say
their health is great and then they have a list of medications that they are on. And it is scary
how many people don’t know what medication they are on or what it is for. Most
medications have side-effects and some effect the visual system and eye health)
- Do you get headaches? How often and where is it located? (Headaches, especially its
location, duration and pattern of occurrence, can tell us a lot about your health and stress
- Are your eyes ever itchy, burning, scratchy, tearing or red? (it is important to know if you
experience any visual signs or symptoms. You might not think it is important, but mention it
- Do you use any eyedrops? (there is a variety of eyedrops on the shelves these days and it is
difficult to know which ones to use for what condition. The wrong eye drop can in fact
worsen your condition, especially infections. Rather come in, we will be happy to advise you)
- When was your last eye test and did you receive any correction (contact lenses or
spectacles) then? (always good to know how well you look after your eyes and if I see any
condition, we can refer back to know when it started)
There is a whole bunch of other questions that I will ask should I see something that requires more
investigation. Our bodies are inter-linked, that means that should something happen in one part of
the body, it rarely only affects that part. In most cases it will affect other parts of the body as well.
Do us a favour and make sure you know what is going on with your health, what medication you’re
on and if possible, what family conditions you have.
We have set up a form to help you get all your necessary health information together and should you want it, please let us know and we will gladly forward it to you.