Communicating openly with your eye doctor

Sometimes the things you don’t say can be just as powerful as the ones you do. In the case of going to the eye doctor, keeping an open and honest line of communication is vitally important to protecting your vision. Often, people will neglect to tell their eye doctor important information about their health, including problems with high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma. They may also remain silent about a family history with cardiovascular disease or stroke. While these health concerns may not seem immediately related to vision care, it is absolutely important to tell your eye doctor about your entire medical history.

If an ophthalmologist is unaware of prior medical conditions, he or she may not be able to recommend the correct treatments or medications. This can lead to serious health consequences if you are prescribed medications with conflicting side effects or are allergic to a certain substance. Before you go to your next eye appointment, make a list of any questions you want to ask your doctor, and bring along a sheet that outlines your medical history. It’s normal to want to say everything is fine when the doctor asks how a current treatment is working, but doctors appreciate honesty about your health. Being open about your struggles and conditions will allow you to be treated more safely and effectively. So, the next time you visit your eye doctor, speak up. The health of your eyes and body depends on it.

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