Getting An Eye Exam: What You Need To Know

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Getting An Eye Exam

Individuals often worry they will need to do certain things before having an eye exam. For example, many medical procedures and exams require the patient fast before the appointment. However, a person won’t need to fast before an eye exam, although the doctor may make some special requests if the patient has an ongoing medical issue or special condition. Patients should always ask when making an appointment to ensure the visit can proceed as scheduled. Prior to this visit, keep certain things in mind to ensure the appointment runs smoothly from start to finish. 

Avoid Overexerting The Eyes

When you need an eye exam outside of your regular checkups, it’s probably due to problems associated with overexertion of the eyes. People often experience fatigue following the testing exercises if their ocular systems aren’t relaxed and rested. Try to get eight hours of sleep the night before this appointment.

Computer vision syndrome, often referred to as digital eye strain, affects individuals who spend long periods staring at a computer or cell phone screen. This brings about eye fatigue, so a person should avoid looking at screens on the day of the appointment until after the exam is complete. For this reason, many people prefer morning appointments. 

Bring Corrective Lenses

The patient should bring their glasses and contact lenses to the appointment. The staff tests the strength and performance of the corrective lenses to see how the prescription has changed. The human eye undergoes changes as a person ages, so expect to need new corrective lenses following the visit

Bring sunglasses to the visit, as the eye doctor may dilate the pupils. The dilation process leads to light sensitivity for several hours, and the sunglasses help reduce this sensitivity. 

Avoid Caffeine And Alcohol Prior To The Visit

In addition to looking for ocular conditions, the eye doctor examines the eyes for signs of other health problems. For example, the eye exam might detect high blood pressure, but the measurements could be skewed due to high caffeine levels in the body. Drink decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea the day of the appointment to avoid this issue. 

Alcohol likewise raises blood pressure. In addition, it could leave the eyes feeling irritated or dry during the tests performed by the eye doctor. Avoid alcohol the night before the exam and the day of the appointment to prevent dry eye and irritation. 


Patients planning to use insurance for the visit should bring the necessary documents. The doctor needs to ensure all information on file remains accurate. In addition, prepare to show a government-issued ID. Some practices allow digital copies, but not all do. It’s best to know this before arriving for the appointment. 

Remain Calm

Thanks to modern technology, eye exams are easier than ever before. Doctors do retinal scans and corneal imaging with the help of digital cameras, so they are non-invasive today. The entire process typically takes an hour or less, and patients feel no pain or discomfort during the exam. Light sensitivity following pupil dilation remains the biggest issue for most people following a trip to the eye doctor. 

Take these simple steps to have a successful eye exam. Although it may be a hassle to avoid your morning cup of coffee or put off reading your emails until after the visit, doing so is worth it in the long run. You’ll feel confident your eyes are healthy and you can clearly see when the visit is done. No price can be put on the peace of mind that comes with this information. 

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