Spending a lot of time staring at a screen? That dedication to your electronics can do more harm than good. In fact, it might even contribute to long-term vision problems.

Approximately 12 million Americans over the age of 40 have vision impairment. Meanwhile, 6.8% of children have a diagnosed vision condition.

If you’re concerned about your vision, it’s time to see an eye doctor! You don’t have to go in unprepared, though. Instead, take these seven questions with you when you see your Lexington eye doctor.

Equipped with these questions, you can make sure to review all concerns about your eye health before you leave.

Here are seven questions to ask your eye doctor during your next appointment.

1. Should I Visit an Ophthalmologist?

When you visit your eye doctor, chances are you’ll see an optometrist.

Optometrists handle the basic eye exam. They’ll instruct you to read a distance chart to determine your eye health. An optometrist will also guide you through a refraction test.

Your optometrist can also help you choose vision-correcting tools, such as glasses or contact lenses.

If necessary, an optometrist will recommend you need further treatment.

They’ll suggest a specialist if you have specific eye problems that require special attention.

For example, they might suggest you visit an ophthalmologist. This type of eye doctor can help answer specific questions or concerns about your vision. An ophthalmologist often has a specialized degree.

They’re qualified to help you understand any specific vision problems you’re experiencing.

Your optometrist might also recommend an ophthalmologist if you’re suffering from an infection or require surgery.

Visit your Lexington optometrist for your routine eye exam. Then, ask them if you need to visit an ophthalmologist for more complicated concerns.

2. How Can I Take Care of My Eye Sight?

There are certain ways you can improve your vision. When you visit your eye doctor, ask if they have any tips for keeping your eyes healthy.

For example, your Lexington eye doctor might suggest you add certain foods to improve your vision. These can include:

  • Carrots
  • Fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Berries

There are also eye exercises that can help improve and strengthen your vision.

3. Do Eye Medicines/Drops Have Side Effects?

Another doctor might have prescribed you certain medications for a different health concern. However, it’s important to know if these medications are having a negative impact on your health.

Before you visit your eye doctor, right down a list of the medications you’re taking. Ask an optometrist if these medications cause any short- or long-term side effects.

Feel free to ask questions if you’re concerned about eye drops as well. Some drops can cause blurriness, so it’s important not to drive immediately after using drops.

Understanding the potential side effects can help you plan your travel schedule or other activities in advance.

Let your optometrist know if you have any allergies as well before they suggest certain drops.

4. Do I Need Glasses or Contact Lenses?

During your eye exam, your optometrist will determine whether or not you can benefit from glasses or contact lenses. During your appointment, ask about the benefits and disadvantages of both.

Many people prefer to use glasses when they’re working or reading. Then, they switch to contact lenses during parties or other special occasions. However, you might not find you’re comfortable wearing contacts.

The choice is up to you and your comfort. However, an optometrist can help you explore your options so you can choose the best fit.

5. How Can I Prevent Eye Disease?

A few small, necessary steps can help you prevent eye diseases from developing. In addition to improving your diet and eye exercises, you should also avoid rubbing your eye.

Rubbing your eyes can irritate them, which could contribute to an infection.

You also don’t want to rub your eyes if you have anything on your hands, such as lotion.

Women who wear eye makeup should also consider the brand they’re using. Certain eye makeup can cause irritation. Your eyes are delicate and easily irritated.

If you’re using eye makeup, make sure to keep your brushes sanitized.

There are also protective eyewear options, such as UV-blocking contact lenses.

Ask an optometrist about your options. Protecting your eyes from UV exposure can protect you from pinguecula, pterygia, eye cancers, cataracts, and other eye conditions.

6. Are Digital Devices Hurting My Eyes?

We use laptops, smartphones, and tablets all throughout the day. Too much screen time can cause us to develop eye strain. Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eye
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Speak to your optometrist if you have these conditions. They can determine if your digital devices are the source of the problem. Your eye doctor can also suggest ways for you to find relief, such as specialty contact lenses or changing your display settings.

7. When Should I Come Back?

Everyone can benefit from scheduling a regular eye exam. If you have specific concerns, your eye doctor might suggest you return more often. As a general rule, however, here’s how often you should schedule an appointment, according to WebMD:

  • Children should visit an eye doctor at birth, 6 months, 3 years, and before entering grade school
  • Young adults should visit once in their 20s and twice in their 30s
  • Adults should visit when they’re 40, with regular follow-ups
  • People age 65 and up should visit every 1 to 2 years

If you have specific health concerns or a family history of vision problems, you might need to visit your Lexington eye doctor more often.

For example, schedule additional checkups if your family has a history of corneal disease, macular degeneration, or glaucoma. You should also visit your optometrist if you experience eye pain, vision changes, or severe eye irritation.

Your Lexington eye doctor can give you a better idea of how often to return based on your unique eye health.

Keep An Eye Out: 7 Questions to Ask Your Lexington Eye Doctor

Protect your eyes—you only have two! By asking your Lexington eye doctor these seven questions, you can discover new ways to improve your eye health.

Need to schedule your annual eye exam? Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!