Ask the Opticians: Knowing the Right Questions
By Laura Jeeves
A visit to the opticians should always be a smooth and seamless process, but for anyone who hasn’t ever been before, there may be some apprehension around the event. Having a regular appointment with your optician is very important, though, and just like a doctor or dentist, you should factor these appointments into your overall health maintenance.After all, we rely heavily on our vision in almost every part of our lives.
The most important thing to stress is that there’s nothing to be worried about; the process is painless, relatively quick, and, with a friendly optician on the job, can even be fun. (It’s a good idea to find someone close to where you live, so popping in for a local eye test doesn’t become a big issue.)
But there’s nothing worse than walking away and realizing later that you still have questions. So, before your first visit to the optician, it can help to have an idea of some of the most common issues people encounter and what questions it would be very helpful to have answered in the first place.
The following are some of the most common questions people ask at their local eye test appointments, but we’ve also included some that are less often asked, but are as equally important.
What will happen during the test? This is the biggie for someone who’s never had an eye exam before. Don’t sit in silence if you have any concerns; ask your optician to go over in detail what the equipment is for, what it is they’ll be doing, and why.
What lifestyle choices/changes should I be made to maintain or improve my eye health? Your optician is the very first good port of call to give you some helpful advice as to what you should be doing to keep your vision healthy, and what changes to look out for and they will also point out anything that could be problematic.
What’s my risk of developing eye disease (glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, etc.)? Following on from the above, they’ll also be able to advise on your individual situation and what potential problems you might face in terms of inherited conditions and high-risk factors.
Should I get glasses or contact lenses? While this ultimately comes down to personal choice, your optician is the expert and will be able to help you assess your lifestyle and other important factors that will affect the decision.
Do I need special computer glasses? Many people face issues with digital vision strain from spending hours in front of the computer. Your optician will be able to advise if your individual situation suggests you should get special glasses (which block out blue light) or if your prescription simply needs updating.
How often should I have an eye test? This is a good one to finish with and, depending on your situation, your optician will be able to advise when he or she would like to see you next. It’s important to follow their advice because they will only recommend what is necessary.
Ask the Expert
It’s vital that you keep asking questions no matter how many times you’ve been to your optician because as you age your vision will invariably change and so will your prescription. Often, so too will the professional advice you’re given in terms of maintaining good vision and optical health. That’s why choosing an optician where you can have a quick and easy local eye test with confidence is key.