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Visiting the Ophthalmologist

Eye Chart

The thought of the first trip to see an eye doctor can make some people anxious, but there is no need to worry.  Here are some simple things that you can do and bring to make your visit easier.

  1. Bring your referral letter.  This letter usually contains vital information from your GP or optometrist that will assist your new doctor.
  2. Don't forget to bring your glasses for both reading and distance.  Seems quite obvious, but it is amazing how many people come to see an eye doctor without thinking about bringing their glasses!
  3. Bring your eye drops with you (even the ones you bought straight from the chemist like artificial tears).  It makes life much harder if all you can tell us is that your "GP started some eye drops" – there are so many different types!
  4. A list of your current medications and allergies is really helpful.  Your doctor will love you if you have one of these lists to show them!!
  5. Diabetic patients should bring the little book with their blood sugar readings.  Knowing how well your diabetes is controlled will make a big impact on the way we look after your eyes.
  6. It is worth trying to think about some of these things that you are likely to be asked:
    a. Have you ever had eye surgery
    b. Have you ever had laser on your eye
    c. Have you ever had a serious eye injury or infection
    e. Have you ever been told you have an eye condition like glaucoma
    f. Did you have lazy eye as a child or a "turn" in one eye
    g. Do any eye diseases run in your family
    You may need to ask other members of your family the answer to these questions before you arrive.
  7. Have someone to be your skipper for the day.  In order to examine the back of your eyes, you may have your pupils dilated with eye drops.  The drops last 3-4 hours and will make your vision blurry for that time.  It is not safe to drive a car while the drops are still working in your eyes, hence, bring a skipper!
  8. Remember to be patient.  Emergency cases and patients from the hospital wards can arrive at any time, unplanned.  This does not mean we don't care about how long you have waited, but sometimes we have to prioritize.  Just remember that one day you might be the patient with the emergency who gets seen first.

I think on the whole that the ophthalmologists are considered the friendliest of the surgeons in a hospital, so try not to get too worried about your visit to see us!

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