Going to the doctor isn’t always the most comfortable experience. Unless you know your doctor really well, you’re essentially talking to a stranger about intimate problems with your body and health. This can make asking questions about symptoms and treatment somewhat awkward. However, when you enter a doctors office, it’s important to understand that they have most likely been asked the same questions by countless patients. It’s no different when you’re visiting your ophthalmologist or your family physician.

Dr. Sina J. Sabet and his team want to assure you that our office is a safe space where you are free to ask any questions you feel are important. When you visit your Alexandria ophthalmologist, we’re here to help you get the best possible care for your eyes.

Common Questions You Should Ask Your Ophthalmologist

Am I at Risk For Developing an Eye Disease?

Whether you are at risk for an eye disease or not comes down to a few things: your lifestyle, your family history, and your age. For patients with a family history of cataracts, there is an increased risk of developing the condition. The same goes for patients who smoke, don’t eat a balanced diet, or who spend a lot of time outside without sunglasses. There is also an increased risk for older patients who may be more susceptible to glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration. There are other factors that contribute to the risk of developing an eye disease, so be sure to schedule a regular eye exam with your ophthalmologist.

How Should I Best Monitor My Eye Health?

Whether you are a healthy adult who doesn’t currently need prescription eye glasses or contacts, or if you were recently diagnosed with cataracts, this question is fairly simple, but still very important. It is essential that you understand what symptoms or changes in vision you should look for. If you begin seeing floaters in your vision, if you’re having a difficult time viewing objects or signs that are either far away or close up, if you experience frequent headaches, or vision in one eye is worsening, it may be time to visit an eye doctor. When you are conscious of certain symptoms and signs that your eye health may be deteriorating, you can act quickly and your doctor can create a treatment plan going forward.

How Often Do You Recommend I Return for a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

This will also depend on a few factors such as your age, family history, and current eye health. Younger patients should visit an ophthalmologist before school starts to ensure that their eyes are healthy and can support their vision needs. Young adults with healthy eyes and vision should visit an eye doctor at least every two years unless changes in vision have occurred. Older adults should visit once a year as a precaution and in order to catch any developing issues before they become serious. If you are dealing with an eye condition, your doctor may ask that you come back sooner than one year to get an update on the situation.

Are There Lifestyle Changes I Can Make to Prevent or Reduce My Risk of Eye Disease?

When your body is healthy, there is a smaller chance of developing eye conditions. So, anything you can do to ensure your body is healthy will have a positive effect on your eye health. These include things like eating a balanced diet with omega 3 fatty acids, leafy greens, and other vegetables; exercising regularly; not smoking; and wearing sunglasses to prevent sun damage. Making even minor changes to your lifestyle can help prevent eye diseases from developing.

How Should I Properly Care For My Glasses and/or Contacts?

When it comes to caring for your eyewear, the most important thing is to keep them clean, especially when considering contact lenses. Contacts should be kept in their container that is filled with a special contact lens solution, never water. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling lenses, clean the container regularly, never wear daily-wear lenses while you sleep, and take them out when showering or swimming. To protect your glasses, be sure to put them in a case when not being worn to prevent scratching.

Tips on Communicating With Your Ophthalmologist

When you do visit your eye doctor for an exam, you may talk about a lot of important things concerning your eye health. If you don’t fully understand an explanation of a disease, an eye test, or anything else, don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat what they said, or ask them to explain it differently so you can understand. Feel free to take notes if there are detailed instructions. And you can even ask if there are other important questions that you should ask, but that you may not be able to think of at the moment.

Dr. Sina J. Sabet and his team strive to provide exceptional service to each of our patients. Whatever reason you’re visiting an ophthalmologist, we’re here to make sure you have healthy eyes and vision, and that you get the best care possible. Call our Alexandria office today to schedule an eye exam.