Have you recently been diagnosed with an eye disease or vision problem? Keep this in mind: when you and your eye doctor work together as a team and communicate well, you’ll feel more confident about your treatment plan, and you’ll get better care.
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Plan ahead to make the most of your appointments
Working together is all about good communication. There’s nothing wrong with asking lots of questions! Remember, it’s your doctor’s job to answer them.
But since it’s easy to forget what you wanted to ask during an appointment, plan ahead and write down your questions before you meet.
Ask questions — and keep asking until you understand
Your doctor needs to listen carefully to your questions and concerns — and you need to make sure you understand exactly what your doctor tells you about your eye health, your treatment plan, and what you need to do next.
Here are some questions you may want to ask:
Questions about my condition:
- What condition do I have?
- What causes this condition?
- Will it affect my vision, now or in the future?
- Do I need to make any changes to my everyday life?
- Are there any symptoms I need to watch for? What do I need to do if I notice those symptoms?
- Can you give me some information about my condition to take home with me?
Questions about tests:
- Do I need any tests?
- What do you want to find out from the test?
- When will I get my test results?
- Does the test have any risks or side effects?
- Will I need more tests later?
Questions about treatment:
- What treatment do you recommend for me? Can you tell me why?
- When will I start treatment and how long will it last?
- What do I need to know about the medicine you’re prescribing?
- What are the risks and benefits of this treatment?
- Are there other treatment options?
Keep track of what you learned during your appointment
To help you remember everything your doctor tells you:
Take notes during your appointment. You can write down your notes, or record your conversation with your cell phone so you can listen to it later.
Ask a friend or family member to come with you to the appointment. They can take notes, help you ask questions, or just be there to listen and support you.
Ask your doctor to write down the main points from the visit. They may also be able to print instructions or other important information for you.