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Talking with Your Eye Doctor

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.

Eye doctor giving patient an eye exam.

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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. Take a look at these questions you may want to ask.

Questions about your 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?
  • What are vision rehabilitation services? How can I get them?

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 treatments:

  • What treatment do you recommend for me and why?
  • When will I start treatment and how long will it last?
  • What do I need to know about the medicine you’re prescribing? Are there any side effects?
  • 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.

Featured Resources: Talk with Your Doctor About AMD or Glaucoma

Do you have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or glaucoma? These guides makes it easy to talk with your doctor about these eye conditions. They include:

  • Information about AMD or glaucoma
  • Questions for the doctor
  • Symptom tracker

Last updated: June 28, 2023