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Prior to visiting the eye doctor
December 1, 2013, 1:26 pm

An ophthalmologist can help improve your vision and determine whether you’re at risk for other conditions such as stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, brain tumors and multiple sclerosis. Prior to visiting your eye-doctor there are a few preparations you can take:

Eye care: Using digital devices causes eye strain. If you work in front of a computer all day, assess how far your screen is from your face and how often you take breaks. At what point in the day do your eyes get tired? Do you give your eyes a rest by staring into the distance every once in a while? Do you read in bed from a tablet or watch TV late at night with the lights out? How often do you check your smartphone? Think about your lifestyle ahead of time so you can come prepared to your appointment.

Burning, itchiness or tearing: An eye doctor will ask whether you have any of these symptoms. Do not assume that you just tend to have dry eyes. You could have signs of ocular surface disease, or dry eye, which can lead to intense pain and tearing. Your eye could also be inflamed or infected.

When people stare at a screen all day, the number of times they blink dramatically decreases, which puts a strain on the tear ducts and can lead to dry eye. Patients who use contacts must make sure their contacts stay hydrated so their eyes stay healthy and comfortable. Be honest with your ophthalmologist if you have poor contact hygiene, such as using the same pair for longer than your doctor suggests or regularly falling asleep while you are still wearing them.

Headaches: Do you have pain over your eyebrows or often find yourself rubbing your temples? People can feel a lot of strain due to the hours spent looking at their devices. Computer users will just consider what they’re going through, but there is actually a lot that can be done. Your eye doctor can adjust your prescription so you don’t suffer from headaches caused by eye strain at work.

Changing medical history: As you age, your eyes age too, and your visual needs change. Patients between ages 35 and 45 begin to notice their eyes can’t focus as well as they used to. Gradual vision loss can be something patients don’t recognize until they look through glasses or contacts. Going for a checkup every year or two can be the best way to maximize vision.Also, patients are often so used to having one pair of glasses that they don’t realize that settling for a generic pair may keep them from trying new technologies that can improve their well-being. Some patients who find their work environment affects their vision and comfort could consider anti-reflective eyewear that keeps glares from a screen from shining into their eyes.

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