We wouldn’t fool you! 10 things eye doctors wish patients knew before their exams

Posted by: West Georgia Eye Care Center in Frontpage Article on March 31, 2016

1.) Don’t get the red out!

Over-the-counter eye drops that indicate they “get the red out” sound promising, but do you know how they actually work? These drops “remove the red” by constricting blood vessels that are bringing necessary nutrients to the eye. The drops are a temporary fix, and often have a rebound effect that gives you even redder eyes. We need to see your eyes uninfluenced by any drops except those we have prescribed for you.


2.) You have three focal distances, and one size doesn’t always fit all!

Our eyes focus differently when you are looking in the distance (e.g., television), looking in intermediate range (e.g., the computer) and looking at near (e.g., reading). Depending on your age, eye health, and other factors, one answer may not always work for all three focal distances.


3.) 20/20 vision is not always the goal!

Not everyone has the potential for 20/20 vision. The numbers do not represent everyone’s BEST! The goal is to help you see your unique, individual best, so don’t stress over the numbers.


4.) We care about your comprehensive, overall health

To be nourished, your eyes rely on some of the tiniest blood vessels in your body. Chronic diseases (like high blood pressure and diabetes) have serious implications for your eye health, too! We may encourage you to watch what you eat, exercise more, and get some preventive care (e.g., the shingles vaccine) to improve or protect your vision.


5.) “Better on one? Better on two?” means better, not perfect.

Many patients express anxiety over deciding the better of the options shown during the vision exam. The closer we get to the end point, the more alike the choices. Want a great answer? Don’t be afraid to say, “they’re about the same.” It tells us a lot. Remember, from #3 above, we are working on your best vision, not some contrived idea of perfection.


6.) iLASIK is a great procedure but not everyone is a candidate!

“iLASIK is the most advanced laser vision technology.” YES!

“Everyone is a candidate for iLASIK.” NO!

We never want to disappoint our patients but the truth is not always what you want to hear. If you are not a good candidate we are going to tell you, and we’re going to explain why. There is a lot of risk associated with treating someone who isn’t a good iLASIK candidate but underwent the surgery anyway. Trust us, you don’t want to risk it!

7.) Insurance companies tell us what they will pay.

Insurance companies are sometimes very confusing on both the provider’s side of things and the patient’s side. They are the boss when it comes to what they will pay. We want to help you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to receive. To that end, we have certified and highly trained personnel to work on insurance claims. Still, we do not have any influence or insider “pull” with the insurance companies.


8.) We see patients in the order of their appointed times except in case of emergency.

Your time is important to us. We call you from the waiting room in the order of your scheduled time. If it seems others are going back before you, although they arrived after you, it’s probably because they have special testing or a different doctor. But we’re not perfect, so we don’t mind you checking to see if you’ve somehow been overlooked.


9.) Dilation is a necessary evil.

Dilation is a major contributing factor to waiting a long time in the eye doctor’s office (see No. 8). Sometimes, we really need to see into the back of the eye, which is impossible unless we dilate.


10.) There are no silly questions.

We learn a lot about your eyes from the questions you ask. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and describe your symptoms, even if they seem a little foolish. For example, if you’re seeing something that looks like a kaleidoscope of colors, that actually means something to us. That may be a key piece of the puzzle. Don’t be afraid to ask!