Most medical procedures or exams require some form of preparation. For instance, a doctor may tell you only to drink liquids before a surgical procedure. The same requirements are true for an eye exam. What you do and don’t do can directly impact the results.
Therefore, there are several things you should avoid in the moments leading up to your eye exam. Below, we look at what NOT to do before an eye exam. If you have any further questions about proper eye exam preparation, contact Gulf Coast Vision Center today.
Don’t Forget to Bring Your Documents
Whether this is your first visit or an ongoing visit to the eye clinic, you should always bring your medical documents for the doctor to review. Documents may include the following:
- Vision or health insurance policy
- Past eye exam or treatment documents
- Any related medical records, including physical exams
If your doctor identifies any vision problems, they may be able to refer to your documents to determine what further exams or treatment are necessary. You may want to review your insurance in advance to understand what eye-care services your policy does and does not cover.
Don’t Consume Caffeine and Alcohol
Stimulants such as coffee and cigarettes can affect the quality of your vision. Caffeine can raise your blood pressure, which may show up on an eye exam. Therefore, you may want to wait 24 to 48 hours before drinking coffee, soda or any energy drinks—basically anything with caffeine. Doing so will bring your blood pressure back to normal.
Alcohol can affect your blood pressure and vision several hours after consumption. Drinking beer, liquor or wine can increase your blood pressure, which can show up during certain eye exams or physicals. Alcohol can also dehydrate your body, which dries out your eyes. As a result, your eyes may feel itchy or irritated.
Don’t Leave Your Glasses, Sunglasses or Contacts at Home
One of the most common mistakes patients make is thinking that they do not need to bring their current prescription eyewear to their eye exam. However, there are several reasons why you should bring your prescriptions to your eye exam:
- Your eyewear may be worn out or outdated. You may want a fresh look with a new pair in better condition. You may also need to refill your contacts.
- Your vision may have changed. It may have worsened or improved over the last few months. As a result, you may need to update your prescriptions to reflect the quality of your vision.
- You may need your eyewear after your exam. Certain procedures or exams can make your eyes sensitive for a few hours. Wearing your contacts or sunglasses may reduce the sensitivity.
Don’t Wear Your Eyes Out
The activities you participate in for 24 to 48 before your exam can impact your test results. Therefore, you need to avoid doing things that overexert your eyes. Here are some practical recommendations for treating your eyes before the exam:
- Get a minimum of eight hours of sleep before the exam.
- Avoid watching TV for long periods the night before.
- Minimize screen time with your computer, phone or tablet.
- Avoid any activity that causes you to strain your eyes.
Straining or overexerting your eyes the night before your exam can make it difficult to look at an eye chart the next day. You may receive a false result during screening if you can’t read the eye chart due to overexertion or lack of rest.
Don’t Wear Your Contacts to the Eye Exam
Bring your contacts to the eye exam, but don’t wear them to the exam. If you wear your contacts, your doctor may ask you to take them out. Wear your glasses instead of your contacts if you have to use eyewear to drive to the eye clinic. They’re easier to remove at the clinic.
Another reason you should remove your contacts before the exam is because it allows your eyes to adjust without the contacts. So, try to remove your contacts at least two to three hours before the exam. That should be plenty of time for your eyes to adjust.
Don’t Be Late for Your Eye Exam
It goes without saying that you should be on time for your eye exam. Try to make it to your exam five to ten minutes early. You may need to fill out some paperwork—especially if it is your first visit. You can complete the paperwork faster and get in faster by arriving early.
Being on time for your exam also gives your doctor more time to complete the exam properly without worrying about the next appointment. You also have more time to relax, ask questions and address any possible issues. Being on time creates a more positive experience for you.