An eye doctor, like most medical professionals, often comes into a session with a patient looking to have only so much of a discussion about what's going on. Doctors are frequently busy, and many patients simply come to appointments looking to get an exam and find out whether they need glasses. Here are a few topics you can bring up in order to have a more rewarding conversation with your optometrist.

The Pupil Dilation Test

When you go to the eye doctor, a test is typically administered where the eyes are dilated in order to see what's going on. Many people are aware that optometrists perform one of the earliest screenings for glaucoma, but a host of other disorders are detectable by looking at the eyes. A professional can spot indications of heart disease, thyroid problems, cancer, and even late-stage HIV.

Your Future

The eye doctor typically has a pretty good idea of what the standard progression is for someone with your type of disorder, be it a lazy eye, astigmatism, age-related macular degeneration, or cataracts. Given the relatively uncomfortable topic of how eyesight ages, doctors often steer clear of talking about the future. Knowing how your eyes will age, however, can help you plan for what's ahead. In a few cases, such as some people who may eventually need cataract surgery, there might even be good news about how a transplant down the road may restore their vision to a higher grade.

Materials for Glasses

Glasses are one of the biggest upsells each eye doctor offers, and it can be challenging to figure out what options are worth contemplating and which ones aren't. For example, adding a coating to a polycarbonate lens actually makes them more prone to scratching, since the new surface acts as a matrix in which gouges can be made. Talk directly with your eye care professional about what you do and don't want, if you're buying glasses.


There are a lot of surgical options available in the vision world, and it may be debatable whether you're a candidate for one of them. Sometimes an eye doctor will avoid the conversation so as not to upset a patient, while other optometrists often advocate very hard for procedures. If the topic of surgery comes up, it's an excellent time to have a detailed conversation. Don't be pressured into a medical procedure; just focus on your concerns.

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