Do you feel like you are too busy to get your eyes checked? Fun-packed summers give way to hectic fall school schedules, and we often forget preventive care. However, eye exams are essential for overall wellness, so scheduling yearly visits to your ophthalmologist is critical. With a few minutes of preparation, you can breeze through your eye exam and be out of the office in no time.
Routine care prevents eye disease and vision loss
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 93 million Americans are at risk for significant vision loss, but only half visited their eye doctor in the past year. Many adults say they are too busy to check their eyes, while others say eye exams are expensive or unnecessary.
Early detection of eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy can prevent eye damage and preserve vision. However, these diseases may not have symptoms early, so you cannot rely on warning signs to alert to a problem.
How to be efficient on your eye exam day
Yearly comprehensive eye exams can prevent chronic conditions, increase productivity and enhance quality of life. You can take some easy steps to streamline your eye exam.
- Fill out any necessary paperwork online before your appointment, or print it at home and bring it with you. Preparing beforehand will streamline your appointment.
- Schedule your appointment at the beginning of the day. Your wait time will more likely increase later in the day for reasons such as the following:
- Some patients arrive late, which can affect all subsequent appointments.
- Certain appointments take longer than their allotted time.
- Doctors have to accommodate eye emergencies and last-minute appointments.
- Bring all vital information with you:
- Medical and vision insurance card
- Current prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses
- List of your current medication and any allergies you have
- Eye drops you use
- Notes about family history of chronic medical issues, eye conditions or vision problems
- Begin looking at the eyeglass frame selection before your doctor calls you back for your appointment. You don’t have to wait until you have your new prescription to decide on a designer frame; start shopping while you wait!
Meeting your deductible can decrease medical costs
Studies show most patients meet their deductible by May, so you might have already met your annual deductible. If this is the case, don’t delay getting an eye exam or scheduling an eye procedure, like cataract surgery. Call your insurance company to verify whether you have met your deductible or are close to meeting it. You can also ask for an estimate of benefits to prepare financially.
Other ways to reduce cost
If you need to schedule a procedure, it is wise to ask your doctor about your options for the medical facility you will visit. An ambulatory surgery center (ASC) is an outpatient facility that offers high-quality medical procedures in a home-like setting. ASCs can save money because they are almost always less expensive than hospitals. You can also use a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to use pre-tax money for your qualified medical expenses. Both of these decisions will result in more cash in your pocket.
Schedule a comprehensive eye exam with dilation
Life is busy, so don’t delay essential preventive care and eye procedures before the end of the year. There is nothing more important than maintaining healthy vision. Annual comprehensive eye exams can prevent conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts before they impair your vision. If you are not under the care of a board-certified ophthalmologist, we can help you find an eye doctor in your area who is accepting new patients.