Eye Doctor-Questions to Ask

Dr. Kisling Common Eye Questions for Your Optometrist 2 Comments

Here are some tips from the National Eye Institute. Please feel free to use them in our office. Often, if patients don’t ask I am afraid I will just overload them with information they don’t really want-So Ask Away If You Have Questions! We are Delighted to Answer Any Questions You May Have!

Talking to Your Eye Doctor

Today, patients take an active role in their health care. You and your optometrist will work in partnership to achieve your best possible level of eye health. An important part of this relationship is good communication. Here are some questions you can ask your doctor to get your discussion started:

About My Disease or Disorder…

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • What caused my condition?
  • Can my condition be treated?
  • How will this condition affect my vision now and in the future?
  • Should I watch for any particular symptoms and notify you if they occur?
  • Should I make any lifestyle changes?

About My Treatment…

  • What is the treatment for my condition?
  • When will the treatment start, and how long will it last?
  • What are the benefits of this treatment, and how successful is it?
  • What are the risks and side effects associated with this treatment?
  • Are there foods, drugs, or activities I should avoid while I’m on this treatment?
  • If my treatment includes taking a medication, what should I do if I miss a dose?
  • Are other treatments available?

About My Tests…

  • What kinds of tests will I have?
  • What do you expect to find out from these tests?
  • When will I know the results?
  • Do I have to do anything special to prepare for any of the tests?
  • Do these tests have any side effects or risks?
  • Will I need more tests later?

Understanding your doctor’s responses is essential to good communication.

Here are a few more tips:

  • If you don’t understand your doctor’s responses, ask questions until you do understand.
  • Take notes, or get a friend or family member to take notes for you. Or, bring a tape-recorder to assist in your recollection of the discussion.
  • Ask your doctor to write down his or her instructions to you.
  • Ask your doctor for printed material about your condition.
  • If you still have trouble understanding your doctor’s answers, ask where you can go for more information.
  • Other members of your health care team, such as nurses and pharmacists, can be good sources of information. Talk to them, too.

Last Reviewed March 2009

Comments 2

  1. Ira

    I had been taking Doxazosin for BPH and switched to Alfuzosin prior to cataract surgery, to try to avoid Floppy Iris Syndrome. The operation went smoothly and I did not have that syndrome.

    However, I am now looking forward to my second cataract surgery and I want to switch back to Doxazosin, which is more effective. Do I still run the risk of Floppy Iris Syndrome, or have we proven that I will not get it? Or should I not switch back to Doxazosin?

  2. Post

    Hi Ira,
    Sorry for the delay in responding, your email slipped through the cracks. I do not believe there is consensus that not having complications after the first surgery indicates you are risk free. There probably is not a lot of difference between Doxazosin and Alfuzosin in terms of an increased risk for floppy iris syndrome. Flomax
    (tamsulosin) does have a much higher incidence of complications during cataract surgery. Flomax is considered to be a selective antagonist (blocker) of the andrenergic receptors while drugs like doxazosin are non selective. Presumably Flomax exerts more side effects on the iris since it is more specific for the receptor sites. Flomax can be associated with ocular side effects years after it is discontinued, and stopping the medication prior to cataract surgery does not seem to significantly reduce complications. The real answer to your question lies in the surgeons skills. When skilled high volume cataract surgeons are aware of current or past use of this class of drugs they can alter their surgical techniques to account for the possible complications. The risk can almost be eliminated in the hand of a skilled surgeon. It sounds like you have had that level of competency so in a round about way you probably have pretty much proven you will not get it with proper care. Best wishes for the other eye!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *