With a trip to the eye doctor on the calendar, you have a good idea of what to do—show up with your most recent eyeglass prescription in tow, bring your ID and insurance documentation, and come prepared to ask questions and be an engaged patient. Knowing what not to do before your next eye exam, on the other hand, is another aspect of preparing for your exam.
Don’t Reach for the Coffee
Most of us need a little assistance starting each day, and for that, we reach for our trusty coffee beans. If you have an appointment with the eye doctor, however, you may want to switch to decaf. The caffeine in coffee is a necessary pick-me-up, but it can also raise your blood pressure, which will manifest itself in the tiny blood vessels of your eyes. What’s more, if you’re someone who gets skittish at the doctor’s office, especially when the doctor is your optometrist or ophthalmologist, then you probably don’t need the stimulant that day.
Don’t Wear Your Eyes Out
We’ve all received countless warnings to cut down on our screen time. Sometimes, we even pretend to do so for half a day. From TVs to tablets to phones, staring at screens is hard on the eyes. It’s the last thing you want to do before someone professionally examines them. Reading text from a screen presents a strain on the eyes that you should avoid the day of your exam. If you can’t avoid receiving information electronically, try to blow up the type and cut your screen brightness down. If possible, put off your email replies and social media scrolling.
Don’t Get Stressed
If you’re not used to making biannual visits, the examination room at your eye doctor’s office can be a scary place full of unfamiliar equipment. The thought of probes, air puffs, lights, and eyedrops may get your heart racing. Stoking this unnecessary stress is on the list of what not to do before your next eye exam. Not only are you working yourself up over something that benefits you, but high stress levels could also manifest themselves in your test results—and not in a good way. When you’re anxious, the pressure of the fluid in your eyes goes up. High intraocular pressure is a warning sign for glaucoma, the degeneration of the optic nerve, and your tests may denote higher pressure than you normally experience.