What to expect when you walk into an eye clinic? How is the work flow? Let us try to explain it to you so that you know what to expect.
First, the demographic details of the patient is recorded. Then the medical and surgical history of the patient pertaining not only to the eye is recorded. It is important to inform your doctor regarding all the drugs that you take and all the surgeries that you have undergone. These might have bearing on the current line of management. It would be in your best interest to not withhold any information and let the doctor decide what is important.
After the registration formalities, you will be guided to the optometry workup. Depending on the clinic’s functioning, this might be carried out by an optometrist or the doctor himself. Optometrist is a person who is qualified to undertake refraction and prescribe glasses and contact lenses. The optometry workup includes recording of your vision, auto refraction, retinoscopy and arriving at the best prescription for you. Depending on your need, it can include other tests like tonometry, biometry etc. after a thorough Optometry workup, you will be then guided to the Ophthalmologist.
An incomplete workup of a patient is a starter for diagnostic mistakes. And any comprehensive eye examination takes time.
The ophthalmologist will take a complete look into the demographic data, your history, your present complaints and Optometry workup. This will help him make a mental plan for the consultation. He will talk to you and ask few more questions in order to complete the voids in the workup till then. He will try to assess your expectation from the visit in order to serve you better. Then he will proceed to undertake a slit lamp examination for you. Slit lamp is a microscope which lets the eye doctor see your eye up close with good magnification. We may perform a retina evaluation on the slit lamp immediately or may decide to do it after instillation of few drops. The evaluation will consists a lot of light being flashed into your eyes. You might feel uncomfortable at first but it is harmless in every way. In case you are feeling very uncomfortable, kindly inform your doctor.
After the evaluation by the Ophthalmologist, he would have most likely come to a diagnosis or a provisional one. He will discuss with you and advice on further line of management. This might include glasses, contact lenses, eye drops, surgery or a few more tests. The requirement is tailored as per the patient and vary from person to person. This marks the end of the consultation session.
After the consultation, you will be guided to the pharmacy, opticals, billing or a sweet adieu as the case maybe.
Remember, the consultation with an eye doctor takes time. A detailed evaluation is always in favour of the patient.