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3 Ways to Get Exactly What You Want During Your Eye Exam

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Ever go to your eye doctor and leave thinking: “What the hell just happened?” Well here are 3 ways to get exactly what you want during your eye exam. 

Before we begin, please know these 2 things:

  • Optometrists are not superhuman. We cannot read your mind. You must remember that.
  • Optometrist just wanna make you super happy. 

1. Tell me what you want faster

than Vin Diesel can steal a car.

Tell your optometrist what you want right after you say hello. Like, 10 seconds after you say hello. Eye exams are problem based appointments. So tell me your problem right away so I can fix it and fix it well. Please do not wait until the eye exam is over to ask me: “What about my contact lenses?” I kinda go crazy when this happens only because there’s another appointment waiting to be seen, and now it’s gonna be 15 minutes late. 

If you are having computer eyestrain, say so. If you might have pain in your left eye, tell me. I’m super amazing at fixing all of these things . . . but you gotta let a girl know! Whatever you say, do NOT say: “I’m here for a routine exam.” “Routine” is the kiss of death to an optometrist. It’s like you’re telling me you have a needle in a haystack, now go find it. #FML.

2. Be better at collaboration

than M.C. Hammer.

When I tell you my findings and lay out your treatment plan, collaborate with me. Last month I had a patient come in complaining about itchy eyelids. I diagnosed and gave him his treatment plan. Very simple stuff, but the patient decided to blow off the treatment for whatever reason. A few days ago, he comes back with a huge, hot stye (infection of the eyelid).

Ummmmmm. TOLD YOU! <—– my inside voice.

So instead of treating a very simple eyelid condition, he waited for me to treat a very painful medical condition. If you add up the time he had to take off work, medical co-pays, prescription co-pays and the cost of the original treatment plan I prescribed, we are talking about lots of time and money wasted on something that could have been prevented. Don’t ask me for advice, then ignore it. 

3.  Be picky cause I am 

definitely listening.

During the exam, if you’re not seeing clearly during the test for new glasses (i.e. the refraction) or through new contact lenses, please tell me. Don’t say it’s great when it’s not. Don’t tell me it’s good when in reality it reminds you of the last time you had 6 shots of tequila. In a row.

Blurred vision can be caused by so many things including allergies, dry eyes or eye disease. These are medical problems that have to be addressed with medication and not just glasses or contacts and I am amazing at fixing all of those things. Be picky. It works. 


Dr Tanya Gill


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  • Written by Tanya Gill

    Dr. Gill is also a member of the Ocular Surface Society of Optometry. In addition to her Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Gill also has a BA in Integrative Biology and a BS in Vision Science, both from UC Berkeley. Go Bears!
    In 2015, Dr. Gill developed and founded We Love Eyes, which is a green cosmetics company that produces eyelid and eyelash cleansing products that are natural, non-toxic, and vegan.

    More Articles by Tanya Gill

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