As medical professionals, everyone at Milwaukee Eye Care is excited to see each and every one of our patients, whether you are coming in for your first exam or have been a patient here for many years. You might wonder why we ask you all kinds of questions about your general health, the medications you take, allergies you have to medications, and your family history. Here’s why.
Did you know that several systemic diseases or conditions can be diagnosed with an eye exam? Conditions such as Diabetes and Hypertension are commonly seen this way.
When your eye doctor asks you what medications you are taking, it’s because they could very well effect your eye health. For instance, if you take oral prednisone for an issue such as arthritis, in the short term it can cause elevated eye pressure that can lead to glaucoma. Long term prednisone use can cause cataracts to form early and you would need surgery to remove them. Plaquenil or Hydroxychloroquine, which is taken for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus can also lead to changes in your eyes. Long term use of this medication can cause a toxicity in the retina, impairing your vision. As a result this is monitored with dilation and specialized testing that is ordered by your doctor.
If you have experienced an allergic reaction to certain medications, this is something your doctor needs to know about to avoid prescribing those medications for you in the future. Some common allergies to medications include Penicillin, Codeine or Sulfa-based drugs.
Knowing your Family’s Medical History goes a long way to ensuring your health for years to come and can give the doctor an idea of areas to watch closely as many conditions are inherited from parents and can be common among siblings.
Always remember these key points to ensure a great visit with your eye doctor: Prescriptions medications you are taking, allergies to medications, your past medical history, and your family medical history. Bringing the information to your next visit can make a big difference. If you have trouble remembering everything, a prewritten list is an excellent item to bring along.
Stay healthy friends!
Written by Bart W., Technician with Milwaukee Eye Care