Two tips for people with eye phobias who are going for their first eye exam

10 December 2019
 Categories: , Blog

If you have an eye phobia that results in you being fearful of or repulsed by the idea of anyone touching your eyes, then the thought of getting an eye exam is probably very frightening. However, due to the critical role that regular eye exams play in the prevention and timely treatment of eye conditions, it is important to try to overcome this phobia. If you have booked your first eye exam, these two tips should be helpful.

Consider asking your doctor for a sedative

Although there are many ways that a person can calm themselves down without medication (such as taking lots of slow, deep breaths, doing some exercise or listening to soothing music), you may find that these techniques don't quite cut it when it comes to easing your eye-related anxiety. If this is the case, then you might want to ask your doctor for a light sedative that you can take before you head off to the optometrist. This sedative will need to be fairly mild, as you will, of course, need to be awake and able to stay still and keep your eyes open whilst your optometrist is doing the examination. However, this medication should take the edge off your anxiety and allow you to get through the eye exam without feeling panicky.

If you intend to take this medication, you should inform your optometrist in advance that you will be on it whilst they're examining your eyes. This will ensure that they do not become unnecessarily concerned or alarmed if you seem a bit drowsy or disorientated.

Ask the optometrist for a double appointment

It might also be helpful to ask the optometrist for a double appointment (one which is twice as long as a standard eye exam appointment). There are two reasons for this; the first is that if you feel yourself getting anxious, you can take a break for several minutes without feeling under pressure to get your anxiety under control very quickly because the optometrist needs to finish your exam within, for example, the next ten minutes.

Secondly, it will give the optometrist time to explain each part of the eye examination process before they do it. This could eliminate the risk of you panicking because you were taken by surprise by some element of the examination (like the air puff test that optometrists use to check people's eye pressure levels).

To learn more about eye exams, contact an optometrist in your area.