Ok, I admit I completely made up that statistic. But, personally, I do want patients to ask more questions about their vision and their ocular health. One of the things I enjoy most is a patient who presents some questions to me during the exam room encounter. Whether these questions arise from simple curiosity or extensive research makes no difference. To me, no question is silly or not worthy of a caring and informative response.
What scares me is that so many patients don't ask questions or they often apologize when they do ask questions. Unfortunately, insurance reimbursement reductions and rapid rise in practice-related expenses result in doctors needing to see more patients in a shorter period of time. But, that shouldn't form obstacles for patients wanting to learn more about their health care--especially eye health.
I try to make an effort to educate every patient I can about how their medical history, medications, family history, and ocular health history impacts their risks in the future. But I still encourage you to ask questions of your eye doctor (and every doctor for that matter).
Here's some questions I love to hear:
- How can I keep my eyes healthy?
- My relative was just diagnosed with (__________ ) condition, what is it and am I at risk?
- How has my vision changed?
- I read about a certain condition/medication? What should I know or watch for?
- What are my risks for other vision or eye diseases and what can I do or what should I look out for?
- Why do you wear funny socks Dr. Beach?
These are just a few of the questions I love to hear in the exam room. There are many more, of course. Yet, I think the patient that takes an active role in their health care is most likely to live a full and health life.