Questions to ask your doctor

You may feel overwhelmed by the information you receive at your appointment so it can be useful to make a list of questions to take with you. Here are some suggestions that might be helpful:

What is my diagnosis?

You may wish to ask your doctor to write down the name of the condition if it is a term that is not familiar to you.

How will my vision be affected?

A doctor will not be able to give you an exact answer to this question as everyone is different and conditions can progress at different rates in different people. However they should be able to tell you which parts of your vision are most likely to be affected, for example, your central vision or peripheral vision.

How will it affect my home and work life?

The doctor may be able to give you an example of how the condition will affect an everyday task such as reading or driving.

What is the short-term and long-term prognosis for my disease or condition?

Many conditions will cause your vision to change over time. A doctor will not be able to give you an exact prognosis or time line but may able to give you an idea of what can happen in the short and long term in most cases of your condition.

What caused the disease or condition?

Is your condition genetic or can it be affected by lifestyle or environmental factors.

Has my vision changed since my last visit?

Sometimes vision changes can occur very slowly and it can be difficult to notice slight changes yourself. You may wish to ask your doctor if your test results are similar to previous results or if there are any differences.

Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help my condition or my vision?

There may be steps you can take to protect your vision, such as dietary changes, exercise, stopping smoking, wearing sunglasses.

Could medication or health supplements I take have any effect on my vision?

Depending on the condition you have, there may or may not be a suitable treatment for you at that time. Your doctor will explain to you all treatment or supportive care options that are available to you. If this is something you are unsure about, bring a list of any medications or supplements to your appointment and ask your doctor about them.

Are there local agencies or organisations that can help me learn more about my condition and vision loss?

There may be an organisation or support group that deals specifically with your condition, and may be able to give you more information.