The Importance of Keeping to Your Follow-up Appointment

The Importance of Keeping to Your Follow-up Appointment
 

During the weekend, you had issues with your eyes. Your vision seemed a bit blurry, and your eyes are more irritated than usual. You’ve been putting off your appointments till today.

You’ve decided to make an appointment to see your optometrist in Canberra. After asking you a series of questions and several tests, your optometrist discusses with your diagnosis. A treatment plan was discussed with you, and a follow-up appointment was scheduled in the upcoming weeks.

It’s been a few days since your initial visit, and you have adhered to the treatment plan. Your eyes are feeling great, and the vision is clear. Things are going along nicely, and your initial symptoms of blurry vision and irritated eyes seems to have disappeared. Should you still keep to your follow-up appointment?

Understanding the Diagnosing Procedure

When a patient is presented with a set of symptoms, it is often non-specific. It is near impossible to arrive with a diagnosis just by examining the symptoms alone. Several tests need to be conducted to ensure the patient’s symptoms are somewhat consistent with clinical findings. The location, time and environment also need to be taken into consideration when determining a diagnosis. This ensures the consistency of the diagnosis related to what you were doing at the time.

For example, having a headache is very non-specific to any ailment. You could be dehydrated or needing urgent attention. Without further testing, it is often impossible to determine what is the best course of action for you. Following the headache example, if it happens all the time while you’re reading or after spending a lot of time in front of the computer screen, it could be a clue that you might be suffering from eye fatigue. Again, difficult to determine by just examining the symptoms alone.

Your Presentation is Just a SnapShot of your Entire Clinical Picture

It is a challenge for any optometrist to determine the best course of action for you from just a single visit. Unless, you’ve seen the same optometrist in the past who understands you, your eyes, and how they are throughout the year. That is why it is advisable to return to your optometrist for follow-up care. Not only this would improve the diagnostic outcome, but also saves time and not having to try treatment plans that haven’t worked out well for you in the past.

Working out a treatment plan initially does require some trial and error. For example, you have been diagnosed previously with dry eyes by multiple optometrists. They all have given you some eye drops to provide some relief from the irritated eye. But which eye drop does it work the best for you? The optometrist you see now may have suggested an eyedrop to try which may not have worked well in the past.

Your Follow-Up Appointment

Your follow-up appointment ensures that you’re compliant with the treatment plan and to confirm things are indeed getting better. Your optometrist at Capital Eye in Canberra understands that everyone is different. Therefore a treatment plan that has worked its wonders for a previous patient with a similar problem may not necessarily have worked well for you. Things might’ve improved since your initial visit, or your eyes may have gotten worse.

For most eye diseases, the treatment plan needs to be adjusted throughout its regime. An example of this is patients with inflamed eyes and are on steroidal eye drops. These eye drops were prescribed to control ocular inflammation, which the dosage is quite frequent. However, towards the end of the course, the dosage needs to be adjusted quickly to avoid any complications from overusing the steroidal eye drops.

The Bottom Line

It is often difficult to determine the diagnosis at the early stages of the disease. This is why follow-ups are essential to monitoring the condition. Your optometrist often needs to adjust your personalised treatment plan, depending on how you’re progressing. Complying with your optometrist’s instructions will ensure the best outcome for you.