Questions for your HCP

Engaging With Your Healthcare Professional

Communicating clearly with your Eye Care Professional (ECP) is essential for both of you to understand one another and to ensure that you are getting the best advice relevant to your individual circumstances. Asking questions and understanding your ECP’s responses is essential to good communication.

It is sometimes recommended that you bring a family member with you too – two pairs of ears are better than one – particularly where the family member is acting as a caregiver. Caregivers may also need to ask for advice and the best person to ask is the ECP. Additionally, while caregivers will discuss their loved one’s care with the ECP, they seldom talk about their own health, which is equally important. Building a partnership with an ECP that addresses the health needs of the individual and their caregiver, as applicable, is crucial. Ideally the responsibility for the partnership is shared between the affected individual, their caregiver, the ECP and any other healthcare professionals.

When meeting with your ECP it is important to be prepared to get the most out of these appointments. Make a list of your most important concerns and problems. Issues you might want to discuss are changes in symptoms, medications or general health, specific help or concerns that the caregiver has, etc. Remember the ECP only sees a moment in time; make sure you let them know of any concerns that exist in the routine daily environment. Remember also to enlist the help from all of those involved in your care, including nursing staff and pharmacists. Other organisations, such as local patient organisations and support groups can help too.

Questions for your HCP

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

 

What is my diagnosis?

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. They will 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?

Your condition may be genetic and be influenced by a variety of environmental factors.

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 or may be able to give you more information.