Eye Exam Anxiety: 5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Visiting the Opticians

Are you feeling nervous about visiting the opticians? If so, you’re not alone.

For many people, a routine trip to the opticians is just another visit or another errand to run. However, for some, eye exam anxiety can be crippling and can be the deciding factor about whether a person attends their eye examination or not. Missing an eye exam isn’t ideal, especially if you don’t have your eyes checked regularly, so attending your appointment is vital.

The good news is, there are ways to help your anxiety subside and here at D.I Blow Opticians, we’re here to help, whatever your needs are. Preparing for an eye exam can be challenging, however, it’s not impossible.

Firstly, let’s examine some of the reasons why a person might be worried about an eye test.

D.I.Blow Opticians Eye Exam Optometrist, Ilkeston Branch

Potential reasons for eye exam anxiety

The fear of needing glasses or contact lenses

For many people, the thought of needing glasses or contact lenses can be terrifying – this is just one of many ways of how eye exam anxiety can be induced. Glasses can completely transform a person’s appearance, but this can be an exciting opportunity to try out something new, and our team will always help find the perfect pair to suit you in a relaxed & comfortable environment.

If that’s not for you, contact lenses may be a more discreet option. Contact lens fitting may also be a cause of anxiety, but not to worry – at D.I. Blow Opticians, we stock the newest and most breathable contact lenses, built for comfort, and we will take our time to guide you through the contact lens fitting and process.

The discovery of an eye disease or worse

Are you worried about your eye test? If so, is it because you’re afraid your optometrist might find something unexpected or confirm your worst fears? We understand that this is another common fear and again, it’s not unusual. However, it’s important to remember that the likelihood of your optometrist finding a life-threatening disease is very small. Your optometrist will perform all of the necessary checks to ensure your eyes are completely healthy and may even perform additional checks if you have diabetes or a history of glaucoma in your family. However, the good news is that the earlier eye conditions are detected, the easier they are to treat. This is why regular eye examinations are important.

A fear of eyes (ommetaphobia)

Ommetaphobia refers to the fear of eyes. Believe it or not, whilst this condition is incredibly rare, it can be triggered by negative experiences in the past such as an eye injury or social anxiety. People with ommetaphobia will often avoid visiting the opticians as simple activities such as undergoing an eye exam, putting contact lenses in or seeing fake eyes can trigger symptoms such as sweating, dizziness and increased heart rate. If you think you might suffer from ommetaphobia, we would advise speaking to your GP who can advise on treatment.

 

How to prepare for an eye exam when you have anxiety

So, we’ve looked at just a few of the reasons why a person might have eye exam anxiety, but what can you do to ensure you remain calm throughout the examination?

If you’re worried about your eye test and you want to ensure your nerves don’t get in the way, there are multiple steps you can take to prepare:

1. Ask lots of questions

If you’re nervous about your eye exam, sometimes it can be down to something as little as the unknown. As humans, we naturally fear the unknown, so remember to ask lots of questions during your examination and be open and honest. Remember, no question is a silly question.

2. Remember to breathe

It sounds so simple, but when we’re nervous, we naturally take quick, shallow breaths which only heightens stress levels. Diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing will allow your mind to focus on one thing and calm your anxiety levels.

3. Think of the benefits

Anxiety and vision are one of those things that many people suffer with. However, one of the ways to reduce your anxiety levels is to think of the benefits prior to your examination. Regular, routine-led check-ups are beneficial for you and your eye health and can help resolve any problems before they become problematic.

4. Remember, you’re not alone

Many people suffer with eye exam anxiety – you’re never alone. Remember, your optometrist is there to answer any questions you might have, big or small. Don’t be afraid to voice your feelings or express any concerns that you might have. Your optometrist will do all that they can to steady your nerves and keep you calm during the examination.

5. Have regular appointments

If you find yourself constantly worried about your eye test, one of the best ways you can overcome this fear is by facing it. Regular appointments will help you get a better understanding of the procedure, what to expect, and the duration. This will ignite a sense of familiarity so you know what to expect next time round and in turn, allow you to feel more calm and collected.

 

Now you know what to do before an eye exam and how to prepare, you should be well on your way to getting your eye health in the best state it’s ever been in.

Remember, we’re here for you at D.I. Blow Opticians and we’re always on hand to answer any questions that you have prior, during or after your examination.

You’re not alone and you never will be.