We're all familiar with having to describe our symptoms in great detail to our doctor when we're sick or injured. This patient history, also known as anamnesis, is crucial when you visit your optician, because it is the first step on the path to the perfect pair of glasses. But what questions should a good optician ask? And why is this information so important for ensuring that your glasses both provide you with razor-sharp vision and accommodate all your vision needs?
An important part of producing optimally fitted glasses is a one-to-one consultation with your optician. They should not only have extensive expertise, but also take professional interest in their patients' particular requirements. Every person's eyes are as unique as a fingerprint, and no two people have the same visual needs and habits. The more your optician knows about your vision profile and typical visual behaviour, the more precisely they can individualise your glasses to accommodate your vision profile. This is the only way your glasses will optimally match your lifestyle and provide excellent vision correction.
Therefore, it's vital that your optician spends time consulting with you. They will take a case history, i.e. ask about information relevant to your health, and discuss what you expect from your new glasses. There are many different factors to consider, including:
- What are your daily routines? How do you spend your time?
- Where do you wear your glasses the most? At home? At work? When playing sports or pursuing a particular hobby?
- Do you spend a lot of time using digital devices such as laptops, tablets or smartphones?
- Certain visual defects also play a role; for example: Are your eyes sensitive to light? Do you experience poor vision at night?
- Do you want to enjoy better vision in certain situations, such as when looking at objects at medium distances or when at work?
- Did you have problems with your old glasses, i.e. did they leave pressure marks on your nose or did the frames often slide down your face?
- What did you particularly like about your old glasses?
- What do you expect from your new glasses?
- Just as important are issues such as the shape, colour and material of the frames – individualised to match your lifestyle, your fashion sense or for a particular use.
Your optician may also observe your physical behaviour. For example: do you tilt your head slightly? How does your posture change when you switch your gaze from mid-distance to something close up? Your facial shape is also quite important for fitting your glasses. Only by performing a comprehensive analysis is it possible for your optician to provide you with an optimum consultation and to precisely tailor the lens design to match your visual needs.
Keep the following rule of thumb in mind: the more your optician knows about your visual habits, wishes and expectations, the better they can advise you. So be ready to share a little bit about yourself.