New Patient Preparation
We know the value of sight and sincerely thank you for trusting our practice to be your retinal care provider. We want to be sure your visit is as seamless and understandable as possible. Below is an overview of how to prepare for your first appointment at Colorado Retina, as well as resources to help you understand what to expect when you arrive.
Be Prepared to Spend 3 Hours at Your Initial Appointment
Your first visit includes a detailed history, comprehensive eye and retinal examination, additional diagnostic testing, discussion of your diagnosis and treatment plan with your doctor, and initial treatment if needed.
What you Need to Bring to your Initial Appointment:
- Your valid photo ID.
- All primary and secondary medical insurance cards.
- Your specialist co-payment (check or credit card preferred) as noted on your insurance card(s).
- A driver to assist you home, you may be dilated.
- Your current eyeglasses and sunglasses.
- Your medical history, list of all your medications, including vitamins, supplements, and eye drops. If you are diabetic, please bring your medication with you.
- The name of your eye doctor and primary care physician.
- A snack, especially if you are diabetic.
- List of drug allergies and the reactions you have from them.
- A blanket or jacket if you get cold easily.
- New Patient Paperwork will be sent to you via email and text if you have a cell phone number on file and can be filled out prior to your visit to save time. If you prefer to fill it out at our office, please arrive 15 minutes early.
Bring a Guest with You
It’s helpful to have a family member, fiend, or caregiver accompany you to your initial appointment. You will receive a large amount of information and having "another set of ears" helps you recall what was discussed during your visit. With many of our patients being immunocompromised, we ask you only bring one guest to your visit. Please, no children or non-service animals.
The Exam Process
Your first appointment will include a comprehensive eye evaluation, including a detailed exam of your vitreous and retina. You will spend up to 3 hours with us to complete the exam, which includes:
1. Medical History
Before we begin diagnostic testing, you need to provide your medical history, known allergies to medication, and list of medications and their associated dosages, eye drops, vitamins, and supplements you are on.
2. Vision Check
A technician will check your vision with best correction, with your glasses on or contact lenses in place. You will then remove your contacts prior to dilation.
3. Eye Pressure Check
We will gently touch the front surface of each eye with a Tono-Pen, a device used to measure your intra-ocular pressure. Numbing drops are applied so you will not feel discomfort, only mild pressure.
Fluid inside the eye is produced daily by the ciliary body, “inflating” the eye to maintain its natural round shape. This measurement ensures your eye pressure is within normal range.
Typically, both eyes will be dilated to let more light in to help your doctor spot any potential issues. It takes 15-30 minutes for your eyes to fully dilate.
An ophthalmic photographer will take you into a dark room to perform retinal imaging. Imaging is a painless diagnostic exam using a high-resolution camera to take pictures of the back of the eye, detecting damage or abnormalities. The types of retinal imaging we commonly use are:
- OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography), 3D imaging technique to view the complex layers of your retina.
- Color photos provide panoramic views of the retina.
6. Physician Examination
In your slit lamp exam, a microscope with a high-intensity beam of light will be used to show a detailed view of the internal structures of your eyes. The bright light will not any cause damage or pain. In your fundoscopic exam, a tool called an indirect ophthalmoscope will shine light into your eye to evaluate the peripheral retina for pathology
7. Consultation & Treatment
After your exam has been completed by our care team your physician will spend 1:1 time with you to review your diagnosis (if any), image and testing findings, your personalized treatment plan, and follow-up care. Additional testing may be ordered.