Regular eye exams can detect and treat many eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. It also helps prevent common vision problems like squints and dry eyes. Ophthalmologists and optometrists work together as part of a team to offer complete eye care. They can provide routine and advanced eye care, from examinations to treatment.
Eye doctors provide various options to help their patients have good eyesight. These options include glasses, contact lenses, and laser surgery. Talking with your eye doctor near me before deciding which option is best for you is crucial. Contact lenses are thin discs of plastic or glass that sit directly on the eye to correct vision. The lens bends light rays that enter the eye, so they focus on the retina at the back of the eye. This focuses the light correctly, which helps eliminate blurred vision caused by refractive errors.
Many lenses are available to fit almost any lifestyle or budget.
Conduct diagnostic tests that look for eye diseases like glaucoma or macular degeneration, which, if left untreated, can lead to vision loss. Screen for chronic health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, which can also affect eye health.
Your comprehensive exam will begin with a patient history that includes your vision symptoms and any other medical or health conditions you may have. Then, your doctor will perform a visual acuity test by having you sit in front of an eye chart with progressively smaller lines of letters and read them aloud until you can no longer discern the words.
Your doctor will then use a tool called a slit lamp to examine the front portion of your eyes (eyelids, lashes, and corneas) and the inside of your eyes, including the pupil, tear ducts, lens, and optic nerve. They might ask you to open your mouth wide for this part of the exam and may dilate your pupils if they want a better view of the back of your retina.
Eyeglasses are a useful tool for most people with vision problems. They help the eyes focus clearly by reshaping how light rays bend inside the lens and cornea. The result is that the eye can sharply record an image on the retina, which sends a message to the brain for interpretation. Whether you need eyeglasses to correct farsightedness or nearsightedness, eye doctors write your prescription for lenses that add or subtract the necessary amount of bending. Lenses are usually made of plastic or polyurethane and may be bifocal or multifocal.
Eyeglasses can also help protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays and shield them from the harmful effects of blue light. During your comprehensive eye exam, you’ll look through a device called a phoropter with different lenses to help your eye care professional figure out the right prescription. Your doctor can order lenses from an optician who makes or sells eyeglasses using your prescription.
Many people have yet to learn that vision therapy is a medically proven way to treat crossed eyes (strabismus), lazy eyes (amblyopia), and focusing, tracking, and visualization problems. These problems can interfere with learning and cause poor reading, handwriting, or athletic performance.
Vision Therapy retrains the brain, eyes, and visual pathways to function together. Even with 20/20 eyesight, you may struggle to process information efficiently without these coordinated visual skills.
Behavioral optometry (also known as “orthoptics”) has been shown by science to improve binocular vision and treat strabismus, amblyopia, focusing and tracking disorders, and dizziness. It uses a variety of eye exercises and training equipment, such as therapeutic lenses, prisms, filters, occluders/eye patches, and balance boards, to help the eyes work better together. A vision therapy program can take 2-3 years and requires office visits plus at-home activities. It is effective for patients of any age. It also helps children with learning-related visual problems to become better learners and students, resulting in a boost in self-esteem and confidence that will benefit them throughout their lives.