How often should I have an eye exam?
You should always schedule regular eye exams because some conditions may come about without warning. Before the age of 20, you should have an eye exam as recommended by a pediatrician or eye doctor. It is also recommended to have your eyes screened at least once between the ages of 20 and 39 and then every two to four years until age 65. We suggest regular eye exams every one to two years after age 65.
Those who are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma or another severe eye condition should schedule eye exams on a more regular basis at any age (every one to two years).
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition in which the fluid that normally flows through the anterior (front) of the eye fails to drain as needed, causing added pressure on the optic nerve. The optic nerve is sensitive to trauma from pressure. Left untreated, vision deteriorates and eventually ceases.
Is glaucoma more prevalent in certain types of people?
Yes. Although anyone can be affected by glaucoma, the risk is higher for people who are nearsighted, over age 65, have a family history of glaucoma, take steroid medicines, have had past trauma to the eye, are African-American and over age 40 or have diabetes or high blood pressure.
What are cataracts and how are they treated?
A cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye. When a cataract worsens to the point of interfering with daily activities, it’s time to have the lens removed. Surgery is the only effective way to remove the clouded lens, and most are now done on an outpatient basis. Over 1.5 million cataract operations are performed in North America every year.
What is refractive surgery?
Refractive surgery encompasses several surgical procedures developed to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. The difference in these surgeries is the method in which the surgeon accesses the deeper corneal layers. These procedures include LASIK (Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis), LASEK (Laser Assisted Epithelial Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy).
What’s the difference between ophthalmology and optometry?
Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine specializing in the anatomy, function and diseases of the eye. Optometry, on the other hand, is the health care profession concerned with examination, diagnosis and treatment of the eyes and related structures and with determination and correction of vision problems using lenses and other optical aids. The main difference between the two professions is an ophthalmologist has a full medical education, including extensive clinical and surgical training in the field.