Dr. Stephen Rose: Hi! I'm Dr. Stephen Rose from the Foundation Fighting Blindness and now I am going to talk to you about the importance of having regular eye exams to keep your eyes healthy and maximize your vision.
Remember to have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. Regular visits to your eye doctor will help you maintain optimal vision with the right prescription lenses and will also ensure early detection of any eye disease.
Early detection is the key to treating and managing such conditions. A complete eye exam involves a series of tests designed to evaluate your vision and check for eye diseases. Your doctor may use odd looking instruments, aim bright lights directly at your eyes and request that you look through a seemingly endless array of lenses.
However each of these tests is important for evaluating different aspects of your vision. The frequency in which you see your doctor depends primarily on your age, health and risk of developing eye problems.
Dr. Alexander Smith: You should have your eye check annually one of the reasons why is because there is a lot of eye diseases that we can pick up over the course of a year. So you might have something like Glaucoma or High eye-pressure or Macular Degeneration or things where you are starting to loose little bit of your peripheral vision or your sight that you are not even noticing and we can pick it up with our tests in here.
Dr. Stephen Rose: This is especially important, it have to be age of 55. Since as we age our eye function can begin to deteriorate and we are more susceptible to age related eye diseases like Macular Degeneration.
If you wear glasses, have a family history of eye disease or have a chronic disease such as diabetes that puts you at greater risk of eye disease, you need to have your eyes checked more frequently. There are different types of eye doctors to choose from and different specialists are well suited for treating different concerns.
Ophthalmologist are medical doctors who provide full eye care such as giving you a complete eye exam, prescribing corrective lenses, diagnosing and treating complex eye diseases and performing eye surgery.
Optometrist provide many of the same services as Ophthalmologist such as evaluating your vision, prescribing corrective lenses, diagnosing common eye disorders and treating selected eye diseases with drugs. But you are likely, be referred to an Ophthalmologist for more complex eye problems and for conditions requiring surgery.
Retina Specialists are highly specialized to treat diseases with the retina like Macular Degeneration or Retinitis Pigmentosa. Now that you know how often you should go to the doctor, let's go through what you can expect at disappointment. An eye exam usually involves three steps.
Dr. Alexander Smith: So once you are at the eye doctor you are going to go through a series of tests to you know check your family history, we are going to ask you questions about you and if you have past eye diseases, we are going to use all this data to try make sure everything is okay with you.
Stephen Rose: Your eye doctor then checks your eyes using a light to ensure the exterior part of your eyes are healthy. Finally, your doctor measures your visual acuity, assesses your need for glasses and examines your eyes for signs of disease.
Several different tests may be performed during the eye exam. The tests are designed to check your vision and to examine that your appearance and function of all parts of the eyes. The eye muscle test examines the muscles that control eye movement looking for weakness or poor control.
Your eye doctor looks at your eyes as you move them in six specific directions and as you visually track a moving object such as a pen or a light. The visual acuity test measures how clearly you can see from a distance. The doctor will ask you to identify different letters on an alphabet printed on a chart.
Your doctor will also perform a visual field test, which can determine whether you have difficulty seeing in areas of your central or peripheral vision. If your doctor detects signs of something problematic through these basic tests or if you are at risk for certain diseases because of your age or medical history, he may conduct more specialized tests.
Refractive errors like near sightedness and far sightedness are the most common eye problems and can usually be corrected with correct of lenses.
You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure.
Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It is important to know if anyone in your family has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many of these are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at a higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition.
Many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age related Macular Degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.
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