Use this list to determine how often you should get an eye examination.
• Birth to 24 Months: By 6 months of age or as recommended
• 2 to 5 years: At 3 years of age or as recommended
• 6 to 18 years: Before first grade and annually thereafter
• 18 to 60 years: Every one to two years or as recommended
• 61 and older: Annually or more often, if recommended
Periodic eye and vision examinations are an important part of preventive health care. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems are important for maintaining good vision and eye health, and when possible, preventing vision loss.
Comprehensive Eye Exams
A comprehensive adult eye and vision examination may include, but is not limited to, patient history, visual acuity, eye pressures, keratometry, refraction, eye health evaluation and other supplemental testing. Individual patient signs and symptoms, along with the professional judgment of the doctor, may significantly influence the testing done.
At the completion of the examination, our eye doctor will assess and evaluate the results of the testing to determine a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. The doctor will discuss with you the nature of any visual or eye health problems found and explain available treatment options. In some cases, referral for consultation with, or treatment by, another optometrist, ophthalmologist or other health care provider may be indicated.
Emergency Eye Care
Timely treatment of eye injuries such as embedded foreign bodies, inflammation, and corneal abrasions are examples of some of the emergency eye care that is provided.
Medical Eye Exams
Some conditions of the eye require either Over-The-Counter or prescription eye drops for treatment. Prescription eye drops used to treat infections include: anti-biotics, anti-inflammatory, and steroid drops. Some patients may also experience significant eye allergies and low-dose allergy drops are utilized to help with patient comfort. Lastly, patients with glaucoma are treated with a variety of medications to lower eye pressure and slow the progression of the disease.
Cataracts are caused by a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. As they develop, they can cause symptoms including glare, light sensitivity, halos and starbursts that may impact your daily living activities. Cataracts can occur at birth; may be caused by eye injuries or surgeries; may be associated with certain health conditions; or may develop from the use of certain medications. However, most cataracts may occur due to the natural aging of the eye. Although we may diagnose a cataract during your eye examination, this does not necessarily mean that surgery is imminent. Often, you may enjoy many years of acceptable vision before removal of the cataract is required. As we monitor your cataract, we will help you to determine when surgery is needed.
Cataract surgery is a safe and successful procedure, with many patients enjoying improved vision and less dependence on glasses following surgery that may even include the implantation of a multifocal or astigmatism correcting lens. Often, our optometric physicians will work with your cataract surgeon and follow you through the post-operative period until your eye is healed.
Diabetic Eye Exams and Co-Management
Patients with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing eye disease that can cause vision loss and blindness, such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. These and other serious conditions often develop without vision loss or pain, so significant damage may be done to the eyes by the time the patient notices any symptoms. For this reason it is very important for diabetic patients to have a DILATED eye exam once a year.
Dry Eye Treatment
Dry eye occurs when the eyes aren’t sufficiently moisturized, leading to itching, redness and pain. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the tear glands don’t produce enough tears, or because the tears themselves have a chemical imbalance. Another symptom of dry eye is “foreign body sensation” the feeling that something is irritating the eye.
Dry eye are are a result of multitude of factors. Some include:
- The aging process, especially during menopause
- As a side effect of certain medication (i.e. antihistamine, antidepressants, birth control pills, etc.)
- As a result of a dry, dusty or windy climate
- If your home or office has air condition or a heating system
- Long term contact lens wear
Dry eye is not only painful, it can also damage the eye tissues and impair vision. Fortunately many treatment options are available. Non-surgical treatments for dry eye include prescription medications, increasing humidity at home or work, and use of artificial tears or moisturizing ointment. Also, small punctal plugs may be inserted in the corners of the eyes to increase tear volume, or the drainage tubes in the eyes may be surgically closed.
Glaucoma Treatment and Management
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It occurs when the pressure inside the eye rises, damaging the optic nerve and causing vision loss. The condition often develops over many years without causing pain or other noticeable symptoms – so you may not experience vision loss until the disease has progressed.
Sometimes symptoms do occur. They may include:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Halo effects around lights
- Painful or reddened eyes
People at high risk include those who are over the age of 40, diabetic, near-sighted, African-American, or who have a family history of glaucoma. Regular eye exams help to monitor the changes in your eyesight and to determine whether you may develop glaucoma. Once diagnosed, glaucoma can be controlled.
Macular Degeneration Treatment and Management
The macula is a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our central vision is clear and sharp. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the arteries that nourish the retina harden. Deprived of nutrients, the retinal tissues begin to weaken and die, causing vision loss. Patients may experience anything from a blurry, gray or distorted area to a blind spot in the center of vision.
AMD is the number-one cause of vision loss in the U.S. Macular degeneration doesn’t cause total blindness because it doesn’t affect the peripheral vision. Possible risk factors include genetics, age, diet, smoking and sunlight exposure. Regular eye exams are highly recommended to detect macular degeneration early and prevent permanent vision loss.