Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an Ophthalmologist, an Optometrist and an Optician?
· An optometrist is a Physician who assists patients with the health of the eyes and related health issues. Optometrists are trained to treat and prescribe medication for many eye health diseases. An optometrist is also trained to prescribe glasses or contact lenses to improve vision.
· An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor specially trained to treat and perform operations on the eyes.
· An optician is a specialized practitioner who designs, fits and dispenses lenses for the correction of a person's vision. Opticians determine the specifications of various ophthalmic solutions-from prescription, to eyeglass frames and lens technology-that will give the necessary and best correction to a person's eyesight.
Can all three-ophthalmologist, optometrist and optician-perform an eye exam?
Only an ophthalmologist and optometrist can perform a comprehensive eye exam.
Why is a regular eye exam so important?
Eyes are the windows to your health.
An eye care provider can spot signs of certain health problems -- not only eye disorders like cataracts and glaucoma, but also systemic illnesses like diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Sometimes the signs of these diseases are visible in, on, or around the eyes long before other symptoms appear. Even if you have 20/20 vision, a comprehensive eye exam can be a measure of a person's overall health. The eyes are the only part of the body where arteries and veins can be viewed without having to perform surgery. Eye care providers can see signs of stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, brain tumors and multiple sclerosis, to name a few.
In addition, they can determine whether a person with age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, or cataracts is suffering also from low vision, which is a condition associated with these age-related eye diseases.
What does an eye exam consist of-are there certain things the eye care provider sees when he/she looks into a patient's eyes?
Ideally, the eye examination consists of an external examination, followed by specific tests for:
· Visual acuity (the ability to detect fine details and is the quantitative measure of the eye's ability to see an in-focus image at a certain distance
· Pupil function (how light enters the retina)
· Extraocular mobility (do the eyes move easily up, down, left and right)
· Visual fields (what is the extent of vision in the peripheral field)
· Intraocular pressure (does the patient show signs of glaucoma)
· Ophthalmoscopy through a dilated pupil (allows the doctor to see the interior of the eye-retina, optic disc, macula and fovea, and posterior pole)
What are people talking about when they mention the 20-20-20 rule?
A 2012 survey by The Vision Council found that nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults experience some form of digital eye strain while using their electronic devices. Throughout the day, it's a good idea to let your eyes relax by focusing on something other than the computer screen. An easy practice is to use the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take your eyes off your computer and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.