The most important part of keeping your eyes healthy and functioning well is the ability to commit to regular, scheduled eye examinations. As with other issues, eye problems start small. Regular checkups can spot eye problems before they worsen, which makes it easier for them to be treated. And the sooner an eye problem is treated, the better the prognosis. Detecting eye problems early is the only reliable way to minimize their impact on your life.
How frequently should you get an eye exam?
Once you reach adulthood, you should be seeing your eye doctor anywhere from once every two years to once every year, depending on your age and any medical conditions or risk factors you might have. If you haven’t seen your doctor recently, or have missed your checkup for any reason, you should go see your doctor without delay.
Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, and Opticians: Who’s Who?
Optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians are all people who are involved in caring for people’s eye health. You will interact with one or more of them in the process of caring for your eyes. As such, it’s important to know how they differ.
Optometrists are essentially eye doctors. They are licensed by the state, and can diagnose common vision and health problems. While the range of specific eye problems optometrists are allowed to treat and diagnose can vary slightly from state to state, in general an optometrist will be able to diagnose errors of refraction, prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses, and provide care for patients with low vision problems.
Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists in that they can prescribe and perform eye surgery. While they are able to do everything an optometrist can, they are also able to diagnose and treat more complicated cases and eye problems.
Opticians, on the other hand, are not eye doctors. Rather, they are technicians trained in fitting people with eyeglasses and other eyewear, including contact lenses. Before you see an optician, you will have to have consulted first with an actual eye doctor.
Understanding what’s going on with your eyes is the first step toward caring for them. The sooner you consult with an eye doctor, the sooner you can get started on caring for your eyes. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an eye care specialist in your area.