Optometrist (Doctors of Optometry, or O.D.’s) attend four years of college and four years of optometry school, where they are trained to examine the eyes to determine the presence of any eye or vision problems, and deliver treatment options for many conditions. Optometrists prescribe glasses, contact lenses and some medications.
It is covered by most insurance plans as is additional testing that might be required.
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An Ophthalmologist is a Medical Doctor (M.D.) specially trained in the medical and surgical care and treatment of the eyes. Becoming an Ophthalmologist can take 12 or more years of advanced education and training, including four years of college, four years of medical school training, and four years of internship and residency training. Some Ophthalmologist obtain additional fellowship training after completing their residencies and learn more about one or two specific aspects or elements of the eye. After this training, they may practice as sub specialists.
A cataract is the clouding of all or part of your eye’s lens. Your lens is normally clear. See your eye doctor if you think you may have cataracts. This condition is most often found in people over 55 but can occur in younger individuals. The cause of cataracts is not known but the cloudy lens is a result of a chemical change in the eye. This may be due to age, heredity, injury or disease. If you have cataracts, your eye doctor will be able to discuss treatment options with you. Cataracts can be removed by an eye surgeon by replacing your eye’s lens with an artificial lens.
Glaucoma is caused by an increase in the internal pressure of the eye. The increase in pressure can damage the fibers in your optic nerve. This pressure occurs when the passages in your eye that normally drain fluid become blocked or clogged. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the US. Glaucoma can not be prevented, but it can be controlled through treatment if it is diagnosed early. The American American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you have yearly examinations if you are at risk of glaucoma.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the many health problems that can be caused by diabetes. This eye disease is caused by the leaking, swelling or branching of the small blood vessels in the retina. As diabetic retinopathy progresses, you may notice your vision is cloudy and you might develop blind spots or floaters. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. Have your eyes examined regularly, especially if you or a family member has diabetes. Laser and other eye surgery can slow the progresses, you may notice your vision is cloudy and you might develop blind spots or floaters. If you have diabetes, follow your doctors advice and get regular eye examinations.
A retinal detachment is a separation of the retina from the back wall of the eye. When there is a tear of the retina, liquid from the vitreous may pass through the tear, and detach the retina. As the fluid accumulates, the retinal detachment becomes larger. Detached areas of the retina lose their vision. The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye, and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position. If not promptly treated, retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. In some cases there may be small areas of the retina that are torn. These areas called retinal tears or retinal breaks, can lead to retinal detachment.
Dry eye (also called dry eye syndrome) is a very common condition. Dry eye occurs when people don’t have either enough tears, or the correct composition of tears on the surface of their eyes to lubricate the eyes and keep them comfortable.
Eye Floaters are usually caused by age but sometimes eye injuries or other circumstances may also cause them. As we age the vitreous humour, the jelly-like substance that fills the inner eye and helps stabilize the eye, begins to clump in certain areas. These are eye floaters. As we age more and more the vitreous humour degenerates and can detach from the back wall of the eye and form more eye floaters. If an eye injury is severe enough to change the structure of the vitreous humour, this can form eye floaters as well as lead to retinal detachment. When this occurs, flashes of light may also appear with an increase in eye floaters. Also migraines or high blood pressure can cause flashes of light along with eye floaters.
Retinitis pigmentosa is a condition of the retina where the cells called rods degenerate over time. This is a condition that is inherited from your parents. As the disease progresses, individuals lose their ability to see in low light conditions and over time they may lose their peripheral vision. See your eye doctor if you think you have retinitis pigmentosa or if you have a family history of this disease.
People with an astigmatism don’t see clearly at any distance. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is not spherical. This causes the light that enter the eye to be focused at two different focal points in the eye.
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