Why should you make an appointment with an ophthalmologist or optometrist? You don’t wear glasses, your eyes feel fine, and your vision is as sharp as ever. Many people skip their yearly exam, thinking that they’ll just go when, and if, there is a concern. The problem with this type of thinking, however, is that by the time we notice symptoms of an eye condition, often it has progressed significantly. Who needs eye exams? You. No matter how old you are or what your general health is, you need to keep an eye on your eyes.
You or your child may have a vision screening as part of a routine physical or at school; is this good enough? A vision screening can be a valuable tool in that it can identify whether you are at risk for eye problems. It is not a substitute for a complete eye exam by an Austin optometrist or ophthalmologist, who can detect early signals of eye conditions that can impact your vision and your health. From there, you may be referred to a corneal, retinal, or glaucoma specialist. Or you may be told to come back in a year for your regular exam.
During an eye exam, your doctor is checking more than just how well you see. He is checking the structure and anatomy of your eyes. He will look for refractive error, which could be nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, amblyopia, which requires different prescriptions for each eye, eye alignment and teaming, focus, and diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and more. Interestingly, he may be able to detect general health problems, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, by looking at your eyes’ blood vessels, retina, and other structures.
Depending on the findings of your exam, a line of treatment will be developed. For instance, if you have an astigmatism, you may want to learn more about LASIK surgery. This is a remarkably effective procedure that has steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Your doctor will be able to help you determine if it is a good option for you, and whether you are a candidate for bladed or all laser LASIK. Surgery is not always the treatment of choice, though. You may simply need a new prescription for your glasses, for eye drops, for multivitamins, of other noninvasive therapies. Sometimes, all that is needed is better lighting.
A comprehensive eye exam typically costs between $50 and $100 dollars, and there are programs available to help allay the cost. Many doctors’ offices offer financing and many insurance policies cover at least part of the cost of a visit, so it is important not to let the cost stop you from protecting the health of your eyes. It is well worth it if you can prevent vision disturbance.
It is worth taking the time to find the best eye doctor in Austin. Cataract surgery, intensive glaucoma treatment, vision loss, and other serious consequences can many times be avoided if we have regular exams.
About the Author: Mark Masters has authored may pieces on the eye care & surgery industry and enjoys keeping his readers up to date in this field