What Is the difference between an ophthalmologist, an optometrist and an optician?
- An Ophthalmologist (MD) has a medical degree and is licensed to practice medicine and perform eye surgery. An ophthalmologist has had at least 12 years of education and training beyond high school and is qualified to diagnose and treat all eye diseases; perform surgery; prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses.
- An Optometrist (OD) has a degree in optometry and is licensed to practice optometry. An optometrist has had at least six years of education and training beyond high school and is qualified to determine the need for glasses and contact lenses; prescribe optical correction; and screen for some eye conditions.
- An Optician usually has a combination of college (or two years of opticianry school) and on-the-job training. An optician is trained to fit and dispense eyeglasses or contact lenses based upon a prescription from a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist.
When should an adult’s eyes be examined?
Adult examinations of the eyes should be performed on a regular basis. Young adults (ages 20 – 39) should have their eyes examined every three-five years. Adults ages (ages 40 – 64) should have their eyes examined every two-four years. Seniors (over 65 years of age) should have their eyes examined every one-two years. High risk adults include: People with diabetes People with glaucoma or strong family history of glaucoma People with AIDS/HIV
When should my child’s eyes be examined?
Most physicians test vision as part of a child’s medical examination. They may refer a child to an ophthalmologist (a medical eye doctor) if there is any sign of an eye condition. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend the first vision screening occur in the hospital as part of a newborn baby’s discharge examination. Visual function (including ocular alignment, etc.) also should be checked by the pediatrician or family physician during routine well-child exams (typically at two, four and six months of age). Later amblyopia and alignment screenings should take place at three years of age and then yearly after school age.
If you suspect your child suffers from decreased vision – amblyopia (poor vision in an otherwise normal appearing eye), refractive error (nearsightedness or farsightedness) or strabismus (misalignment of the eye in any direction) – or if there are hereditary factors that might predispose your child to eye disease, please make an appointment with an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. New techniques make it possible to test vision in infants and young children. If there is a family history of misaligned eyes, childhood cataracts or a serious eye disease, an ophthalmologist can begin checking your child’s vision at a very early age.
How often should children have their vision tested?
We emphasize early childhood eye care and recommend that children’s vision be examined before the age of 1, then at ages 3 and 5. After they start school, children and adolescents should receive an annual exam. Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should be examined annually to ensure accurate eyewear prescriptions.
Is pink-eye contagious?
Yes, viral conjunctivitis (pink-eye) is very common and is extremely contagious. Avoid touching eyes with your hands, wash hands frequently, do not share towels, and avoid work, school or daycare activities for a least five days or as long as discharge is present.
What are the medical terms for nearsightedness and farsightedness?
- The medical term for nearsightedness is myopia, correctable with glasses, contact lenses or, in some cases, refractive surgery (LASIK or Corneal Ring Implants).
- The medical term for farsightedness is hyperopia, correctable with glasses, contact lenses or, in some cases, refractive surgery.
- Related conditions (also correctable with glasses or contact lenses) include astigmatism and presbyopia.
What Is visual acuity?
Acuity is the measure of the eye’s ability to distinguish the smallest identifiable letter or symbol, its details and shape, usually at a distance of 20 feet. This measurement is usually given in a fraction. The top number refers to the testing distance measured in feet and the bottom number is the distance from which a normal eye should see the letter or shape. So, perfect vision is 20/20. If your vision is 20/60, that means what you can see at a distance of 20 feet, someone with perfect vision can see at a distance of 60 feet.
What Is legal blindness?
You are legally blind when the best corrected central acuity is less than 20/200 (perfect visual acuity is 20/20) in your better eye, or your side vision is narrowed to 20 degrees or less in your better eye. Even if you are legally blind, you may still have some useful vision. If you are legally blind, you may qualify for certain government benefits.
What Is visual impairment?
If neither of your eyes can see better than 20/60 without improvement from glasses or contacts, you may be defined as visually impaired. In addition, poor night vision, limited side vision, double vision and loss of vision in one eye may also determine visual impairment.
What is low vision?
Low vision is a term describing a level of vision below normal (20/70 or worse) that cannot be corrected with conventional glasses. Low vision is not the same as blindness. People with low vision can use their sight. However, low vision may interfere with the performance of daily activities, such as reading or driving.
Can my child wear contact lenses during sports activities?
Yes, contact lenses provide excellent vision for most sports. However, they do not protect the eyes from injury. Therefore, contact lens wearers should use polycarbonate sports safety goggles or glasses when participating in sports. Also see information about preventing eye injuries.
Do contact lenses prevent nearsightedness (myopia) from getting worse?
No, there is no evidence that wearing contact lenses improves vision or prevents myopia from getting worse. Also see information about contact lenses.
Can I use my eyeglass prescription to buy over-the-counter contact lenses?
No, because it does not provide the specifications for lens diameter, thickness and base curve. A new prescription must be carefully fitted by an eye care specialist to avoid serious adverse reactions.
Is it safe for me to clean my contact lenses with a homemade solution?
Using commercial saline solutions is the safest method of cleaning lenses. Some studies have shown that homemade solutions may lead to corneal infections. Also see information about contact lenses.
Why have I gradually found it harder to read without glasses?
The ability to focus on near objects decreases steadily with age and is referred to as presbyopia. Presbyopia is a natural aging of the lens. It is usually near the age of 40, when glasses or bifocals are prescribed to correct this condition.
Will reading in dim light hurt my eyes?
No, but most people are more comfortable reading with proper lighting which is bright enough to provide good illumination but not so bright as to cause glare.
Do you test for glaucoma?
Yes. Our eye doctor will check the health of the inside of your eyes and diagnose any potential nerve damage that could be due to glaucoma. We’ll also measuring the pressure inside your eyes with an instrument known as a tonometer, which can help detect early signs of glaucoma.