What does an eye doctor do during an exam?Reviews your family history of eye health. Determines your visual acuity. Checks your intraocular pressure. Examines the response of your pupils to light. Dilates your eyes and examines the posterior structures of the eye (the back of the eye, including the retina and optic nerve). If indicated, performs a variety of specialized tests.
How does the eye work?
Your eye works like a camera. The white part on the outside of the eyeball is called the sclera. In its center is the cornea, the transparent part of the eye that covers the iris, or colored part of the eye. The iris operates like a camera shutter by controlling the amount of light that enters the eye.
Located behind the iris is the eye lens. It is suspended by fibers that tighten or loosen to focus the light rays from objects outside the eye onto the retina, located at the back of the eye.
The vitreous chamber, made up of clear, gelatinous fluid, is the space between the lens and the retina. The retina is like film in a camera. Within its layers are the cells that perceive light and color. The images received by the retina are conveyed to the brain by the optic nerve, allowing us to see objects.
What is the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist? What is an optician?
An ophthalmologist is a medically and surgically trained physician (MD) who specializes in comprehensive eye care. Ophthalmologists can examine, diagnose and treat eye disorders. They are skilled in all facets of eye care, from prescribing eye glasses to performing intricate eye surgery. Ophthalmologists receive four years of medical school after college, a year’s internship, and a three-year training residency. Most ophthalmologists have had additional training in a subspecialty.
Optometrists have a doctor of optometry degree (OD). They’re skilled professionals with a four year post graduate degree who also examine, diagnose and prescribe treatment for common eye disorders or refer to the appropriate specialist. They also prescribe eyeglasses, contacts and other optical wear, such as low-vision devices. For further information see www.aoa.org.
Opticians have received additional training following college. They are trained or licensed to fill eyewear prescriptions and help fit patients into glasses and contacts.
How often should I have an eye exam?
Schedule regular eye exams with an ophthalmologist or optometrist because many eye disorders exhibit no warning symptoms, but are treatable when discovered in the early stages. Here is a general guide:
Before 20 years of age—at age 4-7 and as recommended by your pediatrician or eye doctor
Ages 20-39—every two to three years
Ages 40-64—every two years or as recommended by your eye doctor.
65 or older—every one to two years or as recommended by your eye doctor.
African Americans and Native Americans are at a greater risk for developing glaucoma.
Diabetic patients—Have your eyes examined every year to prevent vision loss from diabetes-related eye disorders.
Will poor lighting hurt my eyes?
No. Poor lighting won’t hurt your eyes when you read or watch television. However, a good source of light will lessen the strain on your eyes.
Will carrots help me maintain good vision?
Carrots and broccoli, dark-green leafy vegetables, and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin A. Research conducted at the Emory Eye Center has shown that IRBP, a protein that transports vitamin A within the retina, is essential for vision. IRBP may be responsible for genetic retinal diseases and for a serious disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the eye.
Will my computer harm my eyes?
There is no scientific evidence that computer screens emit hazardous radiation. But you can suffer eye strain or fatigue from extended computer use, poor lighting or a variety of other related factors.
What do I do if I injure my eye?
The following are some general guidelines for treating eye injuries properly; however; ff you receive an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist or primary care physician to reduce the risk of permanent damage.
- Bandage the eye gently.
- Be careful not to rub or apply too much pressure on the eye.
- Don’t wash out the eye or remove particles in the eye.
- Seek medical attention immediately if the cut shows signs of infection.
For foreign particles:
- Pull upper lid down onto lower lid and let lower lashes sweep the particle away.
- Blink repeatedly until the particle goes away; try not to rub.
- Seek medical attention if the above steps don’t work or if the material scratches your cornea.
For chemical splashes:
- Use your fingers to separate lids. Then wash the eye with water from a faucet or clean container.
- Continue washing for several minutes while rolling your eyeball.
- Don’t cover your eye with a bandage.
- Seek immediate medical attention.
Blows to the eye:
- Gently apply an ice compress to reduce swelling and ease the pain.
- Seek immediate medical attention.
Are there any specific foods or vitamins that prevent loss of eyesight?
Previous studies have shown that diets rich in green, leafy vegetables lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but the levels one might get in foods are low compared to a supplement given to patients in a recent study (Age Related Eye Disease Study—AREDS) nationwide.
The study showed that the supplements, which consisted of several antioxidant vitamins and zinc, significantly reduced the risk of advanced AMD and its associated vision loss in patients at high risk of developing advanced stages of AMD. The high doses of the study supplement, now available over the counter, are not right for everyone. The supplements are only appropriate for those with intermediate or advanced AMD (wet type).
Is macular degeneration a genetic disease?
The risk factors for developing macular degeneration are the following, in order of significance: Age, Smoking, & Heredity.