The American Optometric Association recommends that everyone have their eyes examined every two years, moving to an annual basis as one ages or an on-going vision problem is detected.
In addition to providing the necessary prescription for vision correction, maintenance of the general health of the eye, detection of any ocular diseases or disorders, eye exams play a critical part in maintaining one’s general health.
For example, often the start of adult onset diabetes is discovered by doctors of optometry, as diabetes (and other diseases of the body) affects the pressure of the eyes.
Unchecked, diabetes can lead to blindness as well as the adverse effects upon the rest of the body.
During the examination the doctor will establish any vision problems and issue a prescription for eyeglasses to correct that problems.There is an additional charge (and examination procedures) for a contact lens prescription.Should the doctor detect any ocular eye health problem, or major vision problem, or general health problem that they cannot treat, they will refer you to the appropriate general medical practitioner, ophthalmologist, or specialist as needed.This includes referrals for Lasik vision correction surgery as well as vision therapy and any other ocular conditions.
As a matter of course, the doctors will check your eyes for:
Development of Cataracts – Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness and the cause of the vast majority of eye surgery in the United States. Cataracts occur when the Crystalline Lens gradually begins to cloud or turn a milky color, eventually leading to decreased visual clarity.
Development of Macular Degeneration – Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 55 years of age. The Macula, located at the center of the Retina at the back of the eye, may break down from prolonged exposure to ultra violet rays. Eventually a ‘blind spot’ develops in one’s vision which may get larger with continued unprotected exposure to the sun.
Development of Glaucoma – Glaucoma is the condition in which the pressure inside the eye has a sustained increase over its normal pressure level for a prolonged period of time. This increased ocular pressure damages the optic nerves. Typically, the first noticeable signs of Glaucoma is blurred vision or the gradual loss of side vision. If left untreated, glaucoma will gradually cause blindness. Unfortunately, the damage done by Glaucoma to the optic nerves is permanent.
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