An optometrist is a health professional that specializes in eye diseases and disorders. Specifically, an optometrist's duties include examining eyes and the visual system for any abnormalities or diseases. This can be followed by diagnosis and recommendations on management of your eyes. Here are some reasons why you should see an optometrist.
Common Eye Problems
If you have common eye problems such as eye infections or dry eyes, you should see an optometrist. Optometrists can also provide treatment for chronic eye problems such as glaucoma. However, there are specific types of serious eye diseases that may require the attention of an ophthalmologist.
For instance, if you have cataract or macular degeneration, you should straight away see an ophthalmologist. Even if you go to see an optometrist for these serious conditions, they will refer you to an ophthalmologist. Once the ophthalmologist has treated – or performed surgery for – your condition, they may send you back to an optometrist for primary eye care. The optometrist will give you post-operative care, or in situations where no surgery was done, continue to give you treatment based on the ophthalmologist's recommendations.
There are several signs that indicate you may have eye problems that warrant the attention of an optometrist. If you develop these signs, you should see an optometrist as soon as possible for an eye exam to make sure that there is nothing serious or potentially harmful is going on with your eyesight:
- Problem focusing
- Blurry vision
As previously stated, the optometrist may refer you to an ophthalmologist if the condition is beyond their specialization.
Problems Without Signs
You should go for eye examinations within a certain interval of time. You may have problems that do not necessarily affect your vision. An optometrist can identify conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Often, these conditions will not show symptoms in their early stages. As such, going to an optometrist for eye examinations allows you to deal with the condition before you start experiencing the problems.
Eye doctors such as optometrists can detect chronic diseases through eye exams. During the examination, an optometrist evaluates the condition of blood vessels. The condition provides a clue on the condition of your blood vessels in the rest of the body. This helps in detection conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Early treatment of these conditions is cheaper than dealing with the advanced stages.