Growing up with parents as eye doctorstipsonline, I got to talk a lot about optometrists for show and tell and book reports. When I told people my parents were optometrists, the typical response was, “You mean eye doctors?” I would nod my head. “That’s correct.” People in need of an vision care in Jacksonville often ask why the eye doctor is so important. “I don’t really need to go that often right?”, “My eyes are healthy.”, “Will they have to touch my eyeballs?” or “My kid freaks out.” All of these are legitimate questions and concerns. So I will break it all down and tell you what the eye doctor is all about.
So what does an eye doctor do? It centers around the medical science behind the eye exam. An eye doctor is an OD, or doctor of optometry or an eye specialist. OD’s are doctors who are also referred to as eye specialist. The word optometry comes from the greek words optos and metria meaning, literally “vision measurement.” And that is what the doctor does. Most doctors use sophisticated medical equipment to test our patients’ eye health and vision. Optometrists, or eye specialists, are health care professionals concerned with eyes and related structures, as well as vision, visual systems, and vision information processing in humans.
Why is visiting an optometrist so important? Regular visits to eye doctors will detect any vision problem in its early stages which will make easy and successful treatment much more likely. Every doctor will give a thorough and professional eye exam every time.
There is a lot that goes on in the eye exam process. In summary, a professional will go over your medical history. This is a great time to mention any medical issues you are currently dealing with as well. The exam begins with an external examination. Visual acuity, pupil function, and eye movement tests are done. The visual field test checks the extent of a patient’s peripheral vision. The pressure within the eye is measured as this can be a sign of the onset of glaucoma, a serious eye condition which can lead to blindness. This is the point in the exam where the eye doctor will need to “touch your eye. You will not feel it due to numbing eye drops, so there is no cause for concern in any exam. Some of the latest technology in the form of the Optomap retinal scanner to conduct the retinal and macula exam. The slit lap inspection helps doctors see the structures of the eye more clearly. Lastly, refraction testing helps the eye doctor make prescriptions for correcting vision problems.
Getting your children’s eye examined is imperative for many things in young development. Early eye exams are also important because children need the following basic visual skills for learning: near vision, distance vision, eye teaming (binocularity) skills, eye movement skills, focusing skills, peripheral awareness, eye/hand coordination. Eye specialists recommend that a child’s first eye exam be around 5 or 6 years of age; or before they begin kindergarten unless a specific issue arises. By that age children are better behaved, able to take direction and understand why they are being examined. This lessens the probability of children having a difficult exam visit.
If your still unsure about visiting an Optometrist, just ask a friend or family member who may be able to guild you, or call your local eye care provider to speak with a doctor about your vision needs.