You visit the dentist regularly for a cleaning, right? Did you know you should also be visiting an optometrist regularly to maintain your eye health?
Eye health is a central part of a person’s overall well-being, yet many people don’t schedule a comprehensive eye exam until they experience problems with their vision. In fact, the CDC estimates that only half of the 61 million Americans who are at risk of losing their eyesight due to genetic or environmental factors have visited an eye care specialist in the past year.
About 11 million Americans over the age of 12 require some type of vision correction, which highlights the importance of regular eye exams to make sure prescriptions are current and accurate. Eye exams also help you keep your eyes healthy and identify potential problems before they become serious. Most adults should have their vision tested every two years, but those with vision correction needs or a higher risk of eye disease may need to see a specialist more frequently.
During your comprehensive eye exam at ICON Eyecare, you’ll be tested for vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, as well as eye diseases like glaucoma. If your eyesight needs to be corrected, your eye doctor will write a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
Your Annual Eye Exam
At ICON Eyecare, we recommend that patients who wear glasses and/or contacts come in for yearly eye exams, to ensure that their prescription is up-to-date and that their glasses and contacts enable them to see as clearly as possible.
The frequency of your eye exams also depends on your age and general health. Adults between the ages of 18 and 60 should have a complete vision test at least every two years, whereas annual exams are recommended for those 61 and older.
You may want to see your eye doctor more often if you have a family history of vision disorders like glaucoma or macular degeneration or a chronic disease like diabetes or high blood pressure.
If you’ve had eye surgery, suffered a traumatic eye injury, or take prescription medications that affect your vision, you may need to see a specialist more frequently as well.
Our team is committed to making sure that your eyes are healthy and that your vision is crisp and clear. During your comprehensive eye exam, one of our highly-skilled ICON Eyecare optometrists will assess your vision with an eye chart and determine if you’re experiencing nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. To rule out serious diseases like glaucoma and cataracts, your doctor will also examine your optic nerve and the interior of your eye.
A Team of Experts.
With decades of combined experience, Icon’s doctors provide the highest quality eye exams with a team-oriented approach.
The Roles of Ophthalmologists and Optometrists in Your Eye Care
At ICON Eyecare, we have teams of doctors who work together to provide holistic care for your eyes. Two kinds of specialists can oversee your care: an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. Both are highly-trained professionals capable of performing a variety of services to support your eye health.
- Ophthalmologist: An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) who has completed extensive training in eye disorders beyond their four years of medical school.
- Optometrist: An optometrist earns a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree by attending a four-year postgraduate program. These eye care specialists diagnose and treat vision disorders ranging from low vision to refractive errors to dry eye. They can prescribe medications as well as corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses.
The main difference between these two professionals is that an ophthalmologist is trained to perform eye surgery while an optometrist is not. Additionally, ophthalmologists often specialize in the treatment of specific, complex medical eye conditions. In most cases, an optometrist will oversee your regular eye exams and provide nonsurgical therapies. If you need surgery, you’ll be directed to an experienced ophthalmologist.
ICON Eyecare is proud to have both optometrists and ophthalmologists on staff so we can provide our patients with comprehensive care — all under one roof! (If your eye care office doesn’t have an in-house ophthalmologist, they will have to refer you to a separate ophthalmology office to receive care.) Our team of optometrists and ophthalmologists have worked together for a long time, which allows them to seamlessly transfer your medical information between providers. This reduces the chance of details getting lost in translation, and avoids the inconvenience of having to travel to different offices.
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