When should I get my eyes checked?
You should get your eyes checked every 1-2 years. As mentioned above, many eye diseases show NO symptoms when they start. So it is important to get routine eye care to catch these little problems before they become big problems. If your optometrist detects something that needs more frequent monitoring, they will schedule you at closer intervals.
What is the purpose of dilation?
Dilation means that we put eye drops into your eyes that make your pupils very large for a few hours. This is the only way the doctor to see an ENTIRE back of the eye and check each and every part of the retina. We do this on everybody's first visit, and every few years after that. Getting the Optomap annually allows the doctor to see much more of the back of the eye, alleviating the need for dilation at each visit.
What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?
An optometrist is the "general physician" of eye care. They provide routine health exams, prescribe glasses and contacts, and treat eye diseases of all kinds. If a specialty referral is needed (for example, cataract surgery or retinal repair), then the optometrist will refer to an ophthalmologist for that care. Optometrist and ophthalmologists work together on a daily basis to provide all of your eye care needs.
What happens during an eye exam?
Before an eye exam, you will meet with an optometric technician that will gather a history for the doctor and run some preliminary testing. When you see the doctor, they will review this information and any eye complaints you have. Then they will check your refraction, meaning they will determine if you need any glasses for clearer vision. After that, they will check the health of your eye. Often this will entail review of an Optos image or dilation of your eyes, which both allow better views into the back of your eye to ensure retinal health. After that, the doctor will review the findings and address any complaints you came in with.