How often Should I have an Eye Exam?
Usually you need comprehensive eye exam every one year. If you have a chronic disease that puts you at greater risk of eye disease such as diabetes, or you have a family history of eye disease, you need have your eyes check more often.
Is it necessary to have my eyes dilated during every eye exam?
Whether eye dilation during an exam is necessary depends on the reason for your exam, your age, your overall health and your risk of eye diseases. The eye drops used for dilation cause your pupils to widen, allowing in more light and giving your doctor a better view of the back of your eye. Eye dilation assists your doctor in diagnosing common diseases and conditions, possibly at their earliest stages. They include: Diabetes, High blood pressure, Macular degeneration, Retinal detachment and glaucoma.
What is dry eyes ?
Dry eyes is a common condition that occurs when your tears aren't able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Tears can be inadequate for many reasons. For example, dry eyes may occur if you don't produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears. Treatments for dry eyes may make you more comfortable. These treatments can include lifestyle changes and eye drops. You'll likely need to take these measures indefinitely to control the symptoms of dry eyes.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. It's caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve. It usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve. Some people can have optic nerves that are sensitive to normal eye pressure. This means their risk of getting glaucoma is higher than normal. Regular eye exams are important to find early signs of damage to their optic nerve. There are two major types of glaucoma: Open-angle glaucoma and angle-close glaucoma, there is also normal tension glaucoma.
With open-angle glaucoma, there are no warning signs or obvious symptoms in the early stages. As the disease progresses, blind spots develop in your peripheral (side) vision.
Most people with open-angle glaucoma do not notice any change in their vision until the damage is quite severe. This is why glaucoma is called the “silent thief of sight.” Having regular eye exams can help your ophthalmologist find this disease before you lose vision. Your ophthalmologist can tell you how often you should be examined.
People at risk for angle-closure glaucoma usually show no symptoms before an attack. Some early symptoms of an attack may include blurred vision, halos, mild headaches or eye pain. People with these symptoms should be checked by their ophthalmologist as soon as possible. An attack of angle-closure glaucoma includes the following:
severe pain in the eye or forehead
redness of the eye
decreased vision or blurred vision
seeing rainbows or halos
Normal tension glaucoma
People with "normal tension glaucoma" have eye pressure that is within normal ranges, but show signs of glaucoma, such as blind spots in their field of vision and optic nerve damage.
Some people have no signs of damage but have higher than normal eye pressure (called ocular hypertension). These patients are considered "glaucoma suspects" and have a higher risk of eventually developing glaucoma. They should be carefully monitored by an eye doctor.
What is cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend's face.Most cataracts develop slowly and don't disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure.