Given the importance of your eyes, it’s probably not surprising that there would be different types of eye doctors. Optometrists can be considered your primary providers for routine eye care, whereas ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have specialized training to treat more complex eye disorders, including with surgery if necessary.
When to See an Optometrist
It’s a good idea to visit your optometrist regularly for an eye exam and vision test. Seeking routine optometrist services on a regular basis is the best way to detect and monitor any changes in your eyes that have the potential for vision loss if they’re not treated. Many vision and eye care experts recommend that optometry care start before a child’s first birthday and include at least one additional checkup before the child enters kindergarten. Generally, recommendations for how often to visit an optometrist vary according to a patient’s age and health, but many specialists recommend annual visits.
Here’s a brief description of the services provided by this type of eye doctor:
Optometrists typically perform a series of tests using a variety of specialized medications and instruments. Each test is designed to evaluate a different aspect of your vision or eye health. For example, it’s common for optometrists to use eye drops to dilate a patient’s pupils. This allows the eye doctor to get a better look at the condition of the optic nerve and retina. You may also have your eye checked by a tonometer, a device that measures eye pressure.
Some patients with special health conditions may receive additional testing, such as a Plaquenil® toxicity screening for the detrimental side effects that sometimes occur when a patient is taking hydroxychloroquine. This is a medication that’s commonly prescribed to treat several health conditions, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Some of the eye tests you receive from your optometrist will be aimed at assessing your vision and whether corrective lenses are needed to improve it. One of the best-known vision tests is the Snellen eye chart, which features rows of letters in various sizes descending from large to small. This eye test is intended to measure how well you see at various distances. Your optometrist will also perform tests to evaluate your peripheral vision and eye movement.
Testing for Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses
If your vision exam indicates a need for corrective lenses, your optometrist will perform additional testing to determine the best prescription to help you achieve optimal vision.
Florida Medical Clinic is a trusted source for vision and eye care. Our optometrists work closely with our team of ophthalmologists to provide the full spectrum of preventive optometry services, glasses and contact lens prescriptions, and medical treatment for many eye conditions. We have locations in Land O’ Lakes and North Tampa. Click here to request an appointment.
Proudly Serving: Land O’ Lakes, New Tampa, North Tampa, and Zephyrhills.