The eyes are an important organ in the human body. In fact, the optic nerve is the only place on the body where a doctor can see the central nervous system.
That, along with a lot of other information, is necessary to understand eye health, which is why knowing what to ask an ophthalmologist may feel overwhelming. Whether your eyesight has been an ongoing problem or you've never had an issue, here are four important questions to ask at your next eye exam.
Am I at risk for getting an eye disease?
As you age, it’s common to have vision loss from eye disease. That's why doctors recommend vision tests when you hit your 40s, as most eye diseases are contracted from then on. For the most common eye diseases, there are some straightforward ways to tell whether you’re at risk, and your doctor can be a support in sifting through the details. Ask about how to monitor your eye health on your own.
Will you be doing a dilated eye exam?
If your pupil isn’t dilated, it makes it hard for your doctor to see the back of your eye. Without access to this area, your doctor will have limited information about your eye health. Once dilated, your doctor can see the optic nerve, retina and macula, and all areas important to look at in checking overall eye health. The dilated eye exam is also important because it is how most eye diseases (like glaucoma and macular degeneration) are first detected. This test not only shows how healthy your optic nerve and retina is, which is necessary to prevent and treat eye issues that lead to vision loss, but also shows retinal tears or tumors.
How can I protect my eyes?
While it might not seem obvious, lifestyle plays a big role in the health of your eyes. Because the most common cause of blindness and poor vision is age (which can’t be prevented), knowing how to protect your eyesight is essential to your eye health. Things like exercise, a healthy diet (that includes nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins C and E), and wearing sunglasses that protect from UVA and UVB rays, are a few of the ways to make changes, but your doctor will have a better understanding of your specific needs.
Where can I get more information?
Some offices offer more comprehensive testing and procedures than others. Procedures like dry eye treatment, cataract and implant surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, eyebrow lifts, glaucoma treatment and surgery, LASIK, Botox and skin care treatments are often not found at the same location. Finding a clinic with doctors you trust, who can offer a range of services will save you time and effort.
Ophthalmic Surgeons and Physicians specializes in a comprehensive approach that makes it easy to take care of your various needs.