5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR OPTOMETRIST
Going to the eye doctor can be a bit scary — your eyes, after all, are very delicate and precious. And that’s precisely why you should get regular eye check ups — it’s best to catch any issues immediately before they progress. If you have an upcoming eye appointment or suspect you should make one, you may have a list of things you’re curious about. We have compiled the five most important questions you should ask an optometrist. Their answers should convey similar information to what is provided below. Make sure to get answers to these important questions during your appointment so you’re clear on your diagnosis and treatment options.
1. WHEN SHOULD SOMEONE SCHEDULE AN EYE EXAMINATION?
Healthy adults should get an eye exam every one or two years. Adults who are not experiencing any noticeable vision problems should still schedule regular eye exams with an eye doctor. Eye exams done at regular intervals are crucial for maintaining proper vision health and allow people a chance to catch potential eyesight problems in the early stages when treatment is most effective.
Children are routinely checked by their pediatricians for vision problems during normal check-ups. Pediatricians can usually identify when a child would need to schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor. Some eyecare professionals recommend all children have a formal eye exam with an optometrist before they start going to school (age 5 or 6) and then every 10 years thereafter. If at any point they are diagnosed with a vision issue, the eyecare professional would likely recommend more frequent eye exams going forward.
2. WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING AN EYE EXAMINATION?
Once you have scheduled a comprehensive eye exam, there are a few things you can expect to happen. First, because many vision ailments are hereditary, you’ll be asked about your family health history. Take a bit of time to think about it before you show up for your exam so you can provide the most detailed, helpful answers possible.
The eye doctor will then test your vision to see if you may need corrective lenses to improve your eyesight. Typically, patients are given eyedrops that numb the eyes in order to perform the necessary tests. An optometrist will then examine your eyes under different light conditions. You may also be given eyedrops that dilate your pupils. This is done to make it easier for the eye doctor to see inside your eyes.
3. WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON VISION PROBLEMS?
The most common vision problems resulting in vision loss are what are known as refractive errors. Refractive errors are what cause myopia or nearsightedness, hyperopia or farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyobia or vision loss due to aging. The most common eye problem in the world is myopia, which is thought to affect over 1 billion people. Furthermore, within the last few decades there has been a dramatic rise of the prevalence of nearsightedness in children and young adults.
4. WHAT TREATMENTS DO YOU OFFER FOR THE MOST COMMON VISION PROBLEMS?
Most optometrists offer a variety of treatment options for the most common vision problems. These can range from simple corrective lenses like contacts or glasses all the way up to eye surgery. For the most common vision problem, myopia, one of the more advanced options is called orthokeratology, which involves the use of CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy) contact lenses to reshape the cornea and curb loss of vision.
CRT lenses offer some distinct advantages over glasses and surgical options like LASIK, LASEK, and intra-ocular lenses. Unlike traditional glasses and contact lenses, CRT lenses are only worn at night when sleeping. These lenses work to reshape the cornea overnight so patients can enjoy clear vision during the day without the hassles associated with regular corrective lenses. Orthokeratology has been thoroughly tested and proven safe for use by adults as well as children.
5. WITH SO MANY CHOICES, HOW CAN I DECIDE WHICH TREATMENT OPTION IS BEST FOR ME?
In addition to your eye doctor’s recommendation, selecting the right treatment option for your situation often comes down to personal preference and the option you feel the most comfortable with. The majority of patients want the most effective treatment — both in terms of healing and cost — with the least amount of pain and risk of complications. A non-surgical, non-invasive option such as Paragon CRT lenses can be a great choice for those who want more than corrective lenses but aren’t interested in or candidates for surgical options.
If you have other questions you’d like answered, make an appointment today with a certified Paragon CRT eyecare professional near you.
Originally published at Paragon Vision Sciences