Eye exams are essential to prevent and treat vision problems, but routine eye exams take your care a step further — they can help prevent future vision loss due to eye disease. Alethia Pantazis, MD, and the doctors at Vitality Medicine protect your vision and your eye health with comprehensive eye exams that find signs of age-related problems like glaucoma and macular degeneration at an early stage, while their progression can be delayed or prevented. To schedule your eye exam, call the office in Ocala, Florida, or use the online booking feature.
Eye Exam Q & A
Why do I need a routine eye exam?
Routine eye exams are important even if your vision seems fine because the information gained from this exam can protect your eye health and prevent future vision loss by reducing modifiable risk factors. These include toxin exposure, poor diet or nutrition, and low antioxidant levels.
Common eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, neuro-ophthalmic disease, and diabetic retinopathy develop slowly over the years. While they progressively worsen, you won’t have any symptoms until they cause enough eye damage to affect your vision. By then, it’s too late to prevent vision changes.
During routine eye exams, the eye doctor can see the earliest signs of disease and recommend treatment to prevent progressive problems and vision loss.
What types of eye tests should I expect during an eye exam?
A comprehensive eye exam includes vision testing, diagnostic tests for your eye health, and a dilated eye exam. These are a few examples of the typical tests performed:
- Tonometry: Measures pressure inside your eye
- Visual field test: Measures your peripheral vision
- Visual acuity test: Evaluates the smallest letters you can read on a standard chart
- Slit lamp exam: Uses a magnification device to examine the inside and outside of your eyes
- Eye function tests: Evaluate color vision, depth perception, eye muscle coordination, and response to light
After your vision tests are finished, the eye doctor dilates your pupils so she can see the blood vessels, optic nerve, and retina inside your eye. By examining these structures, she can detect signs of eye disease that lead to vision loss.
When should adults schedule routine eye exams?
If you’re not already in the habit of getting regular eye exams, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that all adults have a comprehensive eye exam around the age of 40.
If you’re healthy and you don’t have risk factors for eye disease, the AAO suggests getting comprehensive eye exams on this schedule:
- Ages 18-39 years: Every 5-10 years
- Ages 40-54 years: Every 2-4 years
- Ages 55-64 years: Every 1-3 years
- Age 65 or older: Every 1-2 years
Patients with risk factors need more frequent eye care:
- Type 1 diabetes: First eye exam five years after diagnosis followed by exam intervals based upon disease findings but at least once every year.
- Type 2 diabetes: First eye exam at the time of diagnosis followed by exam intervals based on disease findings but at least once every year.
- At risk for glaucoma: Comprehensive eye exams every 6 months.
How can a routine eye exam protect whole-body health?
Changes in the tissues inside your eye show some of the earliest signs of chronic disease elsewhere in your body. During a dilated eye exam our doctors can detect conditions such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, and some cancers — even before you start to experience symptoms.
What should I know about red eyes and dry eyes?
Red eyes are a sign of many possible problems, from minor eye irritations to serious conditions that can affect your vision. It’s important to schedule an eye exam with our doctors, so they can identify the underlying problem and provide prompt treatment.
A few of the most common causes of red eyes include:
- Eye allergies
- Eye infections (blepharitis, uveitis)
- Corneal abrasion or ulcer
- Digital eye strain
Dry eyes are often caused by problems with the glands that produce essential oil or tears. As a result, this eye problem doesn’t usually clear up on its own. Without treatment, ongoing dry eyes make your eyes susceptible to infections and damage to the cornea.
If it’s time to schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Vitality Medicine or book an appointment online.
Please call Vitality Medicine today at 352-804-2397 for a consultation or more information.