How to Choose a Good Eye Doctor
Choosing an eye doctor is just as important as selecting a general health physician. Your eyes are not only a window to the world, but they also serve as a window to your overall health. Because your eyes are an essential part of everyday life, your choice of a good eye doctor is not one that should be taken lightly. Here are five key things to look for when choosing an eye doctor
Two Types of Eye Doctors
Optometrists can treat some eye diseases, prescribe medication, and do not perform surgery on the eyes. To become an optometrist one would go to college, then spend four more years in Optometry school and can participate in programs specializing in some types of eye disease
Ophthalmologists treat all types of eye disease, prescribe medication, and perform surgery on the eyes. To become an Ophthalmologist one would go to college, then spend four years in Medical School, and then spend four more years in a residency program. Some ophthalmologists, after their residency will spend up to several more years if they are interested in specializing in a particular type of Ophthalmology, although this is not required to be considered a general Ophthalmologist
Which Is Right For You
It’s a good idea to consider the type of care you need when selecting an eye doctor. For a general eye exam either an ophthalmologist or optometrist will suit your purpose, however if you have a specific eye disease – you may want to consider an ophthalmologist for ongoing care (depending on the issue). In terms of fitting contact lenses and educating you on all the options with regard to glasses, spectacle lenses and contact lenses – Optometrists are typically thought of as the go to professional.
Eye Doctor Availability
When it comes to optometrists – does the practice offer evening and weekend hours of availability? Does the practice have openings within the week of your desired well vision exam?
Tips for Good Eye Health
Watching lots of movies
Sit at a distance equivalent to at least five times the width of your TV screen
Include eye healthy foods in your meal
Foods containing vitamin C (papayas, red bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, and oranges) or antioxidants such as lutein and beta-carotene (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, kale, and broccoli) can help reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
Get regular…with your eye exams
There is no better way to protect your vision than an eye exam, as many eye diseases have no easily detectable symptoms. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends children have their first eye exam between ages six and nine months, and annually after that. Adults should have eye exams every two years, or at the direction of their optometrist.
Smoking contributes to a number of eye related health issue
Take a 20 second break from your computer screen every 20 minutes and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.
Eat a Balanced Diet
As part of your healthy diet, choose foods rich in antioxidants, like Vitamins A and C; foods like leafy, green vegetables and fish. Many foods – especially fatty fish, such as salmon – contain essential omega-3 fatty acids that are important to the health of the macula, the part of the eye responsible for central vision.
An inadequate intake of antioxidants, consumption of alcohol or saturated fats may create free-radical reactions that can harm the macula – the central part of the retina. High-fat diets can also cause deposits that constrict blood flow in the arteries. The eyes are especially sensitive to this, given the small size of the blood vessels that feed them
Get a good night’s sleep
You’ll feel the difference when you get the sleep you need. You’ll look great, you’ll perform at home or work—and good rest will support the health of your eyes.
Wash your hands
Keeping your hands clean is so important when it comes to your eyes, especially if you’re a contact lens wearer. Before you touch your eye—and before you put in or remove a contact lens—wash your hands with a mild soap and dry with a lint-free towel. Some germs and bacteria that come from your hands can cause eye infections, like bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye). When you touch your eye, whatever is on your fingers goes right onto your eye’s surface. This is one way that people catch colds—rubbing their eyes while they have cold virus germs on their hands.
Smoking exposes your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress. While the connection has not been clearly identified, it is known that smoking increases your risk for a variety of health conditions affecting the eye.
AN OPTOMETRIST’S BEST TIPS FOR EYE CARE
Your eye health actually begins with what you eat. If you want to avoid developing any age-related vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration, you should pay more attention to what you put on your plate. You should fill up on more nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, lutein and omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll get these nutrients by eating more oily fish such as salmon and tuna. Incorporate more green leafy vegetables like collards, kale, and spinach in your meals too. For a healthy dessert or snack, have an orange or enjoy a glass of natural citrus juice.
Just like your skin, your eyes could also use some protection from the harmful rays of the sun. For this, you need a pair of sunglasses able to effectively block 99 to 100 percent of UVB and UVA rays. You can also use polarized lenses to help reduce glare when driving
STOP STARING AT THE SCREEN
Whether it’s your phone or computer, staring at the screen for far too long can result in a wide range of eye issues. These include eye strain, dry eyes, blurry vision, trouble focusing, headaches, and more
MAKE REGULAR VISITS TO YOUR EYE DOCTOR
There’s no better expert to check out your eyes than your eye doctor, so make sure to schedule regular visits to your eye care center. Ideally, you should come in at least once a year.
Remember these tips to keep your vision and overall eye health in good condition. For the clearest vision possible, your eyes just need proper care and attention just like every other part of your body.
Ways To Maintain Good Eye Health
When you wake up in the morning, your surroundings may appear a little blurry. After a few minutes, the blurriness fades and you can see things properly. As you go throughout your day, you notice that you have a harder time reading the writing on boards. Your eyes may even hurt a little bit as you look at your computer screen during the day.
You feel slightly concerned about the change in your vision and the strain you feel, so you schedule an appointment with your optometrist. During your visit, you discover that you need to wear glasses to resolve the problems you’ve experienced
VISIT YOUR EYE DOCTOR OFTEN
First and foremost, you should visit your eye doctor every two years and receive eye exams. During these appointments, your optometrist will check your eyes for abnormalities, diseases, and other complications. If he or she notices any issues, you’ll work together to treat the condition.
EAT THE RIGHT FOODS
Another way to ensure good eye health is to eat the right kinds of foods. Nutrient-rich foods promote healthy eyes and overall health.
According to recent studies, smoking negatively affects your eye health, as well as your overall health. These studies have linked smoking to increased risks for optic nerve damage, macular degeneration, and cataracts. All of these conditions could cause you to go blind.