When visiting an eye specialist clinic, many can be heard saying “Do I need glasses?” or “How do I know if my child needs glasses?”
In fact, there are eye problems that do not involve vision that need to be ruled out by an annual visit to the eye specialist clinic, such as glaucoma and other various eye diseases. But, for most families, an annual eye examination is recommended. Also, for very small children, an eye exam within the first 3-6 months of life can detect a rare, but potentially devastating disease in children.
Regarding vision, many times the patient realizes that something is amiss with their vision simply due to their inability to see certain things. Reading signs in the distance while driving, reading the newspaper, or weary eyes at the end of a work day are definitely signs that a visit to the eye care professional is in order. When that examination is complete, the appropriate prescription for correction is written. These experienced professionals can also detect, through passive tests, if a child is asking for unneccesary eyewear. This happens occasionally when a classmate receives glasses and the other children wish to follow suit.
Following the exam and receipt of a written eyewear prescription, the patient may then choose the type of correction they prefer. For most people, eye problems are corrected through the use of eye glasses. These lenses are custom made for their exact prescription. Discussions about lens material, frame choice, bifocal and so forth also take place. Some patients choose to wear contact lenses, a medical device that is laid directly upon the eye. There are those people who are not candidates for this type of correction, either because of complications due to their prescription itself, cornea issues, dry eye syndrome and other eye problems. These patients may wish to discuss the possibility of lasik surgical vision correction.
Lasik surgery is an elective surgery and must be undertaken with that amount of caution and respect. The eye care professional will discuss the benefits and drawbacks with the patient at length to insure adequate preparation. Some patients are not candidates for this procedure because of a thin cornea, the prescription itself, or the probability of a undesirable outcome. The eye care professional is the best resource for these avenues and for keeping our vision crisp and healthy throughout our life.