What is ophthalmology?
Ophthalmology is that arm of medicine that deals with diseases of the eye. General ophthalmologic screening examinations are principally used for diagnosing and correcting sight disorders while, at the same time, assessing the condition of the eyes and obtaining information regarding further eye disorders.
When should you see an ophthalmologist?
Early discovery and treatment of eye disorders may prevent possible later complications and vision deterioration.
- When we “don’t see well”,
- when our eyes are “red”,
- when we notice changes in any area of the eye(s).
Possible causes of symptoms
1. If you “don’t see well” might be due to:
- improper refraction (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) - correctable with eye glasses or contact lenses,
- age-related accommodation problems resulting in focusing difficulties and reading problems (presbyopia = old eyes),
- disorders of the eye (glaucoma, macula degeneration) - not correctable with eye glasses or contact lenses.
2. When your eyes are “red” you should see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. The problem might be due to:
3. If we notice changes in any area of the eye(s), this might be due to:
- most often, conjunctivitis (could be of bacterial, viral or allergic origin),
- a foreign object (eyelash, sliver of metal),
- small hemorrhage below the conjunctiva (i.e., following sudden rise in blood pressure),
- inflammation in the various layers of the eye (the cornea, iris),
- glaucoma attack (without treatment could result in permanent vision damage.
- tumor, lid droop, change in eye color, change in size of pupil(s),
- strange occurrences noted in vision (double vision, …),
- or other new symptom (pain, teary eyes, avoidance of bright lights, dry eye, …).
An ophthalmological examination is recommended in the following cases, even if you have no symptoms:
Our ophthalmologists also see children.
- regular eye examinations are recommended in cases of diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, prematurity, ...,
- when an inheritable eye disease appears in the family history,
- in case of long-term use of certain medications (steroids, Cordarone, …),
- children should have regular eye checkups, since they cannot always formulate their complaints,
- Asymptomatic adults should also have regular eye checkups, since the possibility of many eye diseases (glaucoma, macula degeneration, …) increases with age.
What do we examine?
The general eye examination includes the following:
- testing for glaucoma,
- testing for any changes as the result of allergies,
- monitoring the condition of the eyes in diabetic patients,
- testing for macular (yellow spot) degeneration occurring more frequently as we age - early diagnosis is essential,
- testing for circulatory and metabolism disorders with respect to the eyes,
- testing for eyesight disorders in children for early diagnosis and treatment.
The most prevalent diseases of the eyes
- Refraction disorders (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism), • Acommodation disorders (old eyes, paralysis),
- Eyelid disorders (inflammations: stys, eyelid problems),
- Various inflammations, conjunctivitis, choroiditis, keratitis,
- Diseases of the cornea (cataracts),
- Movement disorders (muscle paralysis, crossed eye),
- Tear duct disorders (dry eye),
- Disorders of the retina (old age macula degeneration - yellow spot deterioration, retina detachment),
- Amblyopia (lazy eye),
- Cataracts are one of the most prevalent eye diseases connected with old age, often the result of complications of diabetes,
- The ophthalmologist is often sought in the case of conjunctivitis, one of which often appears in conjunction with pollen allergies.
Visual Field Test
The visual field refers to the total area in which objects can be seen in the side (peripheral) vision while we focus with one eye on one point. The test is painless, no pupil dilation is necessary.
The visual field test gives us information regarding not just the central but the peripheral vision, as well. In the case of cataracts, for instance, where vision damage begins in the more peripheral areas of the visual field, not the center, we can show the measure of visual field damage and also monitor the effectiveness of treatments with repeated visual field tests.