When To Visit An Eye MD?
When Should I Visit My Eye Doctor?
An ophthalmologist, or Eye MD, is a medical doctor who completed medical school, a medical or surgical internship, and a three year residency program with specialized training in medical and surgical eye care. There are several other types of eye care providers who can participate in the care of your eyes. An optometrist is a healthcare professional who completed an optometric program to specialize in the eye, but is not a medical doctor. Optometrists generally provide primary vision care such as prescribing glasses and contact lenses. They can diagnose and treat eye conditions, but are not licensed to perform surgery. An ophthalmologist can provide all of the described services, and is also licensed to perform surgery. The additional medical training of ophthalmologists also allows them to utilize advanced diagnostic techniques such as cultures, to determine the specific causes of eye diseases.
In general, you should seek an urgent consultation of an ophthalmologist if you are experiencing any of the following problems:
- Eye injury
- Flashing lights or new floaters
- Decrease in vision
- Unexplained redness or eye pain
- Eyelid swelling
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) now recommends a baseline medical eye screening for all individuals over the age of 40. For more information about the AAO recommendations, please visit their patient website. This is the time when early changes to vision and indications of eye disease generally begin to occur. Based on the results of the screening, your ophthalmologist will indicate at what interval to return for follow-up care. Other indications that you should visit an ophthalmologist are as follows:
- Red eyes
- Family history of eye disease
- Eye pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Vision changes
If you have any concerns about your eyes, please contact our office at Conshohocken Office Phone Number 610-397-1747 and we will gladly help determine the appropriate timing for your eye exam.