Do you wear eye glasses or contact lenses? If so, you’re not alone. Plenty of people in the United States wear corrective lenses for overall vision problems or for specific tasks, such as reading. However, some people don’t know when they need to see their eye doctor or what kind to see: an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. Whether your prescription is changing or you are experiencing persistent vision issues, it may be time to see your eye doctor. Here are some signs you may need to visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist:
1. If you need glasses or contact lenses for the first time: Children, especially, have changing vision, so it’s important to find pediatric optometrists who can perform an exam. For anyone, however, it’s important to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as you notice any changes in vision. Many eye doctors also sell prescription glasses in their practice, and you can have them ready on the same day or in about a week, depending on where you get them.
2. If you can no longer see clearly using your glasses or contacts: It’s perfectly natural for our vision to change over time. However, you should make sure to see your optometrist for an eye exam annually. Doing so will ensure that your vision stays clear.
3. If you have any past or current problems with your eyes: With the exception of vision problems, seeing an ophthalmologist is important in diagnosing and treating any conditions of the eye and preventing them from occurring again in the future. While an optometrist can perform eye exams, only an ophthalmologist can prescribe medicines or, if necessary, perform surgery. Common conditions can include things like cataracts and eye infections.
4. If you have any chronic conditions related to your eyes: In this case, visiting an ophthalmologist for regular checkups and treatments is a necessity in preserving your ability to see. Any kinds of degenerative conditions or visual impairments should be treated by a licensed ophthalmologist.
According to Center for Disease Control studies, only 50% of the 61 million American adults at risk for vision loss have visited their optometrist or ophthalmologist in the past year. Don’t risk the health of your eyes or your ability to see. As soon as you notice any changes in your vision, even if it’s minor, see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. More: Houston optometrist