Here at Lavenburg Medical Group, we would like to help you take good care of your eyes, which is why we have put together this FAQ to answer some of the most common eye health questions we receive.
How often should I schedule an eye examination to ensure my eye health?
You should schedule eye examinations at regular intervals. If you are healthy and do not wear glasses or contacts, you should have your eyes examined once every two years to check your vision and look for any eye diseases or abnormalities.
If you wear glasses or contacts, you should have your eyes checked every year to ensure your prescription is up to date and to check for worsening vision and any potential eye diseases.
If you notice sudden changes in your vision or symptoms that could indicate an eye disease or infection, you should call our office right away to schedule an appointment. Sudden vision changes can indicate high blood pressure and diabetes or other eye health ailments, including glaucoma and macular degeneration.
How often should I have my child’s eyes checked?
Children should have their first eye examine before the age of one. This is to ensure their eyes are developing normally and catch any potential vision problems early. If no problems are found, you should schedule your child’s next visit at three years of age and again right before they start school. School age children and teenagers should have their eyes examined once a year.
Why do my eyes need to be dilated?
Having your eyes dilated allows our doctor of optometry to clearly see the back of your eye, the small blood vessels, retina and optic nerve. This examination helps check for and diagnose glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment and macular degeneration. If the tiny blood vessels are leaking in the back of the eye, it could indicate high blood pressure or diabetes. In fact, one of the first symptoms of diabetes and high blood pressure is a change in vision and damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes vision loss and blindness if left untreated. It is characterized by a build-up of pressure in the eye that affects the optic nerve. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent blindness and slow the progression of the disease.
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is common in older adults. It is characterized by a loss of central vision due to retina deterioration or detachment. It can be caused by heredity, age and high blood pressure and cholesterol. It is more common in white female than any other demographic. There are treatments, including injections, surgery and vitamin supplements that can slow the progression of the disease.