One of the best things you can do for your baby blues (or greens, or browns, or hazels, etc.) is to have them checked by your doctor whenever you have a physical. Having issues seeing or getting frequent headaches, particularly at the end of the day, are signs that you should have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist.
An ophthalmologist (pronounced: ahf-thuh-mah-luh-jist) is a medical doctor who specializes in examining, diagnosing, and treating eye diseases; and eyes in general. An optometrist (pronounced: ahp-tah-muh-trist) is a specialist who is not a physician but has been trained to diagnose and treat many of the same eye conditions except those involving surgery. An optometrist or ophthalmologist can provide you with options for correcting your vision problem. Eyes should be checked at least every 2 years or more frequently if there is family history of eye problems such as glaucoma or early cataracts.
Common Vision Problems
Eye shape is often the cause for most common vision problems. Someone who needs corrective lenses to see usually has eyes that are shaped differently.
Myopia (pronounced: my-o-pee-uh), or nearsightedness, is one of the most common problems teens have with their eyes. When a teen has myopia, they are unable to focus properly at a distance. People with myopia have eyes that are a little longer than normal, measuring from the front of the eyeball to the back. The extra length causes the light to focus in front of the retina instead of on it; glasses or contacts can easily correct this problem.
Hyperopia (pronounced: hi-puh-ro-pee-uh), or farsightedness, is when people have trouble focusing on things close up because their eyes are too "short" from front to back. The light focuses behind the retina instead of on it, causing blurry vision. Significant farsightedness can be corrected with glasses.
Another condition where the eye is differently shaped is astigmatism. Here, the cornea is not perfectly round. To be able to see well — either close up or far away — this should be corrected with contacts or glasses.
Once the eyes have ceased developing, those with these common vision problems can choose refractive surgery to fix the issues. Refractive surgery is a laser procedure that reshapes the eye. The procedure changes the way light enters the eye and forms an image, freeing patients from glasses or contacts. To determine if refractive surgery is an option for you schedule a consultation!
Dealing With Common Eye Problems and Injuries
- If you have a red eye, persistent pain in an eye, or at any time have changes in vision, then you should see a doctor.
- If you get any foreign objects in your eye (sand, sawdust, metal shavings, etc.), flush your eye for several minutes with lukewarm water immediately. It may be best to follow up with a specialist.
- If you've been hit in the eye and it appears to be bleeding, or you have changes in vision, go to a hospital emergency department immediately.
One of the most common eye injuries is a scratched cornea, which is often related to wearing contact lenses or playing sports. It may feel like something is in your eye when nothing is. The eye may also get red and irritated; produce an excess of tears; or be overly light sensitive.
Contact lens wears should immediately cease wearing contacts in the event of a prospective eye injury. Wearing contact lenses despite an eye injury could further damage the eye or cause an infection to develop. Scratched corneas generally heal after a week or two of medicated eye drops and not wearing contacts.
The Moore Eye Institute has highly qualified doctors to serve patients with the best vision care available. If there is any concern about your eyes or vision, please schedule an appointment today.