There really are few things as important as your eyes. You want to make sure they are healthy and that there are no problems with them. You also want to see as well as you can. What a shame to miss all the wonderful sights all around you! Your family, your friends, the wonders of nature and of humankind are all things you want to see as well as you can.
The best way to make sure your eyes are in tip top condition and that you are seeing everything there is to see is to make regular trips to your local eye center. An optometrist working at a state of the art eye center can give your eyes a thorough examination and tell you if you need glasses or contacts and whether you’d be a good candidate for such breakthrough procedures as lasik surgery or intraocular lens implantation.
Getting Your Eyes Examined
The first thing you will want to do is make an appointment at an eye center to get a thorough opthalmologic exam. You should have your eyes examined at least once a year and sometimes more frequently than this. The recommended frequency of eye exams depends on many factors, including your age, your overall health, the presence of any conditions that can affect the eyes such as diabetes, and whether there is a history of eye or vision problems in your family.
The optometrist or vision technician at the eye center will test your eyesight, or visual acuity, with the standard eye chart we are all familiar with. If it is determined that your visual acuity isn’t as good as it can be, he or she will then test your visual refraction. This test determines the kind and strength of lenses you will need to correct your vision.
The optometrist will also test how well your eyes move in response to different visual stimuli. This test is called ocular motility. Next, the eyes will be checked for signs of glaucoma. With the application of eye drops that will dilate the pupils, the vision specialist will be able to examine the areas at the back of the eye like the ocular nerve and the retina. The health and proper functioning of all of these organs are necessary for proper eyesight.
Eyeglasses or Contacts?
If you are making an appointment at the nearest eye center, you are likely interested in checking your current prescription or wanting to get a brand new prescription. For those new to eyeglass wearing or those thinking about a change, the question often is, what’s better for me, eyeglasses or contacts?
You can talk to the doctor at the eye center for advice, but what he or she might tell you is that, at this point in the evolution of corrective lenses, many people can wear either contact lenses or glasses. For many, it’s a matter of choice. Do you like the way glasses make you look? Are you looking for convenience? Are you squeamish about putting something in your eyes? Both types of corrective lenses can be calibrated for your particular visual refraction. Contacts can now even be made for those who need bifocal or multifocal lenses, very much widening the number of people who can wear them.
Of course, another very popular manner of vision correction is lasik surgery, a procedure that many eye centers are currently offering. In lasik surgery, the ophthalmologist uses a laser to modify the natural lens of your eye. The laser either flattens a cornea that is too steep or makes a too steep cornea flatter depending on whether you are near sighted or far sighted. The doctor at your eye center will examine your eyes and determine whether lasik surgery is likely to improve your vision.
Finding an Eye Center
Whether you need a first eye examination or are looking for a new optometrist or ophthalmologist, you can start your search for an eye center by consulting various data bases on the Internet. The DocShop is one such website to visit for information on corrective lenses and lasik surgery and that can recommend an eye center close to your home. The Eye Care Center of America includes over 400 retail eye care stores in 37 different states and the District of Columbia. The Eye Care Center is an umbrella organization for such well known eye centers as Visionworks and EyeMasters.
Wherever you live and whatever your age, getting regular optometry checkups at an eye center is the best way to protect your vision. Your eye center specialist can answer all your questions about reading glasses, contacts, and eye correction surgery.
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