Routine Eye Care
Our Recommended Routine Examination Schedule
Every child should have an eye examination before starting school (about age 5). This is a perfect age to make sure vision is developing normally, and to catch any eye conditions (such as eye muscle imbalance or lazy eye) early, before permanent damage to the vision occurs. Click here to learn more about pediatric eye care
At age 15, driver's education is right around the corner. This is also a good time for a routine examination.
From age 18 to age 40, we recommend eye exams if a specific eye problem arises. But at age 40, you're reaching the years when eye conditions associated with aging become more common.
What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye. A normal lens is clear. It lets light pass to the back of the eye. A cataract blocks some of the light. As a cataract develops, it becomes harder for a person to see.
Normal Lens Cataract
Cataracts are a normal part of aging. About half of Americans ages 65 to 74 have cataracts. About 70 percent of those age 75 and over have this condition.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye in which the pressure inside the eye is too high, and this high pressure damages the sensitive vision system, causing loss of sight. The eye is filled with fluid which keeps it inflated, and the fluid flows into the eye through a spigot and flows out of the eye through a drain. In normal eyes, the spigot and the drain are perfectly balanced so the fluid flows in and out at the same rate, and the pressure stays the same. But in glaucoma, the drain doesn't work properly, and the fluid can't get out very well. The fluid keeps flowing in through the spigot, and when it can't get out, the pressure builds up. This high pressure damages the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain and tells the brain what you're seeing. When the optic nerve is damaged from high glaucoma pressures, you start to lose peripheral vision (side vision). If the pressure remains elevated, you can gradually lose all of your sight.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetes is a disease that affects millions in the United States alone. Diabetes causes the body to have difficulty regulating blood sugar levels. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause damage to blood vessels throughout the body, creating problems with kidneys, nerves and eyes. In fact, diabetes is the most common cause of blindness among Caucasians in this country.
Blindness from diabetes is preventable, but only if you're getting regular eye examinations to catch diabetic eye damage (called diabetic retinopathy) before permanent vision loss occurs.
There are many retinal diseases that can cause visual loss, including diabetes, macular degeneration, retinal detachments, and many others.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans over 60. The macula is a small area in the retina, located at the back of your eye, and it is responsible for your central vision, letting you clearly see small details. With AMD, the cells in this area start to die, leaving you with blurriness, dark areas, or distortion in your central vision.
There are two types of AMD. Most people have the dry form. With this form, you will experience a gradual loss of your central vision. There is no medication or treatment for dry AMD at this time, but some people benefit from vitamin therapy. If you have dry AMD, ask your ophthalmologist if you should be taking vitamins.
The cornea is the clear window that makes up the front of the eye and lets light into the eye. The cornea is made up of five layers. The outermost layer, or corneal epithelium, is made up of fast-growing cells. It is important in protecting the rest of the cornea from dirt and bacteria, and in absorbing oxygen and nutrients from your tears. The innermost layer, or corneal endothelium, is a very thin layer of cells. It is responsible for pumping excess fluid out of the cornea. If too much fluid gets into the cornea, it will become cloudy.
The cornea also helps focus light so you see clearly; only when the cornea is clear and smooth can your vision be clear. If the cornea becomes cloudy or warped, your vision will be blurry or distorted.