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The eyes play a critical role in our daily living, making our lives less stressful, easier, and more fun. But people fail to take good care of them, which in turn increases the risk of developing refractive errors, age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, strabismus, and amblyopia.

To lessen the risks, a healthy lifestyle comes into play. A balanced diet, proper exercise, and a good night’s sleep can ensure a disease-free vision. To have a healthy diet, choose foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Fish and leafy green vegetables are good to go.
Apart from losing a pound, a workout routine improves oxygen levels to the eyes, promotes blood circulation, and removes harmful toxins without any side effects.

Enough sleep can also be a big factor. Instead of exposing your eyes to a computer or smartphone, take a rest. While it supports optimal eye health, it allows you to perform well in the workspace and home. It is also imperative to wash your hands before touching your eyes. Dirty hands have germs that can cause bacterial conjunctivitis and other infections. So, make sure to wash them with a mild soap.
Unhealthy habits can increase the risk of eye defects.

If you smoke, it’s now time to throw packs of cigarettes into a dirt bin. To avoid an intense craving, look for the best recreational activities. Whether you play basketball or football, it’s a good alternative to practice.
That’s not all! It’s necessary to wear sunglasses when you go to the park, school, and other places. You might not know it, but the UV light can be harmful in our eyes? Yes, you heard it right! But don’t be tempted to purchase the cheapest brand. Be willing to spend more bucks for your safety and peace of mind.

What else? Don’t forget to consult the right eye doctor! Today, there are many specialists to choose from. The most common professionals include ophthalmologists, opticians, and optometrists. Which is the best physician for your specific situation? Good question and you’re just about in the right place!

Opticians, ophthalmologists, and optometrists play a significant role in offering eye care to different consumers. The levels of expertise and training, however, are quite different. While there are many hiring factors to consider, it’s good to understand their differences and similarities. Read on for more information!

Ophthalmologist – Medical Physician

An ophthalmologist is an osteopathic or medical doctor who has the expertise in the eye or vision care. They differ from opticians and even optometrists in terms of what they can diagnose and treat. Their levels of training are also more complicated than expected.
Apart from a baccalaureate degree and 8 years of added medical training, ophthalmologists are certified and licensed to perform surgery and practice medicine. More than diagnosing and treating eye diseases. They can prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to address a vision problem. But wait, there’s more! They also participate in scientific research to identify the causes and treatments for eye diseases.
An Ophthalmologist specialize in a particular area of surgical or medical eye care. As subspecialists, they need to complete at least one year of in-depth training. Subspecialty areas include the retina, pediatrics, neurology, cornea, glaucoma, plastic surgery, and more.
The additional knowledge and training enable ophthalmologists to take care of more specific and complex conditions in a certain group of patients.

Optometrist – Provider of Vision Care

Searching for healthcare professionals that offer primary vision care? Don’t look further than an optometrist. From sight testing, correction, diagnosis, treatment to management of vision changes, optometrists are the professionals to trust. But is an optometrist a medical doctor? No, they are not a medical physician. Optometrists receive a doctor of optometry degree after four years of studies in a university. While some individuals can finish their baccalaureate degree in four years, some can get it done within 3 years. As soon as they pass the licensure examination, optometrists can perform eye exams, vision tests, prescribe corrective lenses, detect specific eye abnormalities, and prescribe quality medications for specific health issues. Optometrists can also treat conditions, including astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness, and other eye defects. They can provide vision-therapy and low-vision aids. Plus, they can participate in operative care or monitor patients after a surgery.

Optician – Design Eyeglasses

Opticians are simply a technician trained to design, assess, and fit eyeglass frames, lenses, and other tools. Then, they use prescriptions from optometrists or ophthalmologists. Opticians, however, do not test or even write a prescription to correct an eye problem. Also, they don’t have the qualification to diagnose and treat a visual disease. While the baccalaureate degree for optometrist lasts for at least four years, the opticians can get a two-year degree with a diploma or certificate. From there, they can adjust or repair frames and lenses. They also take facial measurements and assist other professionals during decision making.

Signs to Contact an Ophthalmologist

Let’s admit it! We are in many ways dependent in our vision. Without healthy eyes, we could not perform our chores with comfort.
While there are various techniques to maintain a perfect sight, the factors that pose a danger to our eyes are no exception. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems are the culprits. A vision problem can also be hereditary. Experts suggest everyone consult an ophthalmologist for a thorough medical eye exam. When is the right time to see the right physician?  Age is the number one reason to contact a medical specialist. When you turn 40, don’t feel skeptical about undergoing a medical eye exam. Eye problems are also common to teens and even children. So, consult a physician right away to avoid other costly problems. While it requires extra costs, the results are worth the investment.

Aside from age, there are other signs that indicate a person has a visual problem. Some of them are written below:
• Bulging of eyes
• Veil or dark curtain that blocks your vision
• Decreased vision
• Distorted and double vision
• Diabetes mellitus and excess tearing
• Eyelid abnormalities, family history
• High blood pressure
• Misaligned eyes and loss of peripheral vision

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Rex Hamilton, call 424-732-2020 or leave us an appointment request here!