You might not know the word ophthalmologist, but you are likely familiar with what they do. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating eye problems. From lasers to contact lenses, ophthalmologists have a wide range of skills to help people see better. Book an appointment with Dr. Stephen M. Wolchok. Here are some services to expect from such specialists.
One of the most common problems that an ophthalmologist can treat is a cataract. This condition makes it difficult for some people to see, especially at night. An instrument called a phacoemulsifier is all that’s needed to break up and suck out the cataract from your eye during surgery. You will then have a new lens put in to correct your vision.
Ophthalmologists can prescribe glaucoma medications to help lower intraocular eye pressure. Such drugs include prostaglandins, beta-blockers, alpha-blockers, and miotic agents. Doctors will usually advise you to take these medications until your IOP levels reach a comfortable range.
Another medication your ophthalmologist may prescribe is called pilocarpine, which helps to stimulate the flow of fluid from inside the eye. Pilocarpine can be helpful if your IOPs are too high for other medications or surgery to control it.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans over age 60. It’s a condition that can lead to blindness if not treated quickly. Your doctor may prescribe photodynamic therapy (PDT) for this condition, which uses laser light and medicines to control vision loss from macular degeneration.
Ophthalmologists can do a lot to help you see better. They can prescribe glasses and contact lenses if needed. If your eyesight changes over time, your doctor can provide testing to determine why it’s happening and what treatment might be helpful. These tests might include:
- Visual acuity test
- Visual Field test
- A slit-lamp examination uses a microscope to check your eyes and eyelids for conditions such as dry eye syndrome.
People who wear contact lenses will need to check their eyes regularly, even if they have no problems. If you are having trouble wearing your contact lenses due to dry eye syndrome, talk to your ophthalmologist about ways to help. The doctor may prescribe artificial tears or other medicines to make it easier to wear contacts.
Floaters and flashes in your view may be a sign of another condition, and ophthalmologists can test to see if you have this problem. Although some floaters and flashes are normal, having them is one of the most common reasons people seek an eye doctor for assistance.
Even with good vision, you’ll probably want glasses or contacts to help you with your appearance. Ophthalmologists can assess your visual needs and prescribe what you need to feel more comfortable seeing well. If you have astigmatism in addition to nearsightedness, farsightedness, or presbyopia, your doctor might recommend special lenses to correct it.
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating eye problems. From lasers to contact lenses, ophthalmologists have a wide range of skills to help people see better. They also treat common eye diseases and conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.