What Happens in an Eye Examination? And What is Eye Testing?

Ophthalmologists or eye doctors play a central and vital role in the health of our eyes and quality of our vision. They are highly qualified and trained (often with 8-10 years of training) medical professionals and specialists in eye care, trained in everything from simply prescribing and fitting contact lenses or spectacles to very highly complex surgical procedures. Some of them are also specialists in a particular area of the eye as well and have additional training in diseases of the retina or cornea, for example. They also deals with health issues affecting the eyeball and may treat these problems using surgery or medication.

Ophthalmologists work in teams that may also include an optometrist and optician and each has a particular role to play. The difference is that an ophthalmologist is medically trained and can also perform surgery, in additional to eye examinations, diagnosis and medical treatment. They may also undertake clinical research in their areas of special interest, as well.

The ophthalmologist is the first line of defence when you have an eye problem, such as
• Bulging of one or both eyes;
• Dark curtain or veil that blocks your vision;
• Decreased vision, even if temporary;
• Diabetes mellitus;
• Distorted vision;
• Double vision;
• Excess tearing;
• Eyelid abnormalities;
• Family history of eye disease;
• Halos (colored circles around lights);
• High blood pressure;
• Injury to the eye;
• Loss of peripheral (side) vision;
• Misaligned eyes;
• New floaters (black “strings” or specks in the vision) and/or flashes of light;
• Pain in the eye;
• Thyroid disease-related eye problems (Graves’ disease);
• Unusual red eye.

The typical kind of care that ophthalmologists provides includes eye examinations, medical treatment and care for patients with eye diseases such as glaucoma, surgical procedures for conditions such as cataracts, as well as a whole range of diagnostic techniques and treatment of chronic eye diseases such as diabetic eye disease, and even oculoplastic procedures (cosmetic surgery).
Ophthalmologists diagnosis, treat and prevent eye diseases and problems with the visual system in patients of all ages, from newborn babies to elderly adults.

They usually work in outpatient clinics and some medical ophthalmologists trained in general medicine, as well as ophthalmology, treat and manage patients with chronic eye disorders that affect the entire body, such as diabetes, so they really are treating the whole patient and not just the eyes.

In addition, ophthalmologists typically perform a number of other tasks:

• Examine and assess patients and make a diagnosis;
• Manage ophthalmic conditions, and both medical and psychological aspects of patient care;
• Work as part of multi-disciplinary teams including optometrists, orthoptists, nurses and other specialists such as neurologists, surgeons and paediatricians;
• Use ophthalmoscopes, slit lamps and lenses;
• Perform surgical procedures including laser surgery;
• Educating patients to understand their medical condition;
• Supporting health promotion and disease prevention activities.

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