Saturday, September 28, 2013

Optometrist? Optician? Ophthalmologist?? Which one is my eye doctor??

People who don’t use or need glasses are often confused by the similar sounding titles of eyecare professionals. Even patients who have been seeing an eye doctor since they were young don’t always know where to go if they want LASIK or have an eye infection. Knowing what services are covered by which profession could save you some time and money!

Optometrists are primary care physicians for your eyes; therefore the first stop one should make when considering a check for their vision. Patients will receive a routine eye exams which includes a prescription for glasses and/or contact lenses along with a total health assessment of the exterior and interior of the eye. If a patient is in need of treatment for dry eyes or infections, Optometrist can treat these issues.  However if surgery or laser treatment is warranted than the patient is referred to an Ophthalmologist.

After getting a routine eye exam, patients are usually directed to a sales floor where they’ll find a selection of frames and lenses. The Opticians will help you choose frames, as well as recommend specific lens options best suited for you. Opticians also take lens measurements, adjust frames, and conduct contact lens training. Just like pharmacists that fill prescriptions given by medical doctors, opticians help the patient select vision correction aids prescribed by Optometrist.

Ophthalmologists, commonly known as eye surgeons, are licensed to practice medicine and conduct surgical operations. These include anything from LASIK to invasive surgeries to save patients’ vision. With such a wide variety of services, ophthalmologists often specialize to give the best care possible (ie. retinal specialists, glaucoma specialist, LASIK specialist).  The vast umbrella of ophthalmology is one reason to see an optometrist first, as they can refer you over to the correct specialist as needed.

As you can see, whether you need new glasses or are experiencing abnormal eye issues, an Optometrist will help direct you to the proper place for your needs.  Eyed LA believes in easing the transition for patients to get the best care available.  

"See and Be Seen" @ Eyed LA Optometry in Brentwood, West Los Angeles

Saturday, September 14, 2013

School screenings vs Screenings with Eyed LA!

You might be familiar with the classic “eye chart” that starts with a giant E and continues with letters that get smaller with each successive line. This chart is often used in vision screenings at health fairs or schools. Children who are not able to read the line corresponding to “20/20” are deemed in need of eye exam, while those who can read the “20/20” line are determined to have perfect vision.

However parents should know that even if they pass the screening at school, they should still visit with an optometrist every year. The main reason for this is because school screenings only test for distance vision, and cannot detect near vision issues which ironically has a much higher prevalence before the age of 12. Therefore most children are referred out by the school nurse after the age of 12 for distance problems and children suffering with near issues are not detected. Though they may be able to read the eye-chart just fine at a distance, they may have trouble reading their textbooks. This causes a ripple effect of poor learning skills which too often are labeled as a learning disability versus a visual impairment. (check our other blog: Learning Disability or Visual Disability?)

A free screening can detect issues at near or far for any person.  At Eyed LA, we have an automated machine to get an estimate of the prescription the patient might potentially need; there is no participation from the patient to achieve this measurement.  Therefore a child that may not know their letters can still be checked for visual impairments (check out other blog: How soon can my kids get an Eye Exam?).  If that child requires correction, we recommend a complete eye exam to further investigate.  The free screening we provide is solely by Eyed LA and other optometrist may not offer a free screening, make sure to ask. We believe this service will support better performance for the school year and potentially saving parents worry and time with other treatments that may not be warranted. Eyed LA is part of movement to improve healthcare in this country with prevention, education and responsibility to our future.

"See and Be Seen" @ Eyed LA Optometry in Brentwood, West Los Angeles