Various parts of the eye work together to catch, focus and process light to make vision possible. When the eye is open, light first passes through the cornea, the eye’s transparent outer windshield. The cornea takes a wide spectrum of light and bends it through the pupil, a round opening in the iris, or colored part of the eye. Directly behind the pupil is the eye’s natural lens. It fine focuses the light directly onto the retina, a photosensitive membrane that lines the back of the eye. The retina then changes the light spectrum into electrical impulses and sends them through the optic nerve to the processing center of the brain where vision is interpreted.
Many eye diseases do not cause symptoms for months or years. Therefore, regular eye examinations by an eye doctor should be as important as regular visits to your family physician. In many cases, early treatment of glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, crossed eyes and some forms of macular degeneration can prevent deterioration of sight and even blindness. Our goal is to protect your sight through early diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following intervals when there are no particular problems.
- Newborn: By a pediatrician, family doctor, or eye doctor. Infants at high risk for medically abnormal eye conditions should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist.
- Pre-school: By a pediatrician, family doctor, or eye doctor.
- School age: By a pediatrician, family doctor, or eye doctor.
- 20-39 years of age: A dilated comprehensive eye exam at least once during this period by an eye doctor. African-Americans and Hispanics who are at higher risk for glaucoma should be examined every 2 to 4 years.
- 40-54 years of age: At 40 and every 2 to 4 years thereafter by an eye doctor. African-Americans and Hispanics who are at higher risk for glaucoma should be examined every 1 to 3 years.
- 55-64 years of age: Every 1-3 years by an eye doctor. African-Americans and Hispanics who are at higher risk for glaucoma should be examined every 1 to 2 years.
- 65 years or older: Every 1 to 2 years. More frequently based on risk factors.
- Individuals With Risk Factors: The frequency of ocular examinations in the presence of acute or chronic disease will vary widely with intervals ranging from hours to months, depending on the risks involved, response to treatment, and potential for the disease to progress. The frequency and time intervals will be determined by the ophthalmologist.