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Should You See an Ophthalmologist?

In many situations, it is best to see an eye specialist called an ophthalmologist. These professionals will work with you to handle the overall healthcare of your eyes. Many men and women, and sometimes children, need to see this type of provider. The problem is not necessarily evident from meeting with a family doctor. In some cases, you may have the beginnings of an eye-related disease or you may be facing problems right now that can be treated. If your family doctor recommends such a visit, have one.

Who Should Have One Anyway?

Even if you do not receive any advice from your family doctor about visiting an ophthalmologist, it may be a good idea to do so in some cases. If you have a family history of eye problems, including those that come on later in life such as cataracts, you should maintain a presence with the eye doctor. Additionally, African Americans who are over the age of 40 should also have regular screenings by a specialist. Those who have diabetes at any age need this type of careful monitoring. If you already have a personal history of eye injury or illness, you should work with a provider on a regular basis.

What About Children?

Children should receive this type of care as well in some cases. If your child has any type of serious vision problem, you should work with a professional in this field as soon as you learn about it. The problem is, most of these server conditions can take years to notice. Every child should see a specific eye doctor by the time he or she is three to five years of age for a simply screening. From that point on, the doctor will tell you how often a screening is necessary.

Conditions like strabismus or crossed eyes, amblyopia or lazy eye, ptosis or dropping upper eyelids and refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism require regular treatment. These are often determined at the child’s initial screening. If they are present, your doctor will tell you what steps to take to improve your child’s vision if it is possible to do so. The good news is that catching conditions like this early can help your child to avoid problems that are more complex later.

Seeing an ophthalmologist is a good step in maintaining eye health. While not everyone may need this type of treatment, most people should have a screening at a young age and then every few years. Doing so is a good preventative measure, like going to the doctor for a checkup even when nothing is wrong. Do not avoid getting treatment because many eye conditions can begin slowly and be very hard to notice.

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