Visiting an Eye Specialist: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

Visiting an Eye Specialist: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

eye doctor appointment

Here at Riverside Medical Group our team of dedicated optometrists and ophthalmologists strives to provide all our valued patients with the highest quality eye care this side of New Jersey and cannot emphasize enough the importance of having an annual eye exam.

Why Routine Eye Exams are So Important

Routine eye exams can certainly safeguard the health of your eyes and your overall wellness.  There are a number of reasons why it is so important to have routine eye exams with a few of them discussed here. 

Glaucoma – Glaucoma is a very serious eye disease that, in its early stages, has no real signs or symptoms.   Glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss. Routine eye exams can detect high eye pressure and risks of glaucoma earl on and help prevent blindness. 

Children Perform Better in School – Because of the excessive amount of computer screen time that children are exposed to in the classrooms now, annual eye exams are a must do for every family.  A comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist is the only way to ensure your child’s vision is as clear, concise and comfortable as possible not only in the classroom by on the sports fields and confirm that there are no indications of serious eye diseases.

Early Detection of Other Serious Health Issues – Routine eye exams can detect early signs of serious health and medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cancer to name a few. Our eyes tend to be a passageway to our overall health which is why proper care and routine examinations are so important.  Optometrists and ophthalmologists, during a comprehensive eye exam, are able to evaluate the condition of the blood vessels in your retina. Some diseases such as hypertension and diabetes can be detected by changes that occur in the blood supply and blood vessels in the retina. Also, individuals with diabetes are at a high risk of diabetic eye disease which can lead to blindness in adults. But with a routine comprehensive eye exam, signs of diseases can be detected early on and help to prevent the loss of vision.

What is an Optometrist and an Ophthalmologist?

An optometrist provides primary vision care by performing comprehensive eye exams and various vision tests.  They can also diagnose eye problems and prescribe corrective lenses as well as medications for certain types of eye conditions and diseases.  They are unable to perform eye surgery, but can assist with pre and postoperative care linked to an eye surgery. 

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) that specializes in vision care and overall eye health.  They not only perform comprehensive, in depth eye exams to diagnose and provide treatment for vision problems, but they also diagnose and treat eye diseases, prescribe medications as needed and can perform a number of surgeries such as cataract surgery and Lasik surgery.  

If you are in need of routine eye care such as an annual eye exam or obtaining new prescription glasses, contact lenses or an eye medication, then an optometrist is the perfect choice for you.  If, however, you are in need of medical treatment for glaucoma or surgical procedures such as cataract surgery or Lasik surgery then be sure to contact a certified ophthalmologist.

Schedule Your Eye Exam Today

March is Save Your Vision Month, an event sponsored by the American Optometric Association and an event well worth your time and attention.  For more information on the importance of an annual eye exam, be sure to visit our blog.  The team of dedicated specialists here at Riverside Medical Group wants our patients to understand that even if you feel as though you have perfect vision, having an annual eye exam can be the best all round method of protecting the overall health of yourself and your family members.  With that said, don’t delay any longer. Reach out to the team here at Riverside Medical Group and schedule your routine comprehensive eye exam with one of our optometrists or ophthalmologists today!