The role of an opthalmologist is to ensure that you have no diseases of the eye. Eye specialists want their patients to keep their eyes healthy through regular eye examinations to detect diseases of the eye early and to provide the necessary treatment for optimal eye health. Our eyes are not only the window into our soul but they are the window that allows us to see out into the world.

Most Australians understand the importance of regular dental visits or cancer screenings, but they often forget the importance of eye health until they detect a problem. All too often, this delay in having a check up will result in vision problems ranging from the mild to very severe. A dilated eye exam is the only way to catch eye diseases early, so having this test done early can be a good preventative measure to visual impairment.

A comprehensive eye exam is a painless procedure that can detect potentially sight-robbing conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, even before a patient experiences any symptoms. A comprehensive eye exam should cover the following a number of areas that include:

1. Medical history through questions about vision and family history.
2. Visual acuity tests by reading an eye chart.
3. Pupil evaluation to determine light response.
4. Eye movement tested to ensure proper eye alignment and ocular muscle function.
5. Prescription for corrective lenses when necessary.
6. Side vision tested for possible vision loss or glaucoma risk.
7. Eye pressure test for possible glaucoma symptom.
8. Front part of eye examined for cataracts, scars or scratches to cornea.
9. Retina and optic nerve through dilated eye exam to see back of the eye for signs of damage or disease.

Regular exams with your opthamologist over your lifetime is one of the best preventative measures against blindness or visual impairment. Although recent advances in genetics are allowing us to learn about the root cause of the diseases of the eye, there is still much work to be done in preventing or slowing down the progress of the diseases of the eye. The key is to catch it early so the proper steps can be taken for treatment.

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