With vision playing such a vital role in our everyday lives, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure your vision is healthy and optimal for your age. This is why we offer a variety of services to our patients, ensuring exceptional vision quality at every stage of life.
Preventative eye care is essential in fighting vision loss and blindness. Many vision diseases, like glaucoma and macular degeneration, do not immediately affect your vision or show any symptoms, making it easy for them to go unnoticed for years. According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 93 million US adults are at high risk for vision loss but only half have visited the eye doctor in the past 12 months. Thankfully, early detection of most ocular diseases can decrease your changes of vision loss in the future. Once a vision disease has been diagnosed, our optometrists will develop a treatment plan best suited for your overall vision needs.
There are some common vision problems to be aware of that may be a sign of an eye disease and warrant an appointment with an optometrist.
If you are experiencing blurred vision, this could be an early sign of an eye disease. Common vision problems that cause blurred vision include cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal disease, and diabetic retinopathy. Changes to your refractive error (i.e. changes to the severity of your nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia) over time can also cause blurred vision and will require the assistance of one of our optometrists.
Having eye pain can be uncomfortable and is often resolved on its own. However, experiencing prolonged eye pain or severe eye pain can be a sign of several serious conditions, including glaucoma, optic neuritis, iritis or a corneal abrasion. It’s also important to note that any sudden change in your vision in addition to eye pain should be addressed immediately by an eye doctor.
Extremely Dry or Extremely Water Eye
Changes to the natural lubrication of your eye can be a sign of corneal issues. Sometimes, simple over-the-counter drops can relieve these symptoms, but they do not address the root of the problem. We highly recommend coming in to see one of our optometrists who can accurately diagnose the problem and create a treatment plan that will minimize discomfort and prevent long-term damage to the cornea.
It’s important to take care of your vision, even if you feel that your vision is perfectly fine. Whether you wear corrective lenses or not, knowing the health of our vision can bring peace of mind and empower your decision-making when it comes to your healthcare. It’s recommended that healthy adults under the age of 50 have a comprehensive eye exam at least every 2 or 3 years. If you’ve never seen an optometrist for a comprehensive vision check, we recommend starting now.
However, there are instances when every 2 to 3 years is not frequent enough. It’s recommended by the CDC that people with diabetes have an eye exam each year to prevent diabetes from negatively impacting your vision. African Americans over the age of 40, all adults over the age of 60, especially Hispanics, and people with a family history of glaucoma should also have an annual eye exam by an optometrist. These groups are at higher risk for developing glaucoma.
When To See An Optometrist?
Our optometrists are highly trained eye doctors that handle primary healthcare for your eyes. This means that most vision problems can be managed by your optometrist. Our optometrists can help with managing ocular diseases like glaucoma and dry eye, prescribe glasses and contact lens and more. They can also refer you to an ophthalmologist when surgical care is required. Many of our optometrists are specialized in the management and treatment of specific ocular diseases, which means that no matter your vision problem, we have a specialist who can help.
When you have trouble seeing up close or far away, or objects appear blurry, you likely have what’s called a refractive error. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, between 8.2 and 15.9 million people have undiagnosed or untreated refractive error. This means that many people do not have optimal vision. Refractive errors like myopia (often referred to as nearsightedness), hyperopia (often referred to as farsightedness) and astigmatism can all be diagnosed and managed by our optometrists. We work with you and our opticians to find the best correct lenses—whether that be glasses or contacts—to improve your vision. Our team can also help you understand if vision correction is possible.
Changes To Your Vision
As we age, just like the rest of our body, our vision changes. Small objects and fine print become difficult to see. When we begin to lose the ability to see objects up-close, this is likely the cause of presbyopia, a common age-related refractive error. Our optometrists can identify the severity of the presbyopia and prescribe glasses or contact lenses. Another common change to our vision as we get older is driving at night. The glares from headlights and illuminated road signs can become extremely bright. This may be a sign of cataracts, which your optometrist can diagnose and refer you to one of our cataract surgeons.
Post-Operative Care for Vision Surgery
Oftentimes patients require surgery for their vision problems. Whether the surgery is elective, like LASIK or PRK, or needed to correct vision loss due to cataracts or glaucoma, our optometrists can identify when surgery is required and handle all post-operative care once your surgery is completed by an ophthalmologist. Post-operative care is extremely important to your total vision care to ensure that your vision is fully restored and that all surgical outcomes have been achieved. Our optometrists offer post-operative care for vision correction surgery, cataract surgery, blepharoplasty surgery, strabismus and more.
Wilmington Eye has an extensive team of trained eye care professionals, including optometrists and licensed opticians, that work together to provide exceptional vision care. Whether you are looking for a preventative care eye exam or are experiencing a change in your vision, our team is ready to assist.
What To Expect During Your Appointment
If you’re a new patient, please arrive 15 minutes early to check-in and fill out paperwork. Bring a complete list of medications, your insurance cards, and current glasses. Expect a minimum of an hour and a half for your appointment.
If you’re having a cataract or LASIK evaluation, expect your appointment to take a minimum of two hours due to in-depth testing.
- We’ll take you back to an exam room and review your medical history.
- Your ophthalmic technician will do a thorough vision check.
- Your technician will check your intraocular pressure.
- Your technician will administer dilation drops.
- Dilation takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
- If any special testing is needed, it will be performed at this time.
- As a room becomes available, we’ll take you back to the exam room to review your vision with the doctor.
- Your provider will look at the back of the eye and the retina, optic nerve and lens.
- If you have any questions or concerns, they’ll be reviewed at this point and a plan to follow-up will be made.
To determine your glasses prescription, the doctor will perform a refraction on all new patients and repeat it on a yearly basis thereafter. Most private medical insurance companies will not cover the refraction fee, although it is considered an essential part of the comprehensive eye exam. Our fee for the refraction is $50.00 and is collected in addition to any co-payments, deductibles, or coinsurance that you may owe for the medical portion of your eye exam.
To complete a full exam (applies to all new patients and yearly exams for established patients), we will be placing dilating drops into your eyes. This allows the doctor to examine the inside of the eyes and determine your overall eye health. This is generally done once a year.