Most of us see a doctor at least every couple of years and a dentist regularly. However, studies show that, unless people have an issue, most don’t see an eye doctor.
How important is it to see an eye doctor regularly? Incredibly important, actually. Eye doctors diagnose vision issues that get in the way of your health and daily life, like reading, driving, etc. Also, eye doctors can diagnose many significant medical issues before other physical symptoms are noticeable.
For example eye doctors diagnose early diabetes and hypertension, among other things. Chronically dry eyes can be a sign of a bigger issue with your endocrine system.
The Two Types of Eye Doctors – Optometrists and Ophthalmologists
Optometrists are doctors who have a degree to perform a visual exam, as well as the ability to diagnose and treat most eye issues. The most common reason to visit an Optometrist is for a standard eye exam and a prescription for glasses and contact lenses.
Ophthalmologists graduate from medical school and residency, and have an MD behind their name. Ophthalmology is considered a medical subspecialty, and these doctors can do everything an Optometrist can do, as well as surgical and laser procedures.
Seeing an Optometrist is often the easiest and least expensive way to take care of your basic eye health with routine exams and prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses. If you have diabetes, eye disease, macular degeneration, glaucoma, or retinal issues, you should see an Ophthalmologist.
An important note: Make sure you ask which insurance is being billed. Some providers can bill your medical insurance for some reasons and your vision insurance for other.
For example, my son sees an Optometrist for eye exams and glasses, which is billed under my vision insurance. However, he scratched his eye playing soccer recently, saw the same Optometrist, and they billed it under my medical insurance because it was an eye injury.
Remember to ask before you leave the appointment, whether at the front desk while checking in, while making the appointment, or on the way out, make sure you know how the visit will be billed.
Your eyes are important to you and it is important to take care of them. Your eyes are involved with everything you do, like keeping your balance, driving your car, determining your sleep wake cycles, and seeing those you love.
Tips for Eye Health
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection
- Wear safety glasses or goggles when working with wood, metal, or chemicals
- Eat fruits and veggies, especially brightly colored vegetables and dark leafy greens
- Take breaks from screens and use filters that help protect your eyes. Try taking a 15 min break every 2 hours to give your eyes a rest
- Get an eye exam every 2-3 years, sooner if you have vision problems or issues
If you need help finding an eye doctor, login to your Amaze account and send us a message. We’d be happy to assist you.