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Eye Doctor Tests and Evaluations

For many people with dry eye, autologous serum eye drops offer significant relief when over-the-counter tears aren’t enough. This treatment uses your own blood to make a special liquid.

Other preventative measures include using a humidifier in your home and at work, decreasing exposure to air conditioning, heating vents, fans and cigarette smoke. Also, remember to blink and take breaks when staring at digital screens. Contact Eye Doctor Ellicott City MD for more details.

Contact Lenses

Eye Doctor Tests and Evaluations

Whether for cosmetic or functional purposes, contact lenses are an incredibly convenient alternative to eyeglasses. However, many people do not understand proper contact lens care and use, which leads to uncomfortable, sometimes even dangerous eye problems.

Incorrectly using contact lenses can cause a variety of eye infections, including corneal abrasions. These may heal on their own within a few days, but more serious infections can occur if germs enter the scratched area. Moreover, the improper wearing of contact lenses, especially gas permeable ones, can lead to vision-threatening conditions like keratitis or Acanthamoeba keratitis.

A visit to an eye doctor will help ensure that you’re using your contact lenses properly. He or she can advise you on how to clean and maintain your contacts, which solutions are best for your needs, and when to change them.

Contact lenses come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit different needs. For example, toric lenses, which are slightly weighted at the bottom, help correct astigmatism. Spherical lenses, on the other hand, are used to treat nearsightedness or farsightedness. Other types of lenses include monovision, bifocals, and multifocals.

Before inserting a contact lens, you should wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Then tip the lens from its storage case into your cupped palm, and check it for rips or other damage. Once you’ve determined that the lens is safe to wear, place it on your index finger with the concave side up. Then slide the lens onto your eye, placing it directly on the sclera (white of the eyeball).

When you first put in a contact lens, it may feel a bit uncomfortable for a short period of time. This is because the contact lens changes the pH and salinity of tears in the eye. After a while, this difference disappears, and the lens becomes more comfortable.

Some contact lenses are designed for overnight wear. These are called “extended wear” (EW) lenses. Your optometrist will recommend EW contact lenses only if they have been shown to be safe for this type of long-term wear. He or she will also discuss the risks and benefits of this type of contact lens, and make sure you have a good strategy for handling and storing your EW lenses safely.

Myopia Management

Managing myopia (nearsightedness) is important for your child’s long-term eye health. High myopia increases your child’s risk of sight-threatening eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinal detachments. The good news is that studies have shown that myopia management can slow down the progression of nearsightedness in children.

Your eye doctor will talk to you about the different methods available for myopia control. The choice of method will depend on your child’s age, optical prescription and your personal preferences. Some options are more effective than others.

The best results are seen when myopia management is started at a young age. Ideally, it should start before the age of 9. But, even for older kids and adults, there is still hope for slowing their nearsightedness progression.

There are two main types of myopia management: prescription eye drops and special contact lenses. Eye drops are prescription medications that are used daily to help reduce the rate of myopia progression. They work by dilating the eyes which decreases the amount of nearsightedness your child experiences. There are various brands of eye drops and it is important that you see an optometrist that specializes in myopia management.

Specialty contact lenses are designed to slow the progression of myopia and can be either daily disposables or reusable (up to a month). These lenses are designed to be worn during waking hours, and they can be soft or hard (depending on your child’s prescription and needs). These contacts are usually much more comfortable than standard glasses.

Corneal molding (also called orthokeratology) is a non-surgical procedure that helps reduce or slow the progression of myopia. These custom-made contact lenses have a built-in curve that helps to keep your child’s eyes in focus longer. This is accomplished by putting a small curved shape in the front of the lens. It is recommended that this treatment be done in combination with eye drops and with regular visits to your optometrist. Research has shown that these methods can be more effective than wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses alone. It is also important for your child to spend time outdoors and follow the 20/20/20 rule – for every 20 minutes of close work, they should look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Glaucoma Treatment

In a healthy eye, clear fluid constantly flows in and out to nourish the eye. But when fluid isn’t draining correctly, it builds up and creates too much pressure inside the eye. This can damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss over time and eventually blindness.

Early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma can slow down the rate of vision loss. But glaucoma is a progressive disease, so it’s important to follow up with regular visits to your eye doctor for long-term glaucoma management.

Many types of prescription eye drops and oral medications can help control glaucoma. These drugs decrease fluid production or increase drainage, helping to lower intraocular pressure. Eye drops require daily use to be effective, and adherence is key to success. Medications can have side effects, so it’s important to discuss the pros and cons of each with your doctor.

When eye drops don’t reduce glaucoma pressure, laser and surgical procedures can be used to manage the condition. These treatments are more invasive than eye drops, but they can offer faster and more consistent eye pressure control.

Your doctor may recommend a procedure called selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), which uses a low-powered laser to target the drainage angle of your eye and stimulate a biochemical change that helps fluid flow more easily. Your doctor can also perform a more invasive surgery called trabeculectomy, which involves creating a new drainage channel in the eye and reducing intraocular pressure.

Dry eye and glaucoma are often comorbid, with between 15 and 60 percent of people suffering from both conditions, according to the National Eye Institute’s Ocular Surface Disease Index. While glaucoma is more of an immediate threat to vision, ocular surface disease can impact adherence to medication and make it harder to tolerate eye drops.

For these patients, dry eye treatment must be prioritized over glaucoma management, says Vatinee Bunya, MD, William F. Norris and George de Schweitz associate professor of ophthalmology and codirector of the Penn Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Center. Dry eye therapies like BAK (benzalkonium chloride) drops, cyclosporine and Lifitegrast are effective at lowering glaucoma medication concentration and easing discomfort without increasing IOP. Moreover, the ability to avoid or mitigate symptoms of dry eye improves overall ocular comfort and quality of life for these patients, which in turn promotes adherence to glaucoma therapy.

Eye Exams

Most eye doctors have a variety of medical apparatus at their disposal to conduct a range of tests and evaluations. A comprehensive exam will typically include the following:

Visual acuity test – During this evaluation, the doctor will ask you to read an eye chart with letters of different sizes, from the largest to the smallest. Your ability to see these letters will tell the doctor whether you need corrective lenses. The test is also used to look for any weaknesses or delays in your eye muscles that control movement. The doctor may also have you close one eye to check for strabismus, or crossed eyes. The doctor will likely do a cover test, too, which checks for binocular vision problems.

Pupil function test – By shining light into your eyes, the doctor can see how well the pupils respond and constrict to different lighting conditions. This information can help the doctor determine if you need glasses, as well as your prescription. The doctor can perform a simple version of this test using a penlight, or they can use an autorefractor or other machine that automatically estimates your prescription.

Ocular motility test – The doctor will have you move your eyes in various directions, looking at a light or moving object. This will allow them to observe how your eye muscles work, as well as if there are any issues with their coordination.

Blood vessel test – The doctor can evaluate the health of your retinal blood vessels by shining light into them, or by using a device that blows air into your open eye. This is a useful tool for detecting diseases such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Other tests may include a tonometry test, which measures the intraocular pressure inside your eye. This can help detect early signs of glaucoma, a condition that can cause blindness if not treated. They might also check your depth perception by showing you a series of images that you need to select in order, or they might use an autorefractor, which electronically measures the shape of your cornea and the power of your lens.