Regardless of where you live in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas, taking care of your eyes is an important part of overall health and well-being. As people age, they often develop vision problems, but even very young infants can have structural problems with their eyes or conditions that impact their sight.
When it comes to schedule for annual vision care appointments to both monitor basic eye health or address specific concerns, it can sometimes be confusing to determine what type of vision professional to see. The biggest issue for many patients is determining if they need to seek help from the ophthalmology or the optometry departments.
Both an optometrist and an ophthalmologist can complete vision testing, and both are also able to address vision problems. However, the specialization in ophthalmology focuses on the actual functioning of the eye such as the anatomical and physiological functions, as well as the various associated conditions which interfere with these functions.
An ophthalmologist is able to prescribe a wider variety of medications for the eye and is also able to complete surgical procedures to correct structures in the eye that may be impacting vision. These can include very serious eye health issues such as glaucoma, complications of the eye due to diabetes, cataracts and age-related issues such as macular degeneration.
Medical Treatment for Conditions
As mentioned above, there are several health conditions that impact vision. Diabetes, and more specifically diabetic retinopathy, is often treated exclusively in the ophthalmology department.
Other patients that may be recommended to an ophthalmologist include those with malformations or injury to the eyelids or the eye itself, as well as individuals with neurological issues in the brain or the brain and eye connection that are causing vision problems or vision loss.
Children with suspected vision problems, irregular development of the eyes or potential health conditions that may impact their vision are often referred to an ophthalmologist very early in life. With effective assessment and testing, it may be possible to correct the problem, and thus protect and preserve the child’s vision.
Additionally, for both children and adults in Salt Lake City at high risk for developing specific health issues with their eyes, working with an ophthalmologist can provide highly effective, early detection and preventative health programs that can delay or reduce the impact of their condition on their eyesight.