A routine visit includes a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Dilation drops are placed in both eyes so the doctor can look at the back of them and hunt for hidden damage or disease. Common eye diseases that develop especially as we age include cataracts (clouded lenses), glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve from too much pressure in the eye) and age-related macular degeneration (deterioration of retinal area called the macular), the leading cause of blindness in people over 65.
- Discuss with your primary care physician when you need to see an ophthalmologist. Go over your family’s eye health history to determine if you’re at higher risk for certain diseases.
- If you wear glasses, see your eye doctor on an annual basis to keep your prescription up to date and to screen for issues like retinal detachment.
- After age 40 see an eye doctor once every 2 years. In addition to screening for asymptomatic issues like glaucoma, ophthalmologists are often the first to detect conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
If you experience vision changes at any time, such as blurriness or dimness, make an appointment to see your eye doctor right away.
You already know smoking is dangerous for heart and lung health, but did you know that it also increases your risk for macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage? If you smoke, make a plan to quit today. Get Dr. Oz's Kick the Habit Plan here.
To protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, wear sunglasses. Choose a pair that blocks out both UVA and UVB radiation.
Don Protective Eyewear
Get in the habit of wearing safety glasses, goggles or eye shields to protect against eye injuries that can occur during sports, certain work or other activities. You can find protective eyewear at either eye care or sporting goods stores.