Most people don’t like the idea of getting their eyes examined. It is hard to know why exactly but it is probably the idea of a stranger gazing intently into the window of your soul that makes people uncomfortable. Those ophthalmologists and optometrists really do get up close and personal – perhaps disconcertingly so. But the truth is that it is very important to make regular visits to the eye doctor. You might think that everything is fine, and you might be right. But imagine there was something sinister going on behind the scenes that could have been reversed if caught early… Sometimes your health is too important to play around with. In case you were wondering, here are five things you probably never knew about eye clinics.
One man making a difference
Such is the importance of eye doctors and clinics that one famous Australian, Dr. Fred Hollows is reported to have helped regain the eyesight of more than a million people globally. This was not all done by Dr. Hollows himself but by his foundation and partnerships that he built and forged during his career as an ophthalmologist. The point is clear though there are clear benefits to be had from visiting such a doctor. If you don’t know where to find one, a simple Google search for a phrase like ‘eye clinic St Kilda’ or a similar location near to you, should be more than good enough to do the trick.
An ophthalmologist is not the same as an optometrist
This is important to know. To be an ophthalmologist you need to first study medicine – which is a pretty onerous undertaking in its own right. Thereafter you need to specialise even further which again is very tricky. So, in the same way, that a cardiologist is a doctor who has specialised in hearts, so an ophthalmologist is a doctor who has specialised on eyes. An optometrist is also an eye expert, but they are not a doctor. Their brief is to test eyes, diagnose certain issues and prescribe spectacles or lenses. They do not perform surgery or prescribe medicines.
Diseases of the eye
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with the eyes. It is not just about needing spectacles or treating pink eye. Other conditions that need to be guarded against include Cataracts, Glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, dry eyes, strabismus (which is the misalignment of the eyes), proptosis (also known as bulgy eyes), excessive tearing or duct obstruction, uveitis, and eye tumours. This is just a sample of some of the common conditions that are encountered by the clinic on a daily basis – the list can be a lot longer and more complicated.
Talk to your doctor or optometrist about donating your corneas once you are dead. Organ donation is a serious thing and it has the ability to change a person’s life massively. And the donation is not just about the heart, lungs and kidneys; it can also apply to the eyes. Harvested corneas can be used to give a recipient the gift of the site – you certainly won’t need your eyes once you are dead so ask about how you can make sure they are donated should the tragic event arise.