Is Eye Care Important At My Age?
Investing In Your Most Valuable Sense—Your Sight
Your vision is one of your most important senses. And when you live in a beautiful coastal community such as southeastern North Carolina, it’s hard to imagine not being able to see the stunning sites all around you. But great vision rarely happens by chance. At Wilmington Eye, we’re serious about helping you achieve healthy vision. We offer comprehensive vision care to adult patients—including routine eye exams, glaucoma screenings, comprehensive vision checks, contact lens fittings, and more—to ensure that you have exceptional vision at every stage of your life.
When To See An Optometrist?
Routine Eye Care
Routine eye exams are an essential part of your preventative eye care, whether you have been wearing glasses and contacts your whole life or feel that your vision is perfectly fine. At Wilmington Eye, we believe that patients who understand the health of their vision are more empowered and have higher rates of overall wellness. During your routine eye exam, your optometrist will check your vision to ensure your current prescription is up to date and that there are no other changes to your vision. Your optometrist will not only evaluate how your vision functions today, but they’ll also determine if you are at risk of any ocular diseases that can negatively affect your vision in the future.
It’s recommended that healthy adults under the age of 50 (regardless of their need for corrective lenses) have a comprehensive eye exam at least every 2 or 3 years. If you’ve never seen an optometrist for a comprehensive vision check, we highly recommend starting this healthy vision routine now.
There are, however, instances when every 2 to 3 years is not frequent enough. It’s recommended by the CDC that people with diabetes have an eye exam each year to prevent diabetes from negatively impacting their vision. African Americans over the age of 40, all adults over the age of 60, especially Hispanics, and people with a family history of glaucoma should also be seen by their eye doctor once a year for an annual eye exam. These groups are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Whatever your age or ethnicity, it’s important to get reassurance from an experienced optometrist.
When to Have a Routine Eye Exam
- Every year to ensure your glasses or contacts prescription is accurate
- When you decide you want to wear contact lenses for the first time
- To have your routine or wellness eye exam
Medical Eye Exam
We understand how important healthy vision is to your everyday life. When you have been diagnosed with an ocular disease, have irregularities in your routine eye exam, or experience a sudden change in your vision, a medical eye exam is essential to identify, evaluate eye and manage eye conditions.
Many ocular diseases, like glaucoma and macular degeneration, do not immediately affect your vision or show any symptoms, making it easy for them to go unnoticed. According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 93 million adults in the US are at high risk for vision loss but only half have visited the eye doctor in the past year. During your medical eye exam, your doctor will conduct several diagnostic tests to determine if any ocular diseases are present and get to the root of your vision complaint or problem.
When to Have a Medical Eye Exam
- If you have a specific complaint about your vision or eyes
- If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal detachment or any ocular diseases
- If you experience a sudden change in your vision or are having an eye emergency
- If a vision problem or vision complaint is discovered during your Routine Eye Exam
Changes To Your Vision
Our vision changes as we age, just like the rest of our bodies. These changes to your vision can result in a less-than-optimal view of the world. If you experience a change in your vision—no matter how minor—it’s important to schedule an exam with your eye doctor.
One of the most common changes to your vision happens when small, up close objects and fine print become difficult to see. This common age-related refractive error, called presbyopia, occurs in our mid- to early-40s when we begin to lose the ability to see objects up-close. Your optometrists will identify the severity of presbyopia and prescribe glasses or contact lenses to improve your vision.
Another common change to our vision as we get older is our ability to drive at night. The glares from headlights and illuminated road signs can become extremely bright and distracting. This may be a sign of cataracts, which your optometrist can diagnose and refer you to one of our cataract surgeons.
Post-Operative Care for Vision Surgery
Sometimes, surgery may be required to improve your vision. Whether that surgery is elective—like LASIK or PRK—or medically necessary to correct vision loss due to cataracts or glaucoma, your optometrist can identify when vision surgery is required, work with your ophthalmic surgeon to develop a treatment plan, and handle all post-operative care once your surgery is complete. Post-operative care is extremely important to your overall vision to ensure that all surgical outcomes have been achieved and that your vision has improved. A Wilmington Eye optometrist offers post-operative care for vision correction procedures, cataract surgery, blepharoplasty surgery, strabismus, and more.
Our team of extensively trained optometrists is here to provide the highest standard of comprehensive vision care, ensuring you have healthy vision at every stage of your life. Whether you are looking for preventative eye care or are experiencing a problem with your vision, our team can assist.
What to Expect During an Eye Exam
Our team of doctors and medical professionals work hard to offer the very best patient experience each time you visit our office. To streamline your exam and minimize any downtime, please review what to expect during your next eye exam.
- Patient Check-In: Arrive 15 minutes early to your appointment to check in and complete any necessary paperwork. Have your current insurance cards, a list of medications, and your current glasses or contact lenses.
- Review Your Medical History: A technician will take you back to an exam room to review your medical history. For some patients, this step in the exam process may take place a few days prior to your exam date via telephone with one of our ophthalmic technicians.
- Intraocular Pressure Check: Your technician will check your intraocular pressure, an important metric to determine the health of your eyes and for patients diagnosed with glaucoma or patients at risk of developing glaucoma.
- Dilation: If dilation is required for your eye exam, your technician will administer dilation drops. These drops take approximately 30 minutes to fully dilate your eyes. Oftentimes, you will be taken to a dimly lit waiting room as dilation causes sensitivity to bright lights.
- Special Testing: Any special testing required by your eye doctor will be done at this time. Special testing can include retinal scans, visual field testing, and more.
- One-on-One With Your Eye Doctor: Your optometrist will conduct a visual exam, review any test results with you, answer questions regarding your vision and discuss any concerns or changes to your vision. If a treatment plan is deemed necessary, your eye doctor will discuss this with you at this time.
- Patient Check-Out: Once your appointment has concluded, you will need to check out. During this time, you will be able to schedule your next exam, purchase any over-the-counter products such as artificial tears or cosmetic products from Obagi.
- Optical Shop: If a new prescription has been created for you or if you are simply in need of new glasses, you can stop by our full-service optical shop to review our selection of frames and get your prescription filled. We also sell sunglasses and children’s frames.
- Review Request: After leaving our facility, you will receive a review request from Wilmington Eye. Your feedback provides important information that allows us to continue to improve the patient experience.