Annual Eye Exams… Who should I see?

Who should I see to get my annual eye examination, an ophthalmologist or an optometrist?

An ophthalmologist is an Eye M.D., either a medical doctor or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.). Eye M.D.s have finished at least four years of college, at least four years of medical school, and at least four years of additional postgraduate training after medical school. An optometrist has had college education and then an O.D. (doctor of optometry) degree granted after four years of study in an optometry college, but an optometrist has not attended a medical school nor has he or she received postgraduate medical training. (Be careful not to confuse the D.O. and O.D. degrees.) If you have no visual complaints and are in good general health, either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist could be a good choice. If you have medical problems, or if you are at risk for, suspect or have been told that you have an eye disease, examination by an ophthalmologist may be a better choice.

This article reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart™ campaign (www.geteyesmart.org).

EyeSmart, EyeCommitted

EyeSmart, EyeCommitted: Promoting the Importance of an Annual Diabetic Eye Exam


More than 24 million Americans have diabetes and the number is growing, but only half of them get an annual dilated eye exam. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults, but 90 percent of vision loss can be prevented. November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding the public that an annual dilated eye exam can help prevent vision loss in people with diabetes.

To promote awareness of the need for an annual diabetic eye exam, the Academy has launched EyeSmart EyeCommitted to encourage people to support the importance of an annual diabetic eye exam. The campaign, which is being promoted through social media channels, encourages people to pledge their support for the campaign. In addition, EyeSmart EyeCommitted will:

• Allow users to share the pledge and campaign information with friends and family;
• Feature important diabetic eye disease information and a new video that tells the compelling stories of two patients with diabetic retinopathy;
• Allow users to post the application onto their preferred social media sites; and,
• Allow users to post a digital “badge” to their social media pages telling friends that they are supporting the campaign.

For each pledge, the Academy will commit another $1 to its diabetic eye health education efforts.
Take the EyeSmart EyeCommitted pledge! Visit the campaign Web page and show your support for the importance of an annual diabetic eye exam.
You can also learn more about diabetes and your eyes at the EyeSmart Web site, which has new, in-depth information about diabetic eye disease.
This article reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart™ campaign (www.geteyesmart.org).

Did you Know? (Dec 2009)

If your child’s pediatrician says that his/her “eyes are out of line” this means the physician sees a misalignment of the child’s eyes. If this is true the eyes will not be working together. This problem is called strabismus. Most often the cause is unknown but sometimes it can be controlled with glasses or treatment of reduced vision in one of the eyes with patching or eye drops. Your child should be seen for a complete eye examination by a pediatric ophthalmologist as soon as it can be performed.
This article reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart™ campaign (www.geteyesmart.org).