If you have glasses or contacts, then you know that you need to go visit the optometrist every few years to have your prescription updated. What you might not know, however, is that when your optometrist is checking your vision, he is also checking for a number of different eye diseases that might be present. You should know a few of the eye problems that can be diagnosed by your optometrist.
The tears in your eyes are just for crying, they serve the important purpose of keeping your eyes lubricated and moist. If your eyes aren't producing tears properly, you will have a condition know as dry eyes. Dry eyes can also occur if your body is producing tears, but they are low-quality tears. That is, tears that are lacking the proper oils or mucin so that they evaporate too quickly or cannot spread across the eye properly. Dry eyes can cause itchiness, irritation, or a gritty feeling. Your eye doctor can diagnose you with dry eyes and give you eye drops to treat the problem.
Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of your eye. Cataracts can obstruct vision, or they can be located in a place where they do not disrupt vision at all. Your eye's lens helps to focus the light to the retina, and if you have a cataract, the lens of your eye cannot focus the light properly which results in vision problems. Although you might not be able to see the cataract in your field of vision, you might notice that the intensity of colors are reduced, increased sensitivity to light, or problems with your night vision. Your optometrist will be able to detect and diagnose a cataract and refer you to surgery to have the problem corrected.
Your eyes work together in conjunction to give you a smooth visual field and to help you see everything clearly and sharply. When your eyes aren't working in coordination, it can be difficult to see the three-dimensional objects in your day-to-day life clearly. Some of the symptoms of poor eye coordination can include dizziness, double vision, fatigue and headaches. Poor eye coordination is caused by weak muscles in either of the eyes. If your eye doctor notices that you have poor eye coordination, he will recommend vision therapy and special eyeglasses to help your eyes recover.
If your optometrist has noticed abnormalities in your eye, he or she will be able to step you through treatment.