Optometry Questions in Norfolk, VA

What is an optometrist?

Doctors of optometry are independent primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures, as well as related systemic conditions. Optometrists examine the internal and external structure of the eyes to diagnose eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disorders; systemic diseases like hypertension and diabetes; and vision conditions like myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia. Optometrists run tests to determine the patient's ability to focus and coordinate the eyes, and to judge depth and see colors accurately. They prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, vision therapy and medicines to treat eye diseases.

As primary eye care providers, optometrists are an integral part of the health care team and an entry point into the health care system. They are skilled in the co-management of care that affects the eye health and vision of their patients and an excellent source of referrals to other health care professionals.

When should I get my eyes examined and how often?

Many people take their vision for granted and only get their eyes examined when their vision gets blurry. In fact, a complete eye exam is recommended on a routine basis as part of your regular health checkups to help ensure a lifetime of healthy vision. This is because many eye conditions and diseases have no symptoms in the early stages when they are most effectively treated.

If you are a generally healthy adult between the ages of 18 and 40, have no symptoms of vision problems, and have low risk of eye disease, then an eye examination is recommended every one to two years. After the age of 40, yearly exams are recommended.

If you are an adult at risk of eye disease because of family history, have a diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes or other medical conditions that can affect the eye health, you should be examined as recommended by your eye doctor.

Who can wear contact lenses?

Virtually everyone! With new advanced technologies, we are able to fit most people with contact lenses, even those with astigmatism and/or bifocals. Dry eyes used to be a major problem for many people who wore contacts, causing discomfort and a greater risk of serious eye infections that could threaten vision. However, with new materials that stay moist longer and other advancements that let more oxygen to the cornea, as well as new dry eye treatments, we are able to fit a majority of our patients successfully.

Regardless of these new contact lens technologies, it is important to understand that all contact lens wearers are at a greater risk of infection and sight-threatening conditions than non-contact lens wearers. For this reason, all contact lenses must be properly fit, evaluated and monitored by your eye doctor on a regular basis in order to reduce these risks and maintain healthy vision.

Does your office provide LASIK services?

Yes we do. Drs. DeVito and Martin are fully trained to help you decide if you are a good candidate for laser vision correction. If you decide to have your vision corrected with surgery, our office is equipped to provide all of your preoperative and postoperative care. Although our doctors are not surgeons, we are affiliated and work closely with the most experienced and respected refractive surgeons in Hampton Roads in order to provide you with the best possible outcome.

What is Clear Lens Extraction?

Clear Lens Extraction is a new technologically advanced refractive correction procedure. Think of it as cataract surgery before you get a cataract. With new advanced lens technology, our surgeons insert multifocal lens implants where the natural lens was removed and provide vision that mimics the eye's natural ability to change focus. Multifocal IOLs provide a much greater range of vision from distance to intermediate and near vision needs, virtually eliminating the need for glasses.

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