As you get older, it is particularly important to have comprehensive eye care. Who better to provide that care than a local ophthalmologist from Elmquist Eye Group? You are used to seeing your regular eye doctor once per year for an annual vision exam, but now you might need different eye care. Let’s explore why you might need a local ophthalmologist.

Do I need an ophthalmologist?

Local OphthalmologistsAn ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who is trained to diagnose and treat age-related eye conditions like macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, or eye diseases that result from other conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. Ophthalmologists are also surgeons who remove cataracts, repair eyelids (blepharoplasty) and treat glaucoma.

Our Elmquist ophthalmologists are highly trained physicians. They first attend a four-year medical school, then do additional training as interns and medical residents. Many doctors like ours also obtain an additional one to two-year fellowship in a specialty area like glaucoma or corneal surgery, and then spend years of continuing medical education – all of which allows them to expertly diagnose and treat a wide range of eye conditions. The experience, expertise and knowledge of our Elmquist ophthalmologists means that we see many patients with more complex eye conditions.

You have likely seen an optometrist for your annual eye exams. Optometrists are doctors who have a doctor of optometry degree instead of a medical degree. Some optometrists complete additional clinical training after completing the standard four-year program. You need both doctors for different reasons and at different stages of life.

When should I see an ophthalmologist?

As you age, you will likely need to see an ophthalmologist, particularly if you have diabetes or another chronic disease, have a family history of eye diseases, or have an eye injury. Our doctors will gladly coordinate care with your primary care physician to better manage any conditions you have.

Prior to age 40, people generally have healthy eyes, but still need an annual eye exam to check vision and make corrections if needed. The following symptoms may indicate an eye problem, so be sure to take notice and visit our local ophthalmologist if you experience:

  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Eye pain
  • Light flashes
  • Seeing spots, “floaters” or dark spots
  • Seeing wavy or distorted lines
  • Itchy, burning or dry eyes

Most eye diseases that are age-related occur between the ages of 40 and 65, therefore seeing a local ophthalmologist during this phase of life is a smart idea. Remember that early detection is key, so we recommend an eye exam at least every two years. Some people are genetically predisposed to having eye problems, such as the African American population, so we recommend more frequent comprehensive eye exams each year.

After age 65, age-related eye issues like macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma can become an issue, so if you are experiencing floaters, light flashes, halos, or have eye pain or double vision, definitely give us a call at Elmquist Eye Group in Fort Myers or Cape Coral. Come see one of our local ophthalmologists today.