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Seeing Better: Your First Visit to the Ophthalmologist

Good eyesight and healthy eyes are an integral part of your overall health. Because human eyes are very delicate, it can be easy to suffer a work-related injury to your eyes that can lead to serious consequences including loss of sight or loss of the entire eye. Many eye injuries can occur due to flying debris from working a variety of jobs including construction, manufacturing, auto mechanics, or even general outdoor work. Things flying in the eyes can cause rips, scratches, tears, or more severe damage to the internal parts of the eye which may necessitate a referral to an ophthalmologist.

An ophthalmologist is a licensed medical provider who is dedicated to diagnosing and treated health conditions of the eye. Your state medical board can provide information on selecting the right ophthalmologist who has the credentials to care for your injuries or eye-related illness. Your physician or an optometrist can recommend someone to you through their referral.

You'll need to bring your referral to your first appointment with the ophthalmologist. If you already wear glasses, contact lenses, or take medications you should bring all of that to your first appointment. You'll need to answer a medical questionnaire about your health history and family eye health history including history of glaucoma, disease, sight loss, and macular degeneration. If your insurance covers vision care, you should bring along your insurance card.

After the paperwork is complete, you'll visit with the ophthalmologist for a complete examination of the eyes. The ophthalmologist will perform a series of tests that will help them determine the overall health of the eye and the patient's vision. Depending on your eye health history and your current medical issues, additional testing or treatments may be necessary in the office.

Follow up for regular eye care is usually every year but for treatment of specific diseases or eye injuries, more regular visits to the ophthalmologist may be necessary. Many conditions can be treated with medications and eye drops but some severe injuries can require surgery and rehabilitation.

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