Ophthalmologists – Specialist Who Provide Quality Eye and Vision Care

An Introduction to Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine that deals with diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases of the eye and visual system. It includes the eye, its surrounding structures, and the visual system. These can be affected by a number of clinical conditions and Ophthalmology involves diagnosing and treating such conditions, along with microsurgery. The doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the eye and the visual system is known as an Ophthalmologist. These specialists treat conditions such as Cataract, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Dry Eyes, Strabismus (misalignment/deviation of eyes), Proptosis (bulged eyes), Excessive tearing (tear duct obstruction), Uveitis, Eye Tumors, and Refractive Surgery.

Who is an Ophthalmologist?

An Ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the eye, in addition to diagnosing such diseases that manifest in eye signs or related symptoms. Ophthalmologists perform surgical procedures on eyes, therefore are considered to be both surgical and medical specialists. They also offer a comprehensive approach to ocular symptoms and disease. As well as diagnosing and treating ocular disease either medically or surgically. An Ophthalmologist is trained extensively in the full range of eye care, from vision testing and prescription glasses to complex, delicate eye surgeries.

When to See an Ophthalmologist?

Several factors determine how frequently you need to consult an Ophthalmologist, including your age, health, and risk of developing eye conditions.

  • For children of age 3 years and younger:
    Your pediatrician may likely look for the most common eye conditions such as lazy eye, crossed eyes, or misaligned eyes. If there are concerns or symptoms, an eye examination is appropriate.
  • For School-aged children and adolescents:
    Getting your child's vision checked before he/she enters the first grade. If your child has no symptoms of eye problems and no family history in this area, have his/her vision checked every one to two years. Otherwise, schedule an exam as per the advice of your eye doctor.
  • For Adults:
    In general, if you are healthy and have no symptoms of vision problems, have your eyes checked every 5-10 years in your 20s and 30s, every 2-4 years in your 40s and 50s, every 1-3 years in your late 50s and early 60s, and every 1-2 years after the age of 65.

Have your eyes checked more often if you:

  • Wear glasses or contact lenses
  • Have a family history of eye conditions or loss of vision
  • Have a chronic disease that puts you at high risk of having an eye disease, such as diabetes
  • Take medications that have serious eye side effects

Other Serious Concerns to Visit an Ophthalmologist :

  • Vision impairment requiring corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Astigmatism - This a condition that causes blurriness in the vision due to the shape of the cornea.
  • A blocked tear duct - Caused when there is a blockage of the system that carries tears away and causes excess tearing.
  • Lazy eye - A condition when the brain and eyes do not work together (common in children).
  • Strabismus - A condition when the eyes are not aligned properly (common in children).
  • Eye infection
  • Eye trauma
  • Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), a serious condition that damages the retina, making it difficult to see details.
  • Cataracts - A common condition that causes clouding of the lens due to age that affects vision.

Subspecialties

Subspecialties that deal either with certain diseases or diseases of the visual system include:

  • Anterior segment surgery
  • Cornea, ocular surface, and external disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Medical retina - It deals with the treatment of retinal problems through surgical and non-surgical means.
  • Vitreo-retinal surgery deals with the surgical management of retinal and posterior segment diseases. Medical retina and vitreoretinal surgery sometimes together called posterior segment subspecialization.
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Ocular oncology
  • Oculoplastics and Orbit surgery
  • Ophthalmic pathology
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
  • Refractive surgery
  • Uveal diseases

What are the Common Diseases Treated by an Ophthalmologist?

  • Cataract
  • Eye Tumors
  • Decreased Vision
  • Nystagmus
  • Optic Neuritis
  • Glaucoma
  • Orbital Fracture
  • Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
  • Keratitis
  • Chalazion
  • Retinitis
  • Corneal Abrasion, Laceration, Ulcer
  • Corneal Foreign Body
  • Keratoconus
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Dry Eye Disease (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca)
  • Pterygium
  • Red Eye
  • Retinal Detachment
  • Uveitis

What are the Common Procedures Done by an Ophthalmologist?

  • Phacoemulsification
  • Pterygium Surgery
  • Probing and Syringing of the lacrimal sac
  • Retinal detachment surgery
  • Small incision cataract surgery with Intraocular lens
  • Amniotic membrane grafting
  • Chalazion Excision
  • Corneal grafting
  • Enucleation
  • Evisceration

How Long is the Road to Becoming a Certified Ophthalmologist?

To begin their journey, the doctors have to spend five & a half years in graduation as M.B.B.S. from a medical college which is followed a post-graduation in Ophthalmology. Further, they can pursue fellowships of retina or cornea for specializing in these areas.

Dr. Rishab Sharma

Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.

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