It all started in 1986, with Dr. G. Burt Holmes, the former president of the American Optometric Association (AOA).
It was at this time that Dr. Holmes took ownership of the International Optometry and Optical League (IOOL), and made it the organization’s mission to improve the standards of vision care around the world.
Since then, optometry and eye care professionals have been celebrated every year on the 23rd of March. The day is meant to spread awareness about the importance of optometry and recognize what the practice provides to people worldwide.
World Optometry Day is the perfect time to evaluate your eye health, determine if you need to see your eye doctor and to schedule an appointment for an exam.
Optometrists provide exams that evaluate your visual acuity (clarity of vision) and screen for eye diseases. Routine eye exams are vital — not only to keep your vision sharp but to identify problems that may require special treatment as well.
An optometrist examines eyes, diagnoses conditions, and provides vision care for adults and children. It’s especially important for children to see an optometrist as their vision develops throughout childhood.
If you or your child have a problem related to your vision, an optometrist can help you manage it and monitor symptoms. They can also refer you to a specialist if you are diagnosed with a serious or chronic condition.
You should see your eye doctor once a year.
Of course, if you aren't due for an annual eye exam, but you’ve noticed changes in your vision, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. While some vision changes come with age, other changes can be a sign of an eye condition that needs treatment.
Changes in vision that should be evaluated include:
Optometrists can diagnose and treat conditions based on the symptoms listed above. In some cases, you may need to update your vision prescription. Other circumstances may require additional care and monitoring.
An optometrist can also help guide you when it comes to choosing a new pair of glasses, how to best care for your contact lenses, and any other concerns you may have about your vision.
Did you know? Optometrists and ophthalmologists are not the same!
Optometrists examine, diagnose, and treat eye conditions. This includes things like eye exams, routine vision care, and preparing eyeglasses and contact prescriptions.
Ophthalmologists can do each of these as well, but they are also qualified to perform surgeries and treat serious eye diseases. Ophthalmologists provide advanced care for cataracts, glaucoma, laser eye surgery, and more.
Whether you’re coming up on your annual eye exam or have an issue with your vision, don’t hesitate to contact your optometrist’s office. An evaluation is the best way to address both mild and serious concerns.
It could also be time for a new pair of glasses or an update on your contact lens prescription. (Be sure to get a copy of your eyeglass prescription from your doctor so you can shop around for new prescription frames when the time comes!)
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