What is a General Ophthalmologist?
General ophthalmologists are medical doctors of the eyes who provide a broad spectrum of eye care, from vision care (evaluating visual changes and prescribing glasses) to diagnosing and treating eye disease. Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists and opticians in their levels of training and in what they can diagnose and treat. As a medical doctor who has completed college and at least eight years of additional medical training, an ophthalmologist is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, performs eye surgery and prescribes and fits eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems. Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research on the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders. These physicians are able to treat a wide scope of patients with ocular problems and health concerns who range in age from children through elderly adults.
General ophthalmologists are often the first doctors to see patients for periodic medical eye exams as well as for specific visual or ocular complaints. They take care of a variety of conditions, such as diabetes, dry eyes, cataracts and glaucoma.
General ophthalmologists evaluate a broad range of symptoms such as blurry vision, poor night vision, transient loss of vision, loss of visual field, sudden loss of vision, difficulty with near vision, eye pain, red eyes, eye fatigue, fluctuating vision, itching or burning, crusts or discharge, excess tearing, double vision and itching or redness of the eyelids.
Patients are often referred to a general ophthalmologist by a family practice doctor, endocrinologist, neurologist, dermatologist, pediatrician or other medical specialist in the community.
General ophthalmologists perform comprehensive eye examinations and surgical evaluations. Usually a full eye exam begins with a refraction (checking whether vision can be improved with a new pair of glasses), checking eye pressure, checking ocular alignment and motility and examining the anterior structures of the eye with a specialized slit lamp bio-microscope. A comprehensive examination often includes dilation of the pupils so that the posterior structure of the eye, such as the retina and optic nerve, can be examined. When findings raise the suspicion for pathologic conditions, special testing may be performed to provide additional information.
At Associated Retina Consultants, our doctors provide general ophthalmology procedures and treatments for patients suffering from a number of conditions. If you are in need of ophthalmology services in Phoenix, contact us today at 602-242-4928 or website to schedule an appointment.