Ophthalmology at Summit Health diagnoses and treats diseases of the eye in people of all ages.
During an eye examination, your ophthalmologist will check for ophthalmology diseases such as glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye that leads to vision loss), macular degeneration (deterioration of the retina), and cataracts (clouding of the lens).
Eye Exam Guidelines
The American Academy of Ophthalmology notes that, by age 65, one in three Americans will have a vision-impairing eye disease. Signs of these diseases can begin in midlife, but people often have no symptoms. The earlier these diseases are found and treated, the better the chances of preserving good vision.
An eye exam involves a series of tests to evaluate your vision and check for eye diseases. Unless a problem is identified and more frequent visits are advised, below is a quick breakdown of recommendations for frequency of eye exams by age group:
Eye Exam Frequency
6 months to 20 years
Pediatricians should screen children regularly at wellness appointments and refer them to ophthalmology for any abnormalities.
In your 20’s
In your 30’s
One visit every five years
At age 40
One visit (comprehensive exam)
Between 40 and 65
One visit every two years
Age 65 and older
One visit annually
While the above guidelines are for those who have “excellent vision”, the frequency of ophthalmology examinations should also be determined by personal health and family history. Individuals with certain risk factors like diabetes or hypertension should have annual eye exams regardless of age.
Our Eye Care Specialists
Our eye care specialists are uniquely qualified to treat many common and uncommon eye conditions and diseases.
Ophthalmologist or Optometrist: Who Should I See?
Though both ophthalmologist and optometrists are eye care specialists who play an important role in the eye health of patients, there are differences between the two.
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. He or she has completed college, eight or more years of additional medical training, including medical school and residency, and is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. An ophthalmologist can diagnose and treat all eye diseases, perform eye surgery, and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Some ophthalmologists have more in-depth training (fellowship) in a specific area, which allows them to care for more complex conditions of the eye.
Optometrists hold a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree after completing at least three years of college followed by four years of optometry school. As eye care professionals, they are licensed to perform eye exams and vision tests, prescribe corrective lenses, and diagnose, treat, and manage certain eye conditions and diseases as well as vision changes.
Common Conditions Treated
Glaucoma, typically associated with elevated eye pressure, is a silent disease that can cause irreversible loss of vision. It is sometimes void of symptoms until visual damage is extensive.
Early detection and treatment of glaucoma is critical in attempting to prevent its progression and preserve existing vision. Your eye care professional can diagnose and treat this vision-threatening disease.
Cataracts are the most common cause of preventable blindness in the world. They are typically age related, but can also be associated with trauma, diabetes, smoking, and certain medications, among other things. They typically cause a gradual haziness of the vision and can directly interfere with the ability to work, enjoy hobbies, and can pose a safety issue for driving and walking. Cataracts can be diagnosed by your eye care professional and can be surgically addressed to restore vision.
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50. There is a higher risk of developing this disease in patients with a family history of macular degeneration, individuals who smoke, and people over the age of 50. There are two types of macular degeneration: dry and wet.
While there is no cure, early detection and monitoring are associated with improved visual prognosis.
Cataract surgery involves swapping out the cloudy natural lens of the eye, or cataract, with a clear artificial lens to improve vision.
This procedure involves replacing the natural cornea (which may have malfunctioned due to injury, infection, or other diseases) with a clear graft from a cadaver.
This procedure involves removing the excess skin of the eyelid for functional and/or cosmetic reasons.
Glaucoma surgery is necessary when drop therapy and/or laser treatment have failed to adequately lower intraocular pressure to a normal range.
This is an in-office procedure that is done to remove scar tissue that may develop after cataract surgery.
This is an in-office procedure that is used to treat acute angle-closure glaucoma. It can also be used as a preventative measure to help lower the risk of developing acute angle-closure.
This procedure involves re-shaping the cornea to improve the focus of light on the retina in an effort to minimize the need for, or eliminate, glasses.
This procedure involves the removal of a sun-damaged area of the eye. The area is then replaced with a graft in an effort to minimize recurrence.