WHAT IS OPHTHALMOLOGY?
Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye.
All evaluations that purport to diagnose eye disease should be carried out by a physician.
An ophthalmologist is a doctor of medicine who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the eye, in addition to diagnosing systemic disease that manifest in eye signs or symptoms.Since ophthalmologists perform operations on eyes, they are considered to be both surgical and medical specialists.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE AN OPHTHALMOLOGIST?
It is important to treat our eyes with care throughout our lives. Ignoring changes in vision or skipping eye examinations puts our most precious faculty at risk.
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) recommends that adults see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of vision or decreased vision in one or both eyes
- Changes in vision such as sudden spots, flashes of light, lightning streaks or jagged lines of light, wavy or watery vision, blurry faces, distortions or wavy lines, haloes around lights, double vision
- Changes in the field of vision such as shadows, curtain-like loss of vision, black spots or blurriness in central or peripheral (side) vision
- Physical changes to the eye such as crossed eyes, eyes that turn in, out, up or down, pain, signs of infection (redness, swelling, discharge, etc.)
- Changes in colour vision
CONDITIONS, DISORDERS & TREATMENTS
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) advocates for optimal eye care for all Canadians, including raising awareness of common eye conditions, disorders and treatments. Please check out the following links to learn more about:
Glaucoma – a disease of the optic nerve, related to excess pressure inside the eye
Cataract – a disease where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy enough to obstruct vision
Retinal Diseases – diseases of the retina, the layer of nerve cells lining the back of the eye to sense light and create impulses to the brain where they are recognized as an image
Corneal Diseases – diseases affecting the cornea, the clear front window of the eye that covers the iris (the colored part of the eye) and the round pupil
Eyelid Disorders – disorders and conditions related to the eyelid and even the eyelashes
Neuroophthalmology – conditions caused by brain or systemic abnormalities that cause visual disturbances
Pediatric Eye Conditions – eye issues that typically emerge in childhood or adolescence, including ‘lazy eye’ or crossed eyes