Eye Education

What does 20/20 vision mean?

20/20 vision is commonly accepted as the standard of normal distance vision. It means good visual acuity at 20 feet. If your vision is 20/20, you can read certain sizes of letters clearly at 20 feet or closer. If you have 20/15 vision, your visual acuity is better than 20/20: You can read the smaller letters at 20 feet away that someone with 20/20 vision can only read at 15 feet. Conversely, someone with 20/30 vision has worse distance vision than 20/20

What is the difference between an optometrist, an ophthalmologist and optician?

An optometrist is a doctor of optometry who examines patients in order to diagnose, treat, manage and prevent diseases and disorders of the eye and vision system and its related structures. An optometrist may also prescribe drugs for the treatment of eye conditions and provide, fit and adjust eyeglasses, contact lenses or subnormal vision devices for patients who require them.

An ophthalmologist is a physician who, upon graduation from medical school, undertakes several years of post-graduate training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye. As well as diagnosing and treating ocular disease either by medical or surgical means, ophthalmologists may offer oculo-visual assessment, which includes prescription for corrective lenses.

An optician provides, fits and adjusts eyeglasses, contact lenses or subnormal vision devices on the prescription of an optometrist or physician.

All three professions are governed by their respective Colleges under the authority of theRegulated Health Professions Act.

How often should I see my Optometrist?

Routine eye examinations are an effective aspect of preventive, primary health care. You or a member of your family can have a vision or eye health condition without being aware of it. Uncorrected, poor vision affects your ability to function and, therefore, your general health and well being. Eye disorders and disease often have no readily recognizable symptoms. Waiting for symptoms in order to initiate an eye examination can place you at unnecessary risk. Routine eye examinations are important in diagnosing and treating vision anomalies. At the same time, they can detect more serious eye disorders and diseases as well as symptoms of other potential medical problems. Early detection and diagnosis of these health concerns at the primary care level lessen the likelihood of long term, chronic disability.

Many factors will influence how often you should have your eyes examined, and only your optometrist, after analysis of your particular vision and health needs, can determine when your next visit should be.

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