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7 things your ophthalmologist wants you to know

Here's what Dr Sanjiv Gupta wants every person to know about eye care!

Whether you have glasses or any eye-related problem, it is wise to consult an ophthalmologist regularly to get your eyes tested from time to time. This is because ignoring even a minute sign of eye infection or vision problem can lead to severe eye damage or even vision loss. Hence, everyone between the ages 10 to 60 should consult an ophthalmologist at least once every two years, says Dr Sanjiv Gupta, Additional Director, Department of Ophthalmology, Jaypee Hospital Noida. Here are a few things that everyone should keep in mind when it comes to eye care.

1. Never get spectacles prescribed from an optician: A common mistake that most people commit is to consult an optician, who usually performs computerised eye testing to check for vision abnormalities and then suggest vision correction glasses. But by doing so, you are doing more harm than good as an optician specialises in making lenses and eye-glasses and not in conducting a detailed eye examination. On the other hand, an ophthalmologist checks for vision problems right from measuring the eye pressure to examining the retina. Here s more on how you are harming your eyes by visiting an optician, and not an ophthalmologist.

2. Go for an eye check-up as advised: Kids with a refractive error should get an eye examination once a year and those who don t have any vision problems should get tested every three years till they turn 20. Between ages 20 40 years, a person should go for an eye check-up every two years. If you are above 40, then make sure you visit your ophthalmologist every six months and get your eye pressure checked. And if you are diabetic, then go for a check up once a year as you could be at a high risk of cataract, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.

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3. Do not miss your eye examinations: Many eye problems are silent, and by the time you notice symptoms, it is too late. So do not take your eye health lightly and go for regular eye check-ups. An easy way to check whether you have vision problems or not is to place your palm on the right eye and try reading, and repeat the same with the left one. If you find it difficult, consult an ophthalmologist. With a series of tests and eye examination, your doctor will diagnose the condition. And if needed, you might be recommended to a specialist like a retina specialist, squint specialist, cataract specialist, etc. depending upon the eye condition. Here s why should you visit an eye doctor regularly.

4. Follow your doctor s recommendations: Your opthalmologist will suggest lifestyle changes or medication based on the diagnosis of your eye health, so follow it. Failing to do so can land you in trouble. For example, people suffering from glaucoma have to take eye drops every day and for a long time, and if they fail to do so, it might lead to severe nerve damage and loss of vision.

5. Do not ignore any symptoms: Be it pain in the eyes or redness due to an infection, it is wise to consult a doctor. If you suffer from headache while reading or watching TV, then get yourself tested to rule out anything serious! Also, do not ignore symptoms like swelling in the eyes, itchy and red eyes and stinging in the eyes as they might indicate an underlying eye problem. Also, experiencing double vision, especially while driving in the night, is a key sign of a cataract. Hence, never ignore any symptom and consult your doctor immediately to know the exact cause of the symptom. Did you know that your eyes reveal a lot about your health? Read this!

6. Do proper research before opting for a LASIK surgery: As LASIK is the first thing that comes to the mind if you wear vision correction glasses, get your basics right before you go for the surgery. A person has to be above 18 years of age to undergo a LASIK surgery. Also, your vision number needs to be stable for at least a year to get a LASIK surgery done. With a detailed eye examination and tests like corneal thickness, corneal curvature and corneal topography, your doctor will decide whether you are fit for LASIK or not. Hence, not everyone with glasses can undergo LASIK for vision correction. Here are more expert tips to keep in mind before undergoing a LASIK surgery.

7. Avoid over the counter eye drops and home remedies: Last and the most important one, never use any home remedies to deal with eye problems. Whether it is as simple as redness of the eyes, which could be caused due to an allergic reaction or use of expired make-up products, stay away from using home remedies like cow s milk or honey to clear dust from the eyes. Another commonly used product to deal with stingy or red eyes is over the counter eye drops, which will do more harm than good, as in the long run it can lead to loss of vision. Read more on things you should NEVER put in your eyes.

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