Doctors of Optometry (O.D.s/optometrists) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye.
Optometric services in our office include:
Diagnosis and Treatment of Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. Over time the nerve is damaged and causes loss of peripheral vision. Most patients with glaucoma have no symptoms in the early stages and therefore it must be detected with a routine eye health examination. Early detection of glaucoma is key and in most cases can be well controlled with an eye drop. At every eye examination Dr. Padgett photographs the optic nerve and checks eye pressure to look for early signs of glaucoma.
Diabetic Eye Health Exams: Dilated retinal examinations play a critical role in the management of diabetes. Optometrists are able to view small blood vessels in the eye and give feedback to the primary care doctor regarding the patients level of control. Patients who have diabetes should been seen by their optometrist every six months at a minimum.
Management of Macular Degeneration: The macula is responsible for all of our central, detailed vision. Macular degeneration is causes central vision loss and distortion of the central vision. This condition is diagnosed and monitored with retinal photographs and OCT (optical coherence tomography) scans of the macula. Close monitoring of these patients is important to catch changes early and refer to a retina specialist when necessary.
Cataracts: Patients with cataracts most often have a gradual decline in visual acuity and clarity over time, but changes can also come on very rapidly. A dilated eye exam allows the optometrist to determine if you have a cataract and if so, how severe it is. Cataract surgery will be discussed and a referral made if necessary.
Dry Eye : Dry eye is typically associated with itching, burning, dryness, and excessive tearing. Age, occupation, medications, and environmental factors all play a role in the development of dry eye. Dry eye is a chronic inflammatory condition that often requires intervention with prescription eye drops and ointments.
Ocular Allergy: Many patients suffer from allergy symptoms including itching, burning, and tearing. Prescription medications are available through your optometrist to keep your eyes comfortable through the allergy season.