What is the Specialty of Ophthalmology?
Ophthalmology is a specialty in healthcare that focuses primarily on the ocular structures and the bony area around the eye which is called the orbit. This specialty focuses on the treatments of eye diseases and disorders.
An ophthalmologist is a physician that specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of ocular disorders, can diagnose and treat diseases, and can prescribe glasses or contact lenses to correct vision. American Academy of Ophthalmology
After the physician has attended medical school, they then receive specialized training in residency that focuses solely on medical and surgical treatment of the eye. Treatment of ocular diseases may include medications, laser therapy treatment, and possibly surgery.
The eye is made up of many different structures within the different layers including the cornea, the lens, the retina, and the optic nerve. In addition to these structures there are also many other structures including but not limited too the orbit and outer structures of the eye. There are numerous diseases that may occur within the eye or affect the outer structures of the eye including blurred vision, dry eye disease, cataracts, Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, corneal ulcers, diabetic retinopathy, and tearing along with many other diseases that may occur.
During a routine eye exam, the physician will want your visual acuity assessed followed by a refraction to ensure the corrective lenses that are worn are the correct prescription. The physician will also perform an intraocular pressure measurement to evaluate one of the symptoms of glaucoma, slit lamp examination, and possibly a dilated exam to assess the fundus which includes the structures at the back of the eye including the retina, macula, and optic nerve. Other diagnostic testing the physician may want performed may include visual fields to assess one’s peripheral vision, optical coherence tomography to assess the layers in the back of the eye, fluorescein angiography to evaluate the circulation of the retina and choroid, and ultrasonography which uses sound waves with higher pitched frequencies to evaluate internal structures. Wikipedia
As there are so many different structures that make up the eye, there are many physicians that specialize in a subspecialty of ophthalmology and focus solely on the medical and surgical treatment of one structure of the eye and the diseases that may occur within that structure. Some of the subspecialties include cornea specialists that focus on the outer, external structures of the eye, vitreo-retinal specialists that focus on the retina and structures of the back of the eye, glaucoma specialists, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, and many other subspecialties. There are numerous physicians of ophthalmology Austin, Tx that can treat the many different eye disorders.
Eye diseases and disorders are very common, but many can be treated medically or surgically so that the patient can go on and live a healthy, normal life with the correct vision. If you need ophthalmic treatment, there are numerous ophthalmologists that will be able to evaluate the symptoms and determine an accurate diagnosis. If they are unable to treat the disease, then the physician will be able to refer the patient to one of their colleagues that works in that specific subspecialty for the proper treatment.