Ophthalmologist training: Ophthalmologist – Training, Education & Subspecialties
Ophthalmologist – Training, Education & Subspecialties
These eye doctors do much more than give vision tests and prescribe glasses or contacts.
An ophthalmologist, also called an eye MD, is a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care.
Ophthalmologists are trained to provide a wide range of eye care, from fitting glasses and contact lenses to diagnosing eye diseases and performing eye surgeries.
Many ophthalmologists also perform scientific research on the causes of, and cures for, vision problems and eye diseases.
Ophthalmologist Training and Education
After receiving a bachelor’s degree, aspiring ophthalmologists must complete four years of medical school and one year of an internship.
Then they must spend at least three years as a resident in a hospital setting, receiving training in all aspects of eye care.
This includes prevention, diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions and diseases.
Some — but not all — ophthalmologists go on to become board certified.
Board certification involves passing a two-part examination given by the American Board of Ophthalmology, which assesses the ophthalmologist’s knowledge, experience, and skills.
Some ophthalmologists choose to seek out additional training (usually for one or two years) to work in a subspecialty, such as:
Cornea and external disease: Treating the visible parts of the eye, as well as the eyelids.
Glaucoma: Treating glaucoma and other disorders that may cause optic nerve damage.
Neuro-ophthalmology: Focuses on the optic nerves, visual pathways, and the relationship between neurologic and ophthalmic diseases.
Ophthalmic pathology: Focuses on diagnosing eye conditions based on tissue specimens from the eye and its adjoining structures.
Ophthalmic plastic surgery: Focuses on facial plastic surgery, eyelid surgery, orbital (eye socket) surgery, and lacrimal (tear duct) surgery.
Pediatric ophthalmology: Treating a wide range of genetic, developmental, inflammatory, traumatic, and other eye conditions in children.
Vitreoretinal diseases: Focuses on surgery to treat diseases that affect the retina and vitreous (interior of the eye).
Ophthalmologist vs Optometrist vs Optician
While ophthalmologists are medical doctors, optometrists are not.
Optometrists complete three or four years of college, then four years of optometry school to receive a doctor of optometry (OD) degree.
This means they are licensed to practice optometry, which includes:
- Performing eye exams and vision tests
- Prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses
- Detecting some eye abnormalities
- Prescribing medications for some eye diseases
Opticians, on the other hand, are technicians trained to design, verify, and fit glasses lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight.
Opticians do not test, diagnose, or treat eye diseases. They fulfill prescriptions for visual correction devices, which are given by ophthalmologists and optometrists.
Ophthalmologists are physicians specializing in the comprehensive medical and surgical care of the eyes and vision. Ophthalmologists are the only practitioners medically trained to diagnose and treat all eye and visual problems including vision services (glasses and contacts) and provide treatment and prevention of medical disorders of the eye including surgery. The requirements to become an ophthalmologist in the United States are the completion of four years of college, four years of medical school, and four to five years of additional specialized training.
The length of training in ophthalmology must be at least 36 calendar months, including appropriate short periods for vacation, special assignments, or exceptional individual circumstances approved by the program director. Any program that extends the length of training beyond 36 calendar months must present an educational rationale that is consonant with the program requirements and the objectives for residency training. Approval for the extended curriculum must be obtained prior to implementation and at each subsequent review. Prior to entry in the program, each resident must be notified in writing of the required curriculum length.
For further information, visit the American Board of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
The description of this surgical specialty was adapted from a description set forth by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
Ophthalmology as a Career
Ophthalmology is an exciting surgical specialty that encompasses many different subspecialties, including: strabismus/pediatric ophthalmology, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, retina/uveitis, anterior segment/cornea, oculoplastics/orbit, and ocular oncology.
To become a general ophthalmologist, the specialty requires four years of postgraduate specialty training after the completion of a medical degree (MD). This requirement includes a three-year residency in ophthalmology (eye surgery) in an approved surgical residency program, following at least a one-year internship. An ophthalmology residency involves training in the fundamentals of all the above subspecialty fields of ophthalmology. This training period prepares you for a thriving practice (academic or private) with surgical cases that involve fascinating and challenging microsurgery. Ophthalmic surgery requires exquisite hand-eye coordination and surgical skill. As ophthalmologists, one routinely uses sutures that can’t easily be visualized with the unaided eye.
Cataract surgery and basic glaucoma surgery are two of the more common procedures an ophthalmologist routinely performs that requires such skill. However, one can further subspecialize after finishing an ophthalmology residency. This requires one to two years of additional training. Ophthalmic subspecialty fellowship programs are listed below.
Strabismus/pediatric ophthalmology deals with eye diseases in children, involving all intraocular surgery as well as strabismus (crossed eyes) surgery, which incorporate detailed eye muscle surgery [one-year fellowship].
Glaucoma is an area of ophthalmology that focuses on medical and surgical treatment of diseases that result in optic nerve damage and visual field loss [one-year fellowship].
Neuro-ophthalmology deals with the eye as it relates to neurological disease. It is a complex and intricate subspecialty that requires knowledge of the visual pathways, eye-movement patterns, optic nerve disease, and systemic neurological diseases with visual manifestations [one year fellowship].
Retina/uveitis concentrates on diseases, often systemic or inflammatory, involving the retina and vitreous (posterior aspect of the eye). This includes surgical and laser treatment of diseases such as retinal detachments, diabetic retinopathy, and others. It also requires proficiency of challenging microsurgical techniques [generally two-year fellowship].
In addition to routine cataract surgery, cornea/anterior segment specialists are skilled in corneal transplantation and one of the most exciting areas of medicine, refractive eye surgery (vision correction) [generally one-two years].
A final subspecialty field of ophthalmology is ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery. This fellowship encompasses aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face, orbit, eyelids, and lacrimal system. This includes learning techniques to remove tumors in the orbit, and on the surface of the eye, such as conjunctival melanoma, as well as repairing bony fractures of the periorbital area and face [two years].
Ophthalmology is a broad surgical specialty, with avenues for further detailed subspecialty practice. This surgical field allows you to care for patients of all ages, treat and identify systemic diseases, and perform some of the most challenging of surgical procedures ranging from microsurgery around and inside the eye to facial surgery involving reconstructive and aesthetic surgery.
Kristen J. Tarbet, MD, Associate Fellow
Ophthalmologist Education and Training
An ophthalmologist is a medical physician who has undertaken a specialization in the structure, function and health of the eye. This training allows them to perform complex microsurgery in the treatment of eye diseases. The essential steps involved in the education and training required to become an ophthalmologist are outlined below. Although there are some differences depending on the country of practice, the general training requirements are similar worldwide.
A Career in Ophthalmology with The Eye Institute (JTJS92014)Play
The first step to becoming an ophthalmologist is to complete medical school. This typically involves at least five years of study, with a science-based bachelor’s degree followed by a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program.
The bachelor’s degree includes a 4-year degree program that is designed to give students an overall picture of the practice of medicine. A wide range of topics is studied, from anatomy to pathophysiology and neurobiology. Students are also given practical experience through the scheduled clinical rotations that are a core part of the program curriculum.
If students already have a particular interest in ophthalmology at this early stage in their studies, they may choose to take more specialized classes that focus on the field of ophthalmology in the second half of the degree.
After successful completion of an M.D. program, students are required to complete a one-year internship and then a three-year residency program. This helps them to put their theoretical knowledge to use, and gain experience, by working with patients.
Specialization in Ophthalmology
Following certified registration as a medical doctor, a physician may choose to undertake further study in a specialized field such as ophthalmology.
In the United States, this is obtained by studying an advanced scientific degree such as a Doctor of Philosophy in Ophthalmology. Prerequisite requirements for acceptance into such a program include successful completion of a Doctor of Medicine and medical residency. The program typically lasts for four years and involves the completion of a thesis on a chosen topic within the field of ophthalmology.
The American Board of Ophthalmology is responsible for the certification and regulation of ophthalmologist in the United States. Similar boards hold the same responsibility in other regions of the world.
In order to become certified through the board, the ophthalmologist must have completed an M.D. program, 1-year internship, 3-year residency program and successful completion of both a written and oral exam given by the board.
However, it is essential that ophthalmologists continue to study and improve their understanding of the field throughout their career to provide the best care to their patients. This is particularly important due to the intensive use of technology in ophthalmologic management, which is constantly evolving and improving. For this reason, evidence of continued profession development (CDP) is required annually for ophthalmologists to retain their registration and continue to practice.
The career prospects for ophthalmologist are quite appealing, with the majority of specialists earning between $101,244 and $335,876 per year in 2014. Employment opportunities are also expected to rise in coming years due to the aging population in Western countries. It is also possible, however, that advancements in technology which appear to be helping to meet the demand may reduce future job growth.
Ophthalmology Residency Program | Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology
The Harvard Ophthalmology Residency Program, directed by Alice Lorch, MD, MPH, is one of the premier ophthalmology training programs in the country, offering broad clinical and surgical experience, first-rate mentoring, and unparalleled research opportunities. Learn more about our program below or apply today.
Take a Virtual Tour
Ophthalmology resident Dr. Inês Laíns provides an inside look at the Harvard Ophthalmology Residency Training Program, including the state-of-the-art clinical and educational facilities at Mass Eye and Ear.
Guaranteed Transitional Year Internship
Starting in July 2021, the Harvard Ophthalmology Residency Training Program will be a four year integrated residency program, requiring only one application, through the SFMatch. There is no internship application necessary through ERAS for our program. Applicants who match with us will be guaranteed and required to fill a place in the Newton-Wellesley Transitional Year Internship Program. As part of that Transitional PGY-1 year, residents will rotate at Mass. Eye and Ear for three months. The Newton-Wellesley Transitional Year Internship Program is known to be collegial and welcoming, while still academically rigorous. It offers training both in medicine and surgery.
Take a virtual tour of the Newton-Wellesley Transitional Year Internship Program
Gain Experience at Eight World-Class Teaching Hospitals
You’ll gain exposure to diverse patient populations and pathologies in a variety of hospital settings. Although most of your time will be spent at Mass. Eye and Ear, Harvard Ophthalmology’s multi-affiliate structure offers you the unique opportunity to rotate through eight academic institutions:
- Newton Wellesley Hospital (Integrated Internship Year)
- Massachusetts Eye and Ear
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
- Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System
- Veterans Affairs Maine Healthcare System
In addition, most senior residents choose an elective rotation at Aravind Eye Hospital in India—the largest eye care hospital in the world.
Expert Faculty Are Pioneers in their Fields
At Harvard Ophthalmology, you’ll learn from the best. Our faculty are exceptional mentors and include world-renowned experts in all subspecialty areas, ranging from retina and diabetic eye disease, to glaucoma and ocular genetics. They have pioneered many of the biggest breakthroughs in ophthalmology care. Learn more about our faculty and award-winning mentors.
Unparalleled Surgical Training
With our innovative surgical curriculum and simulation training, you’ll gain vast experience in cataract procedures, strabismus surgeries, corneal surgeries, glaucoma lasers and filters, vitreoretinal surgeries and retinal lasers, oculoplastics procedures, and open globe repairs.
The Samuel and Nancy Jo Altschuler Ophthalmology Surgical Training Laboratory at Mass. Eye and Ear features state-of-the-art surgical training equipment. With nine workstations, a surgical simulator, and training machines for vitrectomy and cataract surgeries, the facility is expanding training opportunities in new and exciting ways. Learn about the curriculum
Collaborative Learning Environment with Robust Research Opportunities
Harvard Ophthalmology is also home to the largest eye research group in the world. Our Centers of Excellence and Institutes bring together Harvard faculty from multiple disciplines. And as a trainee, you are strongly encouraged to collaborate with faculty to pursue novel scientific and clinical investigations. Many residents publish first-author publications in top-tier journals and are invited to present at national scientific conferences, such as the annual meetings of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness
Harvard Ophthalmology embraces diversity, equity, and inclusiveness as core values and imperatives that drive meaningful change within and beyond our institution. We welcome people from all backgrounds, and we respect and celebrate different points of view. It is important to us that everyone feels safe, valued, and engaged within our community.
Harvard Ophthalmology works closely with the Harvard Medical School Office of Diversity and Inclusion and all the organizations where trainees learn to foster a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment for trainees, employees, and our patient community.
Learn more about our ongoing initiatives
Where Will Residency Take You?
About 85-90 percent of graduates go on to pursue subspecialty fellowship training. Others begin work as general ophthalmologists, academic ophthalmologists, or research investigators. Notably, many graduates receive Heed Fellowships, which support postgraduate training in ophthalmic patient care, education, and research. Meet our residents and recent graduates.
Ophthalmologist: Expertise, Specialties, and Training
An ophthalmologist is a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and vision. Also known as eye doctors, ophthalmologists are the only practitioners trained to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders. They can perform eye exams, dispense medications, prescribe corrective lenses (eyeglasses or contacts), and perform eye surgery.
Ophthalmologists should not be confused with optometrists (who treat certain eye disorders but do not perform surgery) or opticians (who design, fit, and dispense corrective lenses).
Ophthalmologists in the United States are required to complete four years of college, four years of medical school, and four to five years of additional specialized training.
Verywell / Jessica Olah
Ophthalmology is the specialty concerned with the medical and surgical care of the eye, eye orbit (socket), optic tract (the visual nerve network), and visual cortex (the part of the brain that process nerve impulses from the eyes).
Ophthalmologists treat a variety of eye disorders from common vision deficiencies to conditions that can lead to partial or complete blindness. Ophthalmologists will often work with other specialists in cases where vision loss is secondary to another medical condition, such as diabetes or HIV.
Among the conditions an ophthalmologist is able to diagnose and treat:
- Amblyopia (also known as “lazy eye”)
- Anisocoria (unequal pupils)
- Astigmatism (blurring of vision caused by an irregular cornea)
- Cataract (clouding of the lens of the eye)
- Chalazion (a swollen bump in the eyelid)
- Conjunctivitis (also known as “pink eye”)
- Cytomegalovirus retinitis (a serious viral infection of the eye, most commonly in people with advanced HIV infection)
- Dermoid cyst (a benign eye tumor)
- Detached retina
- Diabetic retinopathy (retinal damage caused by diabetes)
- Eye cancer (most commonly basal cell carcinoma)
- Eye occlusion (also known as an “eye stroke”)
- Eye trauma (ranging from abrasion to orbital fracture)
- Fuch’s dystrophy (clouding of the cornea)
- Glaucoma (loss of vision often due to elevated eye pressure)
- Herpes zoster ophthalmicus (eye shingles)
- Hyperopia (farsightedness)
- Hyphemia (broken blood vessels in the eye)
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye syndrome)
- Keratoconus (an abnormal bulging of the cornea)
- Macular degeneration (an aging-related loss of vision)
- Macular dystrophy (an inherited loss of central vision)
- Milia (eyelid cyst)
- Myopia (nearsightedness)
- Nystagmus (uncontrollable eye movement)
- Ocular herpes (caused by herpes simplex virus type 1)
- Optic neuritis (vision problems related to inflamed nerves)
- Pingueculae (benign growths on the eyeball)
- Proptosis (bulging eyes)
- Pterygia (also known as “surfer’s eye”)
- Ptosis (drooping eyelids)
- Retinitis pigmentosa (a genetic disorder that causes the breakdown of retinal cells)
- Strabismus (misalignment or deviation of eyes)
- Tear duct obstruction
- Uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye)
An ophthalmologist typically works in an office outfitted with equipment for eye exams. More complex imaging or exploratory tests may be conducted in a hospital or medical facility. Athough some eye surgeries can be performed in the doctor’s office, others may require an operating room in a hospital.
An eye exam consists of a series of tests that assess the state of your vision and your ability to focus on and discern objects. The basic test includes:
- Visual acuity exam, using an eye chart or other tools to evaluate how your vision compares to that standard definition of normal vision (i.e., 20/20 vision)
- Refraction testing, using a retinoscope or auto-refractor, to measure how light bends when it passes through the lens
- Pupil function exam, which evaluates the pupil’s shape, size, and reaction tolight (often with a swinging-flashlight test used to assess the optic nerve response)
- Ocular motility testing, which measures the strength of your eyes muscles, typically by asking you to follow the doctor’s finger with your eyes
- Visual field testing, which examines your peripheral vision by asking you to count the number of fingers held outside of your central field of vision
- Slit lamp testing, using a table-mounted microscope to view the interior of your eye as a small beam of light is directed through the pupil
An eye examination can be performed by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or orthoptist (an allied medical technician trained in the diagnosis and management of eye movement disorders).
In addition to a basic eye exam, an ophthalmologist may order specialized tests and imaging studies, some of which require a trained technician. Examples include:
- Applanation tonometry, a technique using a tonometer to measure the amount of pressure needed to flatten the cornea
- Corneal topography, in which a topographic map of the cornea is created using a non-invasive computerized imaging device
- Eye ultrasonography, a non-invasive imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to form a live image of your inner eye
- Fluorescein angiography, using a fluorescent dye and a specialized camera to evaluate blood circulation in the eye
- Optical coherence tomography, an imaging technique that uses light waves to create two- and three-dimensional images of the internal eye
There is an almost encyclopedic range of drugs (including eye drops, injections, and oral medications) used in ophthalmology. Some are over-the-counter remedies and supplements used to treat dry eye or prevent progressive disorders like macular degeneration. Others require a prescription and/or administration by a medical professional.
These include expensive antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs used to treat macular degeneration and certain types of eye cancer.
In addition to medications, an ophthalmologist can prescribe corrective lenses, including bifocal, multifocal, and progressive eyeglasses and contacts.
Unlike optometrists, ophthalmologists can perform more sophisticated medical procedures and surgeries. Some of the more common include:
- Bionic eye implants, currently available as the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System used for people with severe retinitis pigmentosa
- Botox injections, sometimes used in place of surgery to correct misaligned eyes by temporarily paralyzing orbital muscles
- Cataract surgery, in which a cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial one
- Corneal transplant, in which diseased or scarred corneal tissue is replaced with healthy tissue from an organ donor
- Enucleation and eye prosthesis, the removal of a diseased or damaged eye followed the insertion of an artificial, nonfunctioning eye
- Glaucoma surgery, using lasers or standard surgical tools to increase fluid outflow from the iris or remove a portion of the iris
- Oculoplastic surgery, a subspecialty of ophthalmology that deals with the reconstruction of the eyelid, orbit, tear ducts, and face
- Orbital decompression used to relieve the characteristic eye bulging associated with Grave’s disease
- Refractive surgery, including LASIK surgery, to correct errors of refraction, reducing or eliminating the need for corrective lenses
- Strabismus surgery used to adjust eye muscles to straighten misaligned eyes
- Vitrectomy, a procedure removes the gel-like substance in the eye, called the vitreous humor, to correct vision problems
While many ophthalmologists will choose to operate a general ophthalmology practice, as many as 40 percent will specialize in a specific field of ophthalmology, according to the American Medical Association. These include:
- Cataract and refractive surgery
- Corneal and external diseases
- Neuro-ophthalmology (related to the brain and optic nerves)
- Ocular pathology (the diagnosis of eye disease)
- Oculoplastics (cosmetic and reconstructive surgery)
- Ophthalmologic oncology (related to cancer)
- Pediatric Ophthalmology
- Uveitis and ocular immunology (inflammatory eye diseases)
- Vitreoretinal diseases (involving the retina or vitreous humor)
Training and Certification
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) or an osteopathic doctor (DO) who specializes in eye and vision care. To enter medical school, you must first get a bachelor’s degree, complete the prerequisite premedicine studies (including advanced math, science, and biology), and take the Medical Competency Aptitude Test (MCAT).
Medical school involves two years of classroom studies and two years of clinical rotations in different medical facilities. Upon graduation, you would need to obtain a medical license in the state in which you intend to practice.
This usually involves passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) if you are an MD or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medicine Licensing Examination (COMLEX) if you are a DO. Some states also require you to pass a state exam.
After getting your license, you would need to complete a one-year internship focused on direct patient care. This would be followed by a one-year residency program in general surgery and a three-year residency in ophthalmology.
Upon completion of the residency, you can obtain board certification by passing a written and oral exam administered by the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO). The certification is valid for 10 years during which time you must take regular continuing medical education (CME) courses to be eligible for recertification.
Some ophthalmologists will embark on additional one- to two-year fellowships to specialize in a specific field of practice. A pediatric fellowship, for example, involves an additional year of training, while a corneal fellowship will usually require two.
Seeing an ophthalmologist can be stressful for people who find eye procedures uncomfortable or unnerving. To allay your nerves, it often helps to know what to expect if referred for treatment.
Your first visit to the ophthalmologist would involve a comprehensive evaluation that will take around one and a half hours to complete. It may take longer if you need specialized testing or have a complex eye condition.
Be sure to bring your ID, insurance card, and a list of any medications you are taking. If you have had previous eye surgeries, bring along any medical records you have or ask the treating doctor to forward them electronically in advance of your appointment.
Feel free to ask any questions you need to better understand your condition and the procedures involved. Examples include:
- Can you go over the eye exam and tell me what the tests mean?
- What is the cause of my vision loss?
- Is my condition stable, or can I lose more sight?
- Are there symptoms should I watch out for?
- What treatments are available, and what do they involve?
- What is the success rate?
- What are the risk and possible side effects?
- Is there anything I should avoid during treatment?
- Are there alternative treashouldI should consider?
- What might happen if I decide not to be treated?
Always be sure to check whether the recommended procedures are covered, at least in part, by your health insurance. This includes checking whether the labs and medical facilities are in-network providers.
If not, ask your doctor or insurance company for a list of in-network providers if affordability is a concern. You can check their credentials by using the ABO physician verification webpage.
A Word From Verywell
There are qualities and characteristics every ophthalmologist needs to be successful. They include exceptional manual skills, excellent hand-eye coordination, and the ability to communicate effectively and empathetically to ease the anxiety of patients.
The training can be especially taxing for young ophthalmologists given the stress of dealing with vision loss and the minutiae of detail involved in the work. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the University of Washington, no less than 63.3 percent of residents experienced burnout during the course of their training.
Like other physicians, ophthalmologists can operate their own practice or join a group practice with physician partners. They can also work as an employee of a hospital, in an outpatient clinic, or in an academic or research setting (typically requiring a PhD degree).
Ophthalmologist Education and Career Facts
As an ophthalmologist, you combine general medicine with precision surgery to improve and preserve the eyesight of your patients. Becoming an ophthalmologist requires completing a demanding course of training. Learn the career outlook for ophthalmologists, along with licensure requirements.
What You Need to Know
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in eye care. Conversely, an optometrist can perform similar functions to an ophthalmologist; however, optometrists are not licensed to practice medicine and cannot perform surgical procedures. To become a physician specializing in eye care, you must complete a post-medical school osteopathic residency.
|Degrees||Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree|
|Career Outlook (2019-2029)*||4% job growth (all physicians and surgeons), as fast as the average|
|Median Salary (2020)**||$219,670|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com
What Is an Ophthalmologist?
Many people confuse ophthalmologists with optometrists. Optometrists have completed four years of training at optometry schools and can prescribe corrective lenses, perform vision therapy or conduct scientific research. As an ophthalmologist, you may also perform any or all of these functions, but your training would consist of four years of medical school followed by residency training in ophthalmology. In addition to the aforementioned duties, you’re also qualified to perform corrective eye surgery, such as removing cataracts. You may choose from several sub-specialties, including:
- Corneal and external eye disease
- Ophthalmic plastic surgery
- Ophthalmic pathology
- Pediatric ophthalmology
What Education Do I Need?
All aspiring ophthalmologists must complete at least three years of undergraduate education, plus an additional four years of medical training. Some accelerated educational programs allow you to obtain a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree in six to seven years rather than eight years. Your undergraduate studies need to include courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and English to fulfill your medical school prerequisites. Once you enter medical school, you study biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical laws and ethics, as well as learning how to diagnose and treat illnesses and disorders in a clinical environment.
Residencies in ophthalmology require that you successfully complete a 1-year internship prior to entry. As a resident, you can participate in both classroom instruction and clinical training. You gain experience in performing surgery, providing patient care and performing other medical procedures. You may also be presented with research opportunities. After completing your residency, you may pursue a fellowship to obtain further training in a sub-specialty.
How Do I Become Licensed?
Like all physicians in the United States, ophthalmologists must obtain licenses to practice medicine. After completing medical or osteopathic degree programs, you must pass either the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam (COMLEX).
You may also earn voluntary board certification from the American Board of Ophthalmology (www.abop.org) or American Osteopathic Board of Ophthalmology (www.aoboo.org). Eligibility requirements include graduating from medical school, earning a medical license, completing a 1-year internship, completing three to four years of a residency in ophthalmology and passing an examination that includes both oral and written components. To maintain board certification, you need to complete continuing education and other requirements.
What Are My Career Prospects?
In 2020, PayScale.com reported that the majority of ophthalmologists earned between $116,000 – $348,000 per year. Employment of physicians and surgeons in general is expected to increase by 4% between 2019 and 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). While an aging population was expected to increase demand, new technologies that allow physicians to be more productive may temper growth. You may experience the best job prospects if you’re willing to work in rural areas or other locations with limited access to specialized medical care.
What Is an Ophthalmologist?
An ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) is a medical doctor with additional specialized training in all aspects of eye care medical, surgical and optical.
How Is an Ophthalmologist Different From an Optometrist and an Optician?
Ophthalmologists are different from optometrists and opticians in their training and in what they can diagnose and treat. As a medical doctor, an ophthalmologist is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, performs eye surgery and prescribes and fits eyeglasses and contact lenses. Ophthalmologists complete:
Four years of college
Four years of medical school
One year of internship
Three years, at least, of residency (hospital-based training) in the diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of eye disorders
An optometrist is a doctor of optometry, licensed to practice optometry. Optometrists determine the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses, prescribe optical correction and screen for abnormalities of the eye. In many states, optometrists can prescribe a limited number of drugs to help diagnose and treat certain eye conditions. Optometrists generally do not perform surgery. Optometrists attend two to four years of college and four years of optometric college.
An optician licensed by a state to make optical aids fits, adjusts and dispenses eyeglasses, contact lenses and other optical devices on written prescriptions of a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist. Training for an optician varies from a preceptorship to two years of opticianry school.
How Does an Ophthalmologist Become Certified?
After four years of college and eight additional years of medical education and training, an ophthalmologist must pass a rigorous two-part examination given by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
What Is a Subspecialist?
While all ophthalmologists specialize in eye problems and can treat all conditions, some decide to specialize in a specific area of medical or surgical eye care. This person is called a subspecialist. He or she usually completes a fellowship, which is one or two more years of training in the chosen area. Some subspecialists focus on the treatment of a disease such as glaucoma. Others subspecialize in a particular part of the eye such as the retina. Pediatric ophthalmologists subspecialize in treating eye disease in children.
When Should I See an Ophthalmologist?
You should have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist if you have:
Decreased vision, even if temporary
New floaters (black “strings” or specks in the vision)
Flashes of light
A curtain or veil blocking vision
Haloes (colored circles around lights)
An eye injury or eye pain
Bulging of one or both eyes
Loss of peripheral (side) vision
Thyroid disease-related eye problems (graves’ disease)
A family history of eye disease
You also should see an ophthalmologist if your family doctor, pediatrician or internist refers you to one.
When there are no particular problems, recommended intervals for eye examinations are:
Newborn, pre-school and pre-teen. Eye exams should be given by a pediatrician, family doctor or ophthalmologist at the following intervals:
Newborn to 3 months
6 months to 1 year
3 years old
5 years old
Later as needed
20 to 29 years of age. At least once during this period; African Americans, because of greater risk for glaucoma, should be seen every three to five years.
30 to 39 years of age. At least twice during this period; African Americans, because of greater risk for glaucoma, should be seen every two to four years.
40 to 64 years of age. Every two to four years.
65 years or older. Every one to two years.
What Happens During an Eye Examination?
Your ophthalmologist and his or her assistants ask about your current symptoms and review your medical history. Eyedrops to dilate your eyes may or may not be used during the exam.
The examination typically evaluates:
Need for eyeglasses or contact lenses (refraction)
Eyelid health and function
Coordination of eye muscles
Pupil response to light
Side (peripheral) vision
Intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye)
The anterior segment in the eye (the area in front of the lens, including the cornea and iris)
The interior and back of the eye
What Treatments Are Available for My Eyes?
Your ophthalmologist will discuss the results of your eye examination with you. If your eyes are healthy, you may need only eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct your vision. Or you may not need any vision correction at all.
Some eye diseases are treated with medication, such as eyedrops or pills. Other diseases may require laser surgery or other surgical procedures.
Your ophthalmologist can provide you with the treatment you need or, in some cases, may refer you to a subspecialist.
Some eye conditions cannot be cured. Nevertheless, your ophthalmologist can offer counseling and support while monitoring your condition.
Good medical care is based on a cooperative relationship between you and your doctor. You should trust your ophthalmologist to give you accurate information about your eye problem and tell you about the risks and benefits of treatment options. You also should trust your ophthalmologist to keep your personal information confidential and to provide care with courtesy and respect. Your role in this cooperative relationship is to ask your ophthalmologist questions about your problem and treatment options and tell him or her about any other health factors that may affect your condition.
Loss of sight can be prevented! Many eye diseases do not cause symptoms for months or years. Therefore, regular visits to your ophthalmologist are as important as regular visits to your family physician. In many cases, early treatment of glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, crossed eyes and some forms of macular degeneration can prevent loss of sight and even blindness. Together, you and your ophthalmologist can work toward the goal of protecting your sight through early diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions.
Copyright 2005 American Academy of Ophthalmology
90,000 how to prepare a child for a visit to an ophthalmologist
Dear parents, increased visual loads provoke disturbances in the functioning of the visual system, and in this case, it is necessary to stop or delay the development of the disease at the very beginning. Parents need to be very careful and observe the behavior of their children in order to take timely measures and prevent further vision problems in the child.
Even a toddler who is still unable to complain of visual impairment is showing certain signs of problems.You should be alert and consult an ophthalmologist if the child:
• brings a book or toy too close to his face, tilts his head when trying to look at something
• squints his eyes or closes one eye when it is necessary to see fine details of the image
• began to sit closer to the TV, assumes a “forward tilt” posture when playing on a computer
• eyes often look red, the child may complain of a headache, get tired quickly during activities that require visual stress.
Dads and mothers through the game can test the child’s eyesight with the help of a simple game with the child. Suggest to him: – “Look at the toy with one eye, then with the other, is it equally visible? ”
In order for your visit to your pediatric ophthalmologist to go as planned and leave you and your child with the most positive memories, you need to prepare for it by following these simple tips:
You should not plan a visit to a pediatric ophthalmologist if your baby is sick, because. That is, when the child has ARVI symptoms – cough, runny nose, fever, etc. These manifestations not only cause discomfort to your child, as a result of which he may be moody and irritable during the examination by a doctor, but may interfere with adequate examination of a small patient. Even if you have already made an appointment, it is better to postpone it for another time – after recovery!
Regardless of the child’s age, ability to speak and general health, high-quality diagnostic equipment at the GLAZ microsurgery clinic allows you to fully diagnose the child’s eye condition, determine the refraction of the eye, reveal the presence of hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, strabismus and other diseases.
- If your child is an infant (1-3 months), it is better to make an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist for a time that coincides with the next sleep, according to the child’s regimen. If he is asleep at the time of the pediatric ophthalmologist’s examination, the doctor will be able to do most of the baby’s eye exam while he / she sleeps.
- If your child is under 3 years old: it would be great if your little one is asleep, well-fed and in a good mood by the beginning of the doctor’s appointment. Reception will take 30-45 minutes.
- If your child is over 3 years old: in order to test your child’s visual acuity, it is necessary that your child knows the objects that the doctor will show him and name them. To test the eyes of preschoolers, special tables with pictures are used. Please print these pictures in advance and learn them with your baby in the form of a game, telling that soon you will go to the doctor with him / her, and there the doctor will play “riddles” with these pictures with him.
- If your baby is over 3-4 years old and speaks well, no special training is needed.What should you be prepared for? To determine the refraction of the baby’s eyes and to examine the retina, the pupils are often dilated (drops are instilled, which dilate the pupil after about 15 minutes). After examination with a wide pupil, vision at close range may be blurry (the child will not be able to draw, read, watch TV for 3-4 hours). There may be a slight photophobia – dim the lighting in the room (for example, draw the curtains at home, do not turn on bright lights).
- Children of school age on the day of the examination after the diagnosis are not recommended close visual load (reading, writing, working at the computer).We do not recommend returning to school on this day. Also warn teachers that your child may not be able to complete written homework assignments.
That is why you should not plan a visit to a pediatric ophthalmologist if the next day the child will have a dictation, a test or an exam at school (often children are instilled with drops that dilate the pupil, the residual effect of which sometimes disappears within 2-3 days).
On ordinary days, if a child needs to do his homework and visit school the next day, our doctor, if necessary, will give you a certificate stating that the young patient is exempt from reading and writing.
Dear parents, if your child wears glasses, you should definitely take ALL glasses and the prescription (s) for them (if any) with you to the appointment.
What else should you remember to bring with you to the appointment with the ophthalmologist? If you have prescriptions for the old glasses, data from previous examinations, opinions of the ophthalmologists, the child’s medical record, where there is an ophthalmologist’s notes, you should also take them with you. If your child uses contact lenses, take them with you – but do not put them on the eyes, but bring them in a container (you also need to take contact lens boxes with you on which the name of the lenses and their diopter power is written; the name of the contact lens care solution should be written down, photographed on the phone or memorized (or take a bottle with you)).
Why do ophthalmologists examine an eye with a wide pupil? To clarify the refraction of the eyes in children, it is often necessary to drip drops that dilate the pupil. The pupils are also dilated for a detailed examination of the retina of the eye in order to make a detailed diagnosis and prescribe treatment.
Learn more about pediatric ophthalmology in our clinic
Instruction for parents, preparing a child for a visit to an ophthalmologist, BABY LUCK clinic
Preparing a child for a visit to an ophthalmologist
Dear parents, in BABY LUCK clinic , thanks to modern diagnostic equipment and highly qualified specialists, we will be able to carry out high-quality diagnostics of the state of vision in your children, regardless of their health status, age and ability to speak …However, this memo will allow you and your children to come to our appointment more prepared and learn the various features regarding children’s vision, which will undoubtedly serve as useful information for you and come in handy for the future.
First you should know that:
- increased visual load (associated with the now rapidly growing computerization and various information load),
- neglect of vision hygiene,
- hereditary factor,
All this entails disturbances in the work of the visual system, and in this case it is necessary, at the first signs of visual impairment, to try to prevent further development of the pathology. At the very beginning, the health of your baby, and specifically his vision, will depend solely on your attention and observation of how the child behaves, since taking the right measures at the right time will help you prevent and prevent aggravating vision problems in the child. further.
We all understand that a small child cannot verbally express that he has vision problems, but you can always understand that his vision has begun to deteriorate according to the following signs:
- begins to bring a book or other objects close to his face, if he wants to consider something, he begins to tilt his head,
- starts to squint or close one eye when trying to see small details in the image,
- sits closer to the TV, leans forward when playing on the computer,
- eyes look “red”,
- child complains of headache,
- rapid fatigue occurs in the classroom, which is accompanied by visual stress.
Here are some simple tips, following which you can prepare your child for a visit to the ophthalmologist and leave in your memory only positive memories of visiting the clinic:
- Do not plan a visit to a pediatric ophthalmologist if your child is sick , meaning when there is a cough, runny nose, fever and other symptoms of ARVI. Such a condition will cause discomfort in the child and a complete lack of desire to go to an appointment, which can lead to irritability at the examination by a doctor, prevent the examination in a calm environment and, most importantly, further contribute to the “play out” of the temperature and worsen the state of health.When you have already made an appointment with us, do not hesitate and reschedule it for another time!
- If you have an infant (1-3 months) , we recommend that you book it for the time that coincides with the next sleep, according to the child’s regimen. In the event that at the time of the examination by the pediatric ophthalmologist the child falls asleep, the doctor will still have the opportunity to conduct a significant part of the examination of the child’s eyes while he is sleeping.
- If you have a child who is less than 3 years old , then it would be great if he is well-fed and not sleepy by the beginning of the appointment with the ophthalmologist.
- If you have a child over 3-4 years old and he can talk, then you should be prepared for the fact that in order to determine the refraction of the child’s eyes and examine his retina, he can dilate his pupils with the help of special drops ( having dripped drops somewhere in 15 minutes, the pupils dilate). After an examination with a wide pupil in a child, vision at close range may be blurry (for about 3-4 hours the child will not be able to draw, read or watch TV).A slight photophobia is also possible, in which case the lighting in the room should not be bright.
- For school-age children on the day when there will be examinations and after the diagnosis is not desirable visual load near (writing assignments, reading books, working in front of a computer monitor). We also do not recommend returning to school for classes that day. In this case, you will need to warn the teachers in advance that the child may not be able or will not have time to prepare written homework. Therefore, in this case, you should not plan a visit to a pediatric ophthalmologist when a child is scheduled for a test or exam at school.
One of the most common questions parents ask is why it is necessary to examine eyes with a wide pupil and is it possible to do without it?
Sometimes, for a more accurate diagnosis, a detailed examination of the retina of the eye and clarification of the refraction of the eyes, children simply need to drip special drops that dilate the pupils.The accuracy of the diagnosis and, accordingly, the appointment of treatment will depend on this.
For some drops, the residual effect can go away only after 2-3 days, so you should warn the teachers in advance at
that the young patient is exempt from reading and writing.
What should I take with me for my first appointment with an ophthalmologist?
If you have already been to an ophthalmologist before coming to our clinic, then at the first appointment with us, we recommend that you bring along information about your previous examinations , all opinions from ophthalmologists, as well as the child’s medical record, if it contains notes of an ophthalmologist. All this will come in handy to save your time and more promptly prescribe a course of vision treatment for your child, which, we think, you should be interested in.
Also, when your child has prescriptions for glasses, take them, as well as prescriptions for them (if any). In the event that a child uses contact lenses, bring them to us, but please do not put them on the child’s eyes, just bring them in a container and do not forget to take the contact lens boxes with you, as the ophthalmologist will need to find out how the lenses are. name and their diopters.It does not hurt to indicate the name of the solution for contact lenses (you can write it down, take a photo or remember it).
Dear parents, before visiting the BABY LUCK clinic, be sure that here your child under the supervision of qualified specialists will receive effective, safe and comfortable treatment in a calm and cozy atmosphere!
90,000 Reception of an ophthalmologist. Eyesight check.
An ophthalmologist (or ophthalmologist) is a specialist who is engaged in the diagnosis and research of patients’ eye diseases, the prevention of pathologies and the treatment of the organs of vision. He has the right to use both conservative and surgical methods in his work.
An eye examination by an ophthalmologist helps to identify common eye defects and diseases such as:
- Myopia. In this case, the eyeball has an elongated shape, so only rays from nearby objects can be focused on the retina. What is in the distance, a person no longer sees.
- Hyperopia. With such a defect in the lens of the eye, the rays are weakly refracted and focused behind the retina, so the patient cannot distinguish well between closely spaced objects, but he sees distant objects more clearly.
- Astigmatism. This disease is associated with an irregular shape of the eyeball or lens. With such an ailment, the image of the object is distorted and looks unevenly clear in different parts. This problem can be eliminated only with the help of individual production of glasses.
- Glaucoma. This disease is characterized by increased intraocular pressure. Without timely proper treatment, the optic nerve is affected, which leads to a complete loss of vision.
- Conjunctivitis.This ailment can cause exposure to the eyes of microorganisms or irritating substances, which is accompanied by inflammation of the mucous membrane of the visual organs.
- Injuries to the eye. They are characterized by rupture of the capillaries that supply the organ with blood.
- Cataract. This term denotes a deterioration in the transparency of the lens, which leads to the fact that a person sees objects as in a fog. Over time, vision deteriorates further. This disease can only be cured with surgery.
When should I see an ophthalmologist?
It is imperative to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist if you find the manifestation of any of the following symptoms:
- Decreased visual acuity;
- The eyes began to tire quickly;
- You feel “fog” in your field of vision;
- There is an itching, burning or redness of the eyes;
- Occurs recurrent or persistent pain in the eyeball, temples and forehead;
- There was a feeling of the presence in the eyes of “sand”, a foreign body;
- Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the organ of vision has occurred;
- There is high tearing, there is purulent discharge;
- Visual functions were impaired (you see rainbow spots, “flies”, temporary color blindness appeared, the field of vision changed, photosensitivity appeared).
You should see a doctor IMMEDIATELY if:
- You have suffered an eye injury;
- Detected the appearance of a light gray or dark spot in the central field of view;
- A foreign body has entered the eye;
- You received a thermal, laser or chemical burn of the optic organ;
- There is a sharp deterioration in the ability to see during the day;
- A dark veil has formed in the field of view;
- You feel the appearance of visual fragility or distortion of objects in the central field of view.
Visual examination in children
Visual examination in children is a mandatory prophylactic procedure that allows you to identify problems with the development of the eyes, as well as violations in the transmission of information from the visual organs to the central nervous system.
It is recommended to consult a child’s ophthalmologist for the first time in a month, and then in a three-month and six-month period. The next visit to the ophthalmologist is scheduled at the age of one year. If no abnormalities are found during the examination, then subsequent eye examinations are usually carried out as early as three, five, and six years of age.
If you find signs of poor vision in a child, you need to go to an ophthalmological clinic immediately. Indications for visiting a child’s ophthalmologist may be complaints from a baby, recommendations from educators or teachers.
Ophthalmologist, surgeon and pediatric ophthalmologist of our eye center are always ready to help you in solving vision problems. To make an appointment with an experienced specialist of our clinic and get advice, please leave a request on the website or call us on the phone number from the Contacts section.We will be happy to provide answers to your questions about technologies for treating eye diseases, modern methods of vision correction and their cost.
Ophthalmologist appointment | Maternity hospital №10
During pregnancy, an examination by an ophthalmologist must be passed twice (and according to the latest requirements three times): at an early stage up to 20 weeks. and after 30 weeks.
When visiting an ophthalmologist, the following is performed: determination of visual acuity, refraction and examination of the fundus with a wide pupil, according to indications biomicroscopy and tonometry.The purpose of the examination of the ophthalmic pregnant woman at an early stage is to identify peripheral chorioretinal dystrophies (PCRD). This kind of dystrophies often occur with high myopia, but they can also be with other refractive errors and even with 100% vision. You can see these changes only when examining the fundus with a wide pupil , which is currently rarely done when examining a pregnant woman in a polyclinic. The presence of some types of PCRDs can lead to retinal tears, detachment during childbirth and loss of vision.Timely laser coagulation of the retina in some (especially dangerous) types of PCRDs can prevent this. If necessary, the pregnant woman receives a referral to the laser center. This is why it is so important to have a wide-pupil fundus examination.
In the second half of pregnancy, not only such changes in the vessels of the fundus are possible, such as angiopathy of pregnant women, which is a manifestation of toxicosis in the second half, but more serious changes, such as neuroretinopathy. Therefore, fundus examination is also important.
In pregnant women over 40 years old , the intraocular pressure is measured by the Maklakov method, in order to detect glaucoma early.
As a result of the examination, the pregnant woman receives a conclusion about the nature of delivery for ophthalmological indications (spontaneous delivery, shortening of the laboring period (perineotomy) or exclusion of the laboring period (cesarean section). the ophthalmologist determines only by the state of the fundus.
Those pregnant women who could not pass the examination free of charge for any reason can, if they wish, undergo an examination by an ophthalmologist for a fee.
|Appointment (examination, consultation) of an ophthalmologist, primary||1500|
|Appointment (examination, consultation) of an ophthalmologist repeated||1000|
|Preventive appointment (examination, consultation) with an ophthalmologist||500|
|Appointment (examination, consultation) of a candidate of medical sciences, primary||2500|
|Appointment (examination, consultation) of a candidate of medical sciences, primary||1500|
|Fundus examination with cycloplegia (wide pupil)||500|
|Ophthalmoscopy (fundus examination with a binocular ophthalmoscope)||500|
|Inspection of the fundus periphery with Goldman’s three-mirror lens||600|
|Ophthalmoscopy under mydriasis with lens||5000|
|Biomicroscopy of the anterior segment of the eye||300|
|Fundus biomicroscopy (slit lamp)||700|
|Ophthalmotonometry on a non-contact tonometer||400|
|Tonometry according to Maklakov||500|
|Eye tonometry after 3 hours||450|
|Examination of nystagmus||300|
|Eyelash epilation 1 pc.||300|
|Electrocoagulation of eyelashes 1 pc.||1000|
|Scotometry (Amsler-Marinchev test)||100|
|Study of color perception according to polychromatic tables||200|
|Tonography after Nesterov 1 eye||400|
|Subconjunctival injection 1 pc.||250|
|Para or retrobulbar injection 1 pc.||300|
|Ophthalmic injections: in the course of treatment – 1 injection||200|
|Examination of eyelashes on demodes (without treatment)||600|
|Study on demodes with treatment||1800|
|Research on demodes, re-examination||1000|
|Selection of spectacle correction simple||600|
|Gonioscopy 1 eye||550|
|Perimetry of 1 eye||600|
|Computer perimetry 1 eye||900|
|Removal of corneal foreign body 1 pc.||1100|
|Removal of conjunctival foreign body 1 pc.||400|
|Removal of calculus from the lacrimal canal||6000|
|Optical biometry of one eye for IOL calculation||2200|
|Optical biometry of one eye||2000|
|Optical biometry of one eye repeated||1200|
|Keratotopography of the cornea of one eye||2200|
|Keratotopography of the cornea of one eye, repeated||1800|
|Studies of the topography of the cornea of 1 eye with refractive errors and keratoconus||1500|
|Re-examination of the topography of the cornea of 1 eye with refractive errors and keratoconus||1200|
|Determination of the base curvature and radius of the cornea of 1 eye||1200|
|Keratometry of one eye||1000|
|Determination of the anteroposterior segment of one eye (PZO)||1000|
|Calculation of intraocular lens (IOL) 1 eye||1500|
|Complex of studies for the diagnosis of glaucoma||1800|
|Complex of studies for the diagnosis of visual impairment||2300|
|Lacrimal duct lavage with probing 1 eye||1300|
RECOMMENDATIONS of the ophthalmologist “GKB im.
N.I. Pirogov “Chirkova Olga Vladimirovna:
Unfortunately, eye diseases are widespread!
Many pathologies have become “younger” in recent years – such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (damage to the central region of the retina, leading to loss of central vision)! Myopia (myopia) is extremely common among the younger generation! There are many reasons for these trends, of course, computerization and the ubiquitous presence of gadgets from an early age are influencing!
In this regard, we are obliged to pay special attention to eye health!
RECOMMENDATIONS of an ophthalmologist GAUZ GKB im.N.I. Pirogov “Chirkova Olga Vladimirovna:
1. Observe the daily visual regime – the frequency of pauses and switching to rest from the monitors!
It is important for parents to pay special attention to the timing of the child’s handling of gadgets. Ophthalmologists sound the alarm because of the increase in the number of visual impairments from an early age!
Here is a table showing the permissible (without harm to eyesight) operating time for equipment per day.
2. It is recommended to use protective goggles for prolonged use of the computer.
3. Remember, reading in the dark, on public transport, is undesirable!
4. Visual gymnastics on a daily basis will help to avoid spasm – accommodation of the eye muscles.
5. Proper nutrition with a predominance of plant foods, fresh berries and herbs, as well as a healthy lifestyle, are undoubtedly factors that reduce the risks of various, including ophthalmological, pathologies. Vitamin therapy also comes to the rescue – as prescribed by a doctor!
I would also like to note that a timely visit to a doctor will help us to reduce or even prevent the development of undesirable consequences in time.Fortunately, in our city, many methods of treating eye diseases are very developed, including operational ones, thanks to which we can achieve an improvement or restoration of vision! But, unfortunately, not all diseases are subject to us, ophthalmologists, so we urge you to take care of your eyes!
We wish you all good ophthalmological health!
Appointments to pediatric and adult ophthalmologists: tel. 44-03-03.
Getting ready for school – recommendations of a children’s ophthalmologist
After becoming schoolchildren, children begin to study for 5-6 hours every day: they write, read, draw.Therefore, in connection with the increased load on the accommodative apparatus and the active growth of the eye, the occurrence of physiological myopia at the age of 8-14 is natural. In addition, often during classes, the child does not sit correctly, hunched over or overly tilting his head, and with a prolonged tilt of the head, the outflow of blood from the eyes becomes difficult. All of these factors can lead to myopia.
Visual impairment negatively affects academic performance, lowers the child’s self-esteem, limits him in communicating with peers, choosing a sport and a future profession.
So what should the parents of a first grader pay attention to in order to preserve good eyesight as long as possible?
It is very important to properly organize the child’s workplace. Parents should remember that from the first days of school life, the eyes and spine are under tremendous stress. Therefore, first of all, you need a table and chair that is suitable in height, because if a child writes at an adult table, sitting on an adult chair, when the table top is at chin level, shoulders are above the ears, and the child “writes with his nose”, it is impossible to maintain the health of the eyes and spine. …
We all remember from childhood how we were told “do not read in the dark.” Indeed, proper lighting is very important for keeping your eyes healthy. If possible, beginners should try to do their homework during daylight hours, even in winter. If the child is engaged in artificial lighting, then a table lamp is needed. For right-handers, the light should fall on the left, for left-handers – on the right. Use a regular 60W lamp, preferably with a warm light. To avoid light contrast, it is important that the rest of the child’s room is lit too, and it is better to use diffused rather than overhead light. Halogen bulbs are very bright and not suitable for a nursery, fluorescent lamps give invisible flicker to the naked eye, which quickly tires the eyes.
Do not put the table at which your child will study directly opposite the window, as the sun’s rays reflecting off the surface of the table or glossy covers of books and notebooks will create additional strain on the eyes. In addition, the child may be distracted by what is happening outside the window. If possible, place the table sideways to the window, depending on whether your child is right-handed or left-handed.
When a child writes or reads, his eyes should be at the distance of the length of the forearm and extended palm to the surface of the table (sheet of a book, notebook), with the elbow placed on the table top. On average, this distance is about 30-35 cm, which is sufficient to prevent excessive load on the accommodative apparatus of the eye. It is better to put the book on a stand – this relieves the load on the cervical spine. The duration of classes for first graders is very important.The total duration is no more than 1 hour, with active breaks every 15-20 minutes. And do not forget that a child needs to be in the fresh air every day for at least 3 hours in any weather, because it has been proven that the best prevention of the development of myopia, in addition to a rational visual regime, is physical activity and sunlight.
Pay attention to which notebooks you buy for your first grader. The paper should be strong enough and opaque, milky matte.Very white paper will “cut” the eyes, but on yellowish and gray pages the text will be pale, and you will have to strain your eyes while reading what is written. The paper should be such that the writing on the back side does not show through. Therefore, the paper weight should be at least 55-60 g / m2. The thickness of the lines in the notebook is 0.2-0.5 mm. It is best to keep the lines purple, green, cyan, or gray, clearly printed and of uniform width. Horizontal lines on adjacent pages must match. The lining should not be very bright or, on the contrary, not contrasting – this has a bad effect on vision.
When buying books, you should pay attention to the font. The font size for children under 6 years old should be from 20 to 14 points (Latin up to 16 points), at 7-10 years old – from 12 to 20 points (Latin 14 points). The font design of the main text in books for children under 10 years old should be the same throughout the entire book. Texts where light letters are located on a colored or black background are strongly not recommended for children’s eyes.
And of course, one cannot ignore the main factor in the increase in the number of children with myopia these days – a computer, as well as other electronic devices that have become widely used in our lives.
Decide if your 6-7 year old needs a computer at all. Although it is difficult to imagine modern education without a computer, a first grader will most likely not use it often to solve school problems. To put or not to put a computer in the room is up to you. If you did install a computer for your child in the room, then you need to place it so that the distance between the eye and the monitor is at least 50-70 cm (for a reference point, this is an outstretched arm).
Smartphones and tablets are no less, and even more harmful to the eyes, that is, the smaller the screen, the greater the load on your child’s eyes.According to foreign ophthalmologists, since the release of smartphones on the market in 1997, the number of patients with myopia has increased by 35%. In the next 10 years, the number of children with myopia may increase by 50%. Take a look around, observe yourself and your child – we keep the phone at a distance of only 18-30 cm from the eyes, and newspapers and books – at 40 cm, so today ophthalmologists can talk about myopia caused by the use of mobile devices with monitors.
It is necessary to strictly limit the use of smartphones by children.It is important to ensure that children of preschool and primary school age do not use smartphones at all for games, watching cartoons, etc.