Collins Eye Clinic
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Eye Disease




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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need an optometrist or ophthalmologist?

    Both are eye doctors that diagnose and treat many of the same eye conditions.  The American Optometric Association defines Doctors of Optometry as: primary health care professionals who examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures, as well as diagnose related systemic conditions. They prescribe glasses, contact lenses, low-vision rehabilitation, vision therapy and medications.

    The main difference between the two is that ophthalmologists perform surgery, where an optometrist would not, preferring to specialize in eye examinations, as well as eyeglass and contact lens-related services.

    Optometrists would be involved in all of the pre- and post-operative care of thee patients; collecting accurate data, educating the patient, and insuring proper healing after the procedures.  An ophthalmologist is more of a medical-related specialist, who would need to be involved if some kind of surgery were being considered.  An optometrist can treat most any eye condition, including the use of topical or oral medications if needed.  This might include the treatment of glaucoma, eye infections, allergic eye conditions and others, to name just a few.

    A third "O" that is often overlooked is the optician.  An optician is not a doctor, and they cannot examine your eyes under their own license.  However, a highly trained optician plays an indispensable role in the most successful eye doctors' offices.  An optician most often handles the optical, contact lens, and glasses side of things.  Based on their vast knowledge of lenses, lens technology and frames, they manufacture eyeglasses, as well as assist in the selection of eyewear, based on the requirements of each individual patient.  In some states opticians must be licensed to do their job, although Mississippi is not one of them at the time of this posting.

  • I see fine.  Why do I need an eye doctor?

    Regular eye exams are the only way to catch "silent" diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions in the early stages, when they are more easily managed or treated.  Many conditions can be discovered in a carefully planned eye exam.  

    Those who consider mass-produced, over-the-counter reading glasses are doing themselves a disservice, both financially and medically.  One-size-fits-all reading glasses not only do not work well for most people who have a different prescription in each eye, and/or astigmatism, or whose lens and frame parameters are not measured correctly.  For those insisting on selecting glasses not measured specifically for their eyes, headaches and eye fatigue are common symptoms.

    Don't bypass the opportunity to have your eyes checked for early detection of many manageable diseases or conditions.

  • At what age should my child have an eye exam?

    Before the child starts school or sooner if the parent feels there may be a problem or family history.

  • How often do I need my eyes examined?

    An annual check up is recommended by the American Optometric Society. 

  • Can everyone wear contacts?

    That is determined by your prescription.

  • Do I need a prescription to change my eye color?

    Yes, contact lens are a medical device and must be fitted by your doctor.


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