Submitted by Dr. Cory Sateren, Optometrist
NorthLakes Community Clinic – Ashland Optometry
As you dive into your annual spring cleaning, it is also a great time to consider an annual eye exam. In addition to helping you remember to get your eyes checked, it is a great time to think about new sunglasses for upcoming outdoor activities or making sure your children’s eyesight hasn’t changed. But have you ever wondered what exactly an optometrist can do for you?
An optometrist is an eye doctor who examines and treats eyes for both vision and eye health conditions. He or she prescribes glasses and contact lenses as needed to improve vision. They also prescribe medications to treat eye conditions such as bacterial infections, pink eye, allergies, and inflammation. In a routine eye exam, the optometrist will determine whether you need glasses to give you best long distance and close-up vision. They may also test your color vision, depth perception and eye movement and tracking. A refraction is the portion of the exam that determines whether glasses would improve your vision. Factors that may affect your vision comfort at work or school, such as computer screen time and types of demands on your focusing will be considered. As part of your eye exam, the optometrist will evaluate your eye health with dilating drops, and can detect eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. As we get older, we may experience more difficulty with reading or glare when driving at night. Our eyes may become dry and irritated more easily. We also are more likely to develop health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure which can affect our eye health. Optometrists are part of the health care team and communicate with family doctors and specialists as needed.
Busy adults and children can benefit from regular routine eye exams to ensure good eye health and the best vision. Your optometrist considers your hobby, work and lifestyle needs when recommending corrective lenses, glasses and contact lens options. Contact lenses have been a popular option for vision correction for decades. New materials and styles of contact lenses allow for more people to find comfort and clear vision while enjoying the convenience of leaving their glasses at home. If you have ever wondered if refractive surgery to get rid of glasses could be for you, a visit to your optometrist is a good place to start the discussion. Your optometrist can examine your eyes and if you are a candidate, refer you to the appropriate refractive eye surgeon.
NorthLakes Community Clinic currently offers optometry services in Ashland. We accept everyone, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status. We also offer a sliding fee scale for patients who qualify. To learn more or schedule an appointment, please call 715.682.4666.