Decoding the Numbers: Myopia

When it comes to optometry, one of the first pictures that comes to people’s minds is of an eye doctor turning dials on that one machine (the phoropter) and asking, “which is better, one or two” in efforts to determine the patient’s glasses prescription.

While I could dive into a lengthy explanation as to how we are trained to do much more than flip knobs and give glasses, that’s not the point of today’s post.  Rather, I’m here today to dive into the numbers and help explain what your prescription means.
MyopiaPatients with myopia are commonly referred to as being “near-sighted”.  This is because, even without their glasses, they are able to see clearly when looking at things up close.  Their problem is with looking far away. What causes myopia?All refractive errors (essentially the reason for needing glasses) are caused by a mismatch of power in the eyes.  In the case of myopia, the power (created by the cornea/clear surface and intraocular lens) is too great for the length of the ey…

Optometry vs Ophthalmology

As a young optometrist, one of the questions I’m most commonly asked is,
what’s the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist, and who should I see for (insert problem here)?
The simplest answer to this question is as follows:
Ophthalmologists do surgeries. Optometrists do everything else.
In all reality though, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. A slightly longer explanation would be:
Optometrists (at least in the United States) are eye care practitioners (ODs) who have graduated from an accredited optometry school and are licensed to diagnose and treat non-surgical disorders of the eye and optic pathway.  They may further specialize (via residency) to additional experience in working with a specific patient subset. (Note: not all states recognize OD specialization.)
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors (MDs) who have completed additional training (via residency) to specialize in the diagnosis and treatment (including surgical treatment options) of ocular disease.  The…