Eye HealthLifestyle Topics
Water & Contacts Don’t Mix
To help prevent eye infections, contact lenses should be removed before going swimming or in a hot tub.
Jumping a Battery
Take precautions to prevent eye injury. Never lean over the battery and always wear safety goggles.
Eye Protection Works
Wearing the proper protective eyewear for sports and other activities can help prevent 90% of eye injuries.
It's Not OK to Skip a Day
To control glaucoma, take eye drops exactly as prescribed by your ophthalmologist—your sight depends on it.
Give your Eyes a Break
To prevent computer eyestrain, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
What Is an Ophthalmologist?
Are You Fit at 40?
A baseline eye exam is recommended at age 40, when the signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur.
Part 1 of a 5-Part Series: Preoperative Testing
To protect your vision, it's important to make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent eye diseases, eye infections and eye injuries. But appropriate medical care also plays a role. From screenings to medicines and surgical treatments, care from an ophthalmologist—an eye physician and surgeon—can make the difference between healthy vision and losing your eyesight.
Sometimes, though, it is difficult to know how much eye care is enough, and which eye treatments are best for you. To help make sure you and your ophthalmologist are choosing wisely when you consider your treatment options, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has joined more than 30 other medical societies in the Choosing Wisely® campaign to encourage conversations between doctors and patients to discuss medical options.
Ophthalmologists are looking at five specific tests and treatments that could benefit from doctor-patient conversations. They include:
- Preoperative testing;
- Imaging tests;
- Antibiotics for pink eye;
- Antibiotics for eye injections; and
- Punctal plugs for dry eye.
This is the first in a series of articles that will discuss each item in detail over the next five weeks.
For many people, preoperative tests are not necessary. In general, patients scheduled for eye surgeries like cataract surgery do not need medical tests unless their medical history or physical examination indicates the need for a test. For example, your doctor should order an EKG before surgery only if you have heart disease, or a blood glucose test only if you have diabetes. Or, if you are on diuretics, they may need to run a potassium test. As in these examples, preoperative testing can be essential, but most patients probably do not need them, so they should not be a matter of routine. It depends on your specific medical history.
EyeSmart and the American Academy of Ophthalmology urge you to have a conversation with your ophthalmologist to discuss if preoperative tests are important for you based on your particular history and physical examination.
Ultimately, the best treatment for you will be up to you and your doctor. Choosing Wisely is all about making patient care even better and avoiding too much care that could possibly do harm. Having conversations that help avoid unnecessary tests, medicines, and procedures is one way to help keep you safe as a patient, and safeguard your pocketbook, too.
More information on the Choosing Wisely campaign is available at Choosing Wisely.
Return next week to learn about the imaging tests that patients and their ophthalmologists should question and discuss together.