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Last reviewed: 20.10.2021

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Ophthalmology is a direction in medicine that studies the structure, functions of the organs of vision, as well as all possible diseases, pathologies associated with this process. Ophthalmologist - a doctor who has a higher medical education and specialization, suggesting knowledge of the theory, practice of diagnosis, treatment and preventive measures of eye diseases.

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Who is an ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmology as a science dates back to ancient times, in the 1st century BC, the healer Cornelius Celsius already knew what the iris of the eye is, what functions the front and back chambers perform, and also the ciliary body. In those days, people did not ask themselves - who is an ophthalmologist, and just received help, if suddenly the eyes ached, blindness developed. Cels already knew how to distinguish between cataract and glaucoma and understood the difference between reversible and irreversible loss of vision associated with these pathologies. By his works, methods doctors used until the XVII century. A great contribution to the development of the science of vision was made by Arab doctors who managed to combine and synthesize various information, systematizing them into a large scientific description "The Book of Optics", the authorship of which belongs to Alhazen. He supplemented the methods of diagnosis and treatment and Avicenna, his "Canon of Medical Medicine" contains many useful tips that help the healers cure diseases of the eyes. Of course, now there are more advanced technologies that allow not only to quickly establish the root cause of the disease, but also virtually painlessly eliminate it. In the development of modern ophthalmology, an important role was played by the Englishman Kritschet, in the XXth century the great physicians - Fedorov and Filatov.

Who is an ophthalmologist? He is a specialist with a higher medical education specializing in the field of eye diagnostics and treatment. Narrow specialization involves knowledge of anatomy, the structure of the organs of vision, the entire visual system, the ability to use the necessary diagnostic methods and methods of treatment. In addition, the ophthalmologist should be able to make a program of preventive measures, be aware of all pharmaceutical innovations and, in principle, constantly improve their skills. In this specialization there is a subdivision into more narrow profiles - an ophthalmologist, an oculist and an optometrist, an optometrist.

  1. Ophthalmologist - determine the disease, treats them both therapeutic and surgical.
  2. The oculist - the expert correcting infringements of sight, writes out preparations for treatment.
  3. Optometrist is a doctor who does not deal with eye surgery, he can diagnose, diagnose diseases or visual impairments, pick up glasses or contact lenses, suggest specific methods of correction - curative gymnastics, eye exercises.

When should I go to an ophthalmologist?

In order to prevent eye disease, in principle, you need to check your eyes at least annually. It is also necessary to know when to contact an ophthalmologist, which signs can be alarm signals that indicate the onset of a pathological process: 

  • Defects, changes in the field of vision - local or concentric narrowing, scotoma (foci of vision loss).
  • Reducing visual acuity in the distance, near.
  • Moss, dots, circles before the eyes as a sign of the beginning of the destruction of the vitreous body.
  • Distortion of the shape of objects.
  • Fog before the eyes.
  • Fear of light.
  • Increased lacrimation.
  • Pain in the eyeball.
  • Burning, itching in the eyes.
  • Dry eyes.
  • Redness of the eyelids.
  • Redness of the eyeball.
  • The swelling of the eyelids, unrelated to an objective provocative cause.
  • Sensation of foreign, foreign object in the eye.
  • Purulent discharge from the eyes.

In addition, continuous monitoring of the ophthalmologist is needed for diabetes, as well as for pregnancy. Clinical examinations are necessary for patients who have a history of kidney disease, liver, endocrine system, all people suffering from atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases. Any discomfort in the eyes should be an occasion for a visit to the doctor, since many pathologies, eye diseases develop asymptomatically, especially it is important for the elderly, when the risk of developing glaucoma or cataract is much higher.

What tests should I take when I contact an ophthalmologist?

Usually, before the visit to the doctor, the tests do not give up. In order to identify the range of examinations, an initial consultation and examination is necessary. Therefore, the question - what tests to pass when referring to an ophthalmologist should be reformulated in this way - what tests may be needed to clarify the diagnosis and choice of treatment.

What examinations can be appointed: 

  • UAC is a general blood test.
  • Blood chemistry.
  • Analysis of urine.
  • Determination of the immune status - immunogram, immunofermentogram (cellular and humoral immunity).
  • Diagnosis of infections - blood sampling for the definition of a possible infectious agent, including HSV (herpes simplex virus), staphylococcus, CMV (cytomegalovirus), Epstein-Barr virus, mycoplasmosis, toxoplasmosis, chlamydia, mononucleosis.
  • Identify or exclude hepatitis (B, C).
  • Identification of adenovirus infection.
  • Analysis for hormones according to indications.
  • Blood for sugar - according to the indications.
  • Bacterial sowing from the eyes.

What diagnostic methods does the ophthalmologist use?

A modern ophthalmologist can use the latest developments, novelties to diagnose eye diseases. At present, a visit to a doctor is not just a visual examination and a sight test, but a real complex of examinations that allows you to accurately determine the cause, localization of the pathological process and, as a result, to select the appropriate adequate treatment

What diagnostic methods does the ophthalmologist use? 

  • Vision is the definition of visual acuity with the help of special tables and with the help of devices that detect deep vision.
  • Determining the ability to distinguish colors is a color test.
  • Perimetry - definition of the field of vision.
  • Refractive studies to detect myopia, astigmatism, farsightedness or emmetropia (normal vision). The examination involves the use of different lenses.
  • Laser definition of refraction.
  • Refractometry - the use of a special device - a refractometer.
  • Tonometry is the study of intraocular pressure.
  • Tonography is an eye study for glaucoma (a study of the ability to produce an eye fluid).
  • .Biomikroskopiya - the study of the fundus by means of a lamp.
  • Iridodiagnostics - the study of the state of the iris.

What does an ophthalmologist do?

The ophthalmologist at the primary reception interrogates the patient, checks the visual acuity, detects violations - farsightedness or nearsightedness, checks the fundus for the retina detachment. Also it is checked whether there are local hemorrhages, the state of the vascular system.

What else does an ophthalmologist do? 

  • Examines the state of vision, eyes with the help of special tools, drops that can expand the pupil. This helps to more specifically examine all the departments of the retina.
  • She studies the condition of iris tissues.
  • Determines the iris color tone.
  • Identifies abnormalities in refraction (degree of myopia or farsightedness).
  • Explores the state and degree of transparency of the optical apparatus, its physical functions and magnitudes.
  • Checks the condition of the optic nerve.
  • Involves to the examination and choice of the method of treatment of colleagues - neuropathologist, therapist, immunologist, surgeon, endocrinologist.
  • He writes out directions for additional tests and studies of the state of the eyes.
  • Appoints treatment, procedures.
  • Controls the state of vision of the patient until the desired result is obtained.
  • Indicates the rules of post-therapeutic treatment at home.
  • Recommends measures to prevent eye diseases.

What diseases does the ophthalmologist treat?

Before determining what diseases the ophthalmologist treats, it is necessary to specify anatomical zones that are within the competence of the doctor. Ophthalmologist treats: 

  • Bulbus oculi - eyeball, all diseases associated with it.
  • Eyelids - lower and upper.
  • The lacrimal organs are the tear producing organs (glandula lacrymalis, glandula lacrymalis accesoria, Krause glands, Valdeyr's glands) and also the teardropper (conjunctival sac, rivus lacrymalis) and the lacrimal duct (puncta lacrymalia, canaliculi lacrymalis, saccus lacrymalis, ductus nasolacrymalis).
  • Conjunctiva - conjunctiva.
  • Orbita is an eye socket.

An ophthalmologist treats the following eye diseases:

  • Сonjunctivitis - conjunctivitis, inflammatory process in mucous membrane, various etiology - viral, infectious, traumatic.
  • Myopia (nearsightedness).
  • Hypermetropia (hyperopia), including presbyopia - age-long-sightedness.
  • Strabismus.
  • Glaucoma - increased intraocular pressure (IOP) and optic nerve damage.
  • Cataracta - clouding of the lens (cataract).
  • Astigmatism - a change in the shape of the lens of the eye, a violation of the structure of the cornea.
  • Nystagmus.
  • Leukoma of the throat) - corneal opacity.
  • Hordeolum (barley).
  • Hemophthalmus (opacity of vitreous body).
  • Amblyopia (spasm of accommodation).
  • Vlepharitis (blepharitis) is an inflammatory process in the ciliary margins of the eyelids.
  • Epiphora (retention lacrimation - reflex, neurogenic).
  • The omission of the eyelids (ptosis).
  • Iridocyclitis is an inflammation of the iris.
  • Keratitis - keratitis, inflammation of the cornea.
  • Chalazion - halyazion, blockage of the meibomian gland.

Regardless of which diseases the ophthalmologist treats, all of them are somehow connected with diseases of internal organs and systems, the factors that provoke eye diseases can be: 

  • Atherosclerosis.
  • Hypertension.
  • Nephropathy.
  • Diabetes.
  • Severely leaking pregnancy in women, heavy childbirth.
  • Injuries, bruises of the eyes.
  • Hereditary pathologies.
  • Violation of intrauterine development, congenital pathology of the eyes, vision.
  • Excessive physical strain of the eye muscles.
  • Work at the computer for a long time.
  • Stress.
  • Injuries of the cervical spine, head trauma.

Advice from an ophthalmologist

An ophthalmologist, in addition to diagnosing eye diseases, treats them with appropriate methods, should give recommendations on prevention and ways to prevent recurrence of the disease. The advice of an ophthalmologist should be carried out in order to maintain visual acuity for many years. The basic rules that help to minimize or completely avoid pathological changes in the optical apparatus are as follows: 

  • Refusal from bad habits, especially smoking. Nicotine can exert a destructive effect on the entire vascular system, including the vessels of the eyes.
  • It is desirable to regularly take vitamin preparations containing vitamin A, E, C, antioxidants, mineral complex.
  • Providing good vision helps and proper diet, when the menu includes vegetables, fruits, foods rich in vitamins, minerals. The leaders in this sense are carrots, the active component of which can have a beneficial effect on eyesight only in conjunction with fats, as well as dried apricots or fresh apricots, cherries, apples, pumpkins, blueberries, tomatoes.
  • Observe a certain regimen, giving rest to the eyes. This is especially important for those who are forced to sit at a computer for a long time, to strain their eyesight. Interruptions in the eyes every 25-30 minutes significantly reduce the risk of the disease of the visual system.
  • Important role is played by correct lighting, it provides normal vision, avoids excessive eye strain.
  • Motor activity in a reasonable frame is also important, since a sedentary lifestyle, hypodynamia is often a factor provoking an osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. As a result, the normal blood supply to the head is broken, which means that the eyes are also nourished.

Observing such simple recommendations, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk of vision loss, but the most effective way to prevent eye disease are systematic, regular check-ups with an ophthalmologist. Reasonable attitude to one's own health is what is necessary for good vision, it's not for nothing that the ancient thinker Socrates spoke about this so: "Good doctors say that it is impossible to treat one's eyes, and at the same time it is necessary to treat the head if they want the eyes to recover ".


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