Insight into the Responsibilities of an Eye Doctor: Beyond Simple Vision Checks

eye doctor

An eye doctor has at least 12 years of postgraduate training after undergraduate study, medical school, and an ophthalmology residency. He or she performs cataract surgery and other procedures to treat eye disorders like glaucoma, diabetes, and macular degeneration.

He or she may ask you to put in drops that numb your eyes so he or she can check the inside of your eye. Other tests can include Schirmer testing (using small strips of paper placed on your eyelids to measure your baseline tear fluid), LipiView digital images of the glands, and punctual occlusion (temporary or permanent plugging of the tears). Check out My Eye Doctor Towson for more details.

Eyelid hygiene

The eyelids are the gateway to the eyes, and they play an important role in protecting the ocular surface and ensuring a healthy tear film. It’s important to keep your lids clean, and this is an area where there are many products on the market that can help. Your optometrist can recommend a product that best suits your situation and needs, and that will help you maintain good eyelid hygiene.

One of the most important aspects of eyelid hygiene is to wash the lids daily. This removes debris and helps to reduce inflammation of the lids, which can lead to symptoms such as styes or meibomitis. It also prevents the buildup of germs, which can contribute to a number of problems, including meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and blepharitis.

It is important to use a mild cleaning solution, and it’s recommended that you use a soft cloth or washcloth. Make sure to warm the washcloth before placing it on your face, and then gently rub over the edges of your lids. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as the skin on your lids is thin and sensitive.

A clean, dry washcloth can be used to wipe away any debris that remains after rubbing the eyelids, and you can also purchase pre-moistened pads that are specially designed for this purpose. These pads are often enriched with emollients, which can help to soften the skin and prevent it from becoming too dry and inflamed.

Another way to promote good eyelid hygiene is to rinse your eyes with saline solution at least twice a day. This can help to remove excess oil, and it can also keep your eyes healthy by preventing bacterial infections.


Antibiotics are powerful medicines that can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, from skin infections to serious bacterial diseases. Your eye care specialist can prescribe antibiotics to treat infections in and around the eyes, including blepharitis and dry eye syndrome (DED). Oral antibiotics are pills or capsules that you swallow. They can also come in the form of an ointment or cream that you apply to your skin, or eye drops. Injections and intravenous (IV) antibiotics are stronger medicine that your healthcare provider gives you through a needle or into a vein.

A specialized antibiotic known as tetracycline is effective in treating blepharitis and DED, although it must be taken on a long-term basis to prevent the formation of resistant bacteria. The tetracyclines work by disrupting the growth of bacteria in the oil glands and unblocking them, thus decreasing inflammation and increasing tear production.

Your doctor may recommend warm compresses or an eyelid scrub to help reduce inflammation from blepharitis. These treatments are not as effective as antibiotics for reducing symptoms of DED, but they are an excellent starting point if other therapies are ineffective.

Another way to treat blepharitis and DED is through synbiotic supplements that contain probiotics, prebiotics and vitamins. One study found that a combination of probiotics, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Streptococcus thermofhilus, and prebiotics, including fructooligosaccharides, lowered the symptoms of DED and improved Schirmer tear test results and tear break up time. Other studies have found that dietary changes and a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids can help improve ocular surface health and decrease inflammation in people with DED. [153]

Eye drops

Eye drops are liquid medication applied directly to the surface of the eye. They are often saline solutions with medications to treat different eye conditions. Some have no medications and serve purely as lubricants to relieve dry eyes. Others may contain medications such as antihistamines, sympathomimetics, cholinergics, antidepressants, steroids, parasympathomimetics, benzalkonium chloride, phenylethyl alcohol, epinephrine, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, prostaglandins, and vasoconstrictors.

Medicated lubricating eye drops are used to replace the tears the eye produces naturally to keep it lubricated. These are also used to flush foreign debris from the eye. They are usually prescribed to patients suffering from dry eyes, a condition that is characterized by lack of tears, swollen and red eyelids, and stinging or burning sensations.

The drops are also helpful for patients suffering from other eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, and ocular herpes. They help wash away debris from the eye, keep the eyes lubricated, and promote the healing process after a scratch or injury.

Some medicated eye drops are designed to prevent bacterial infections such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa that can cause severe eye irritation. These drops can be administered daily to reduce the risk of infection, but should never be used as a substitute for regular cleaning with warm water and lid scrubs.

Several things to keep in mind about eye drop use include washing the hands before applying them, taking out contact lenses, and not touching the tip of the bottle to the eyes or any other surface area. Some people are unable to put drops into their eyes themselves because of hand tremors, poor vision or coordination, or fear. In these cases, they should seek out the help of a friend or family member.

Tear duct plugs

If eye drops do not provide enough relief for your dry eyes, your doctor may recommend punctal plugs. These tiny plugs, which are about the size of a grain of rice, can be inserted into your tear ducts to block drainage and increase surface moisture. They are also known as lacrimal plugs or occluders. Punctal plugs are typically used to treat severe dry eye and other conditions like autoimmune diseases, including Sjogren’s syndrome and graft-vs-host disease (GVHD).

Your doctor will determine the correct type and size of punctal plug for your needs. He or she will use a tool called a lacrimal dilator to expand the punctae and then insert the plugs. The procedure takes only a few minutes and does not require anesthesia. You will only feel slight pressure during the insertion process.

Temporary punctal plugs are made of materials that will dissolve over time or be absorbed by your body. These are a good option if you are considering more permanent plugs or want to try them out before making the commitment. Semi-permanent punctal plugs are longer-lasting and usually made of silicone or acrylic. They can be removed easily if needed. Medicated plugs have medication-releasing cores or are coated in medications to treat certain conditions, such as autoimmune diseases like lupus and gvHD. The longest-lasting punctal plugs are intracanalicular plugs, which are inserted deeper into the eye’s duct and can be less visible.

If a punctal plug does not work or you are concerned about complications, your doctor can perform a simple office procedure called punctal cautery. This uses heat to burn the puncta and close them with scars. The procedure is quick and does not require anesthesia, and it is often reserved for those for whom other dry eye treatment options fail.

Contact lenses

Many people who wear contact lenses experience dry eyes. This problem is caused by the lenses absorbing some of the natural tears and by the eye’s own tear film not being enough to keep the lenses moist. To treat this, your Park Slope eye doctor may recommend using artificial tears or an over-the-counter lubricant, which can be purchased at most pharmacies. They may also recommend photofacials, a treatment that uses light to liquefy the hardened oils in the meibomian glands (the part of the eye that makes oil for tears).

Other problems with contacts include the irritation that can occur when they move around on the surface of the eye. This can cause redness and watering, as well as the feeling of something stuck in the eye. To prevent this, you should only use your contact lenses for the time that your eye doctor recommends. Some doctors may even recommend a daily disposable contact lens that eliminates the need for storing and cleaning.

Contacts are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to correct different vision problems, including astigmatism. They come in different strengths or diopters, which is the number that indicates the power of the lens. The strength of a contact lens can be determined by reading the prescription that is written on the box, or in your vision insurance card.

Some people may try to save money by buying decorative contact lenses over the Internet or at drug stores, but this is not recommended. Decorative contact lenses are medical devices, and they require a prescription from an eye care professional. These types of contacts can increase the risk of serious eye infections and other health complications. These complications can include microbial keratitis, which is an infection of the cornea that can lead to blindness.