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TO YOUR HEALTH SiG MT 122 TEXT BY DR. JORDAN NEIFFER, CENTRAL MONTANA EYECARE e decisions we make every hour of every day are guided by what we see. My goal, as an optometrist, is to help you see beer thereby providing you with more information, so that you may beer understand your world. Each of our work and recreation lives are different. With differing objectives and expectations, come different options to have your vision work beer for you. Aer completing a bachelor's degree, an optometrist (O.D.) completes a four-year Doctor of Optometry program. is program is dedicated to ocular health and disease as well as studying binocular vision and processing. An O.D. monitors your ocular health, can prescribe glasses and contacts, remove ocular foreign bodies, and troubleshoot ocular emergencies. Your O.D. will help navigate and refer you for ocular surgery, whether surgery is for refractive purposes like LASIK, or medically necessary cataract surgery. If you have any problem with your eyes, your optometrist is the first step for fixing the problem. e primary purpose is to provide you with the means to have the best vision possible. It is important to know that having an eye exam every year starting at the age of one should be a priority for monitoring not only ocular health, but overall health. Optometrists save lives and vision by detecting early signs of brain tumors, diabetes, autoimmune conditions and more. Being able to see retinal blood vessels and look directly at a patient's optic nerve allows us to evaluate and monitor changes that are occurring throughout the entire body. Infants, starting at the age of one year or sooner, should have their first eye exam if they were premature or underwent intensive care aer delivery. Infants that have excessive tearing, constantly rub their eyes, or show an eye turn of any sort should be evaluated around six months. Children should be monitored every year because it is such a critical time in their development. One out of four children have an issue with the incredibly intricate binocular vision system that can lead to poor learning performance. e brain, at this age, is still making and refining connections to their visual systems until nine years of age. If one eye has an eye turn or larger prescription, the weaker eye may never properly develop 20/20 vision even though the eye is perfectly healthy. Children who have rapidly developing nearsightedness are now undergoing contact lens or drop therapies to slow down those changes. Young adults may experience small changes in prescription until the late twenties. One hurdle people will all have is when they reach their 40's. Around 40, the frustrating process of a weakening near-focusing system called presbyopia starts to set in. While bifocals or reading glasses might be the classic standard, your O.D. likely has other options to combat those changes. Contact lenses are one area that specifically continues to improve in both vision and comfort. So contact lens technology has improved to where we can now fit patients who were not previously great candidates. Multifocal so contact lenses can reduce your need for reading glasses, EYE How Can Help You

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