Many people came into the eye exam room thinking that the optometrist only checks for the glasses prescription, “better one or two.” However, ocular disease is always something discussed in the lecture books since the 1990s in University of Waterloo Optometry School, or earlier in some other schools; while ocular anatomy is an essential part of any optometric training since the establishment of the program.
Optometrists not only look into updating the glasses for people to see better, but more importantly, to help prevent blindness. The Optometric equipment always includes the slit lamp (magnifier/microscope) to help the doctor to assess the cornea (most outer layer of the eye, clear part over the iris), conjunctiva (white part of the eyes), iris, lens (transparent magnifier), vitreous (transparent collagen fibres) and the retina (back of the eye, where lights are captured).
Over the years, the scope of optometry has changed, consistent with the need to provide for the aging population and the healthcare system. Ontario Optometrists can prescribe for eye medications for infections, inflammations, allergies and glaucoma control. But we still have not skip out on checking the retina and the optic nerve. The retina provides essential functioning of capturing light energy and transfer them into electrical energy, sending through the optic nerve fibres to the visual cortex, at the back of the brain.
All these would not have happened if there is no blood vessels providing oxygen through the vascular flow to support it. Here is the venous pulsations at the optic nerve head, where the magic happens in your eye.
Dr. Yan L. Liang, OD
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