When should you see an ophthalmologist or optometrist for an eye exam

​​You may need to see an eye doctor in Western, MA, for routine screenings, vision correction, or diagnosing and treating conditions involving the eye. “Eye doctor” is a broad term that may include both ophthalmologists and optometrists. Depending on the type of services you need, you may be able to go to either. Nevertheless, because there are some situations in which it is more appropriate to go to one or the other, you should learn about the differences between them and what each one does. 

What Is an Optometrist?

Optometrists are vision health professionals licensed to provide primary vision care. To become an optometrist, a person has to earn a doctor of optometry degree from a special postgraduate program at an accredited school after college. While optometrists are referred to as doctors, they do not hold medical degrees. 

Optometrist eye exams are used for routine screening for diseases and identifying changes in vision that may require corrective lenses. Optometrists can prescribe glasses or contacts for people who need vision correction but have limited ability to diagnose eye diseases and prescribe medications to treat them. Because they are not medical doctors, they cannot perform eye surgery. 

What Is an Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in vision care and eye health. They attend four years of medical school and serve an internship to earn an M.D. or D.O. degree, just as general practitioners do. Then, they serve a residency specific to ophthalmology for several more years before they are ready to practice independently.

Ophthalmologists can do everything that optometrists can do. In addition, because they hold medical degrees, ophthalmologists can perform more detailed medical eye exams to diagnose serious conditions. 

Which Doctor Do I Need To See – Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

You should see an opthalmologist for severe diseases of the eye. These include conditions that could cause complete vision loss, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or cataracts. If surgery is a treatment option for your condition, an ophthalmologist can perform it or, if not, provide more advanced conservative treatments than you would be able to receive from an optometrist. 

Both ophthalmologists and optometrists are qualified to provide routine eye care for generally healthy people with no known serious eye complaints. Either can perform eye exams, diagnose vision changes, and prescribe corrective lenses for patients. Which professional you choose for these services is up to you. 

During a routine exam, an optometrist may see signs or symptoms of an eye disease that is beyond their scope to diagnose and treat. Your optometrist can then refer you to an ophthalmologist if you have an advanced condition or one that requires surgery. On the other hand, you may go to an ophthalmologist first for your routine eye care, who may be able to continue to provide treatment for you if it turns out that you have a serious eye condition that requires surgery or other, more in-depth treatment. However, while all ophthalmologists are qualified to perform surgery, some choose not to. Therefore, you may still require a referral. 

Schedule Your Eye Exam in Western Today

Dr. John Frangie is an award-winning ophthalmologist who has been practicing for nearly 30 years. He is one of the first to have offered laser surgery for LASIK and cataracts as an alternative to traditional surgery that uses blades. Contact us for a consultation.

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How to Protect Yourself From Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain, or computer vision syndrome, is a common modern problem due to our reliance on technology to work, socialize, and live. If you’ve been suffering from symptoms of digital eye strain, it’s important to take measures to protect your eye health — starting today.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

Most people who work with computers or screens for more than an hour each day have experienced symptoms of eye strain. You may notice the following symptoms when working with a brightly-lit screen:

  • Dry or watery eyes
  • A gritty, burning sensation
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Headaches, neck aches, or pain in the upper back

Ways To Relieve Digital Eye Strain

You may have heard that taking frequent breaks is a good idea when working at a computer all day. Learn more below about how much rest your eyes need and how to combat symptoms of digital strain.

1. Take Breaks

You can relieve many symptoms of eye strain by simply looking at something else on a regular schedule. If you find yourself in the habit of staring into a bright screen for hours on end, it’s time to change this habit. Get up and get a drink of water, do brief stretching exercises, and take a short walk around the block when you find that your eyes are overwhelmed.

2. Don’t Forget to Blink Often

When people stare at screens, they do not blink as often as they would in other situations. If your main symptom is eye dryness, make a conscious effort to blink more often and slowly. Though it sounds counterintuitive, if you’re experiencing very watery eyes, this could also indicate that your eyes are too dry!

3. Set Up Your Workspace With Eye Comfort in Mind

Make sure to set up your computer to protect your eye health. Positioning your eyes too close to the screen will lead to the symptoms listed above. Try to adjust your workstation to reflect good ergonomic standards: Your computer should be at least an arm’s length away from your eyes, and you should be able to sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.

You should not have to lean in, squint, or strain to see the computer. Adjust your screen so that it is slightly below eye level and tilted upward. If the problem is that you’re having trouble reading the text on the screen, you may need an eye exam.

4. Live by the 20-20-20 Rules

You may have heard the 20-20-20 rule when it comes to protecting your health when you work in a sedentary position. Attempt to get up and move your body every 20 minutes for about 20 seconds while looking at something 20 feet away. Setting a timer may help you remember to do this.

5. First Sunglasses, Now Computer Glasses

Do you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh rays? You can also use computer glasses that protect your eyes from strain. These special computer lenses help block the blue light from the screen, which can be harsh on human eyes for a prolonged period.

Schedule Your Eye Exam in West Springfield Today

If you’re experiencing symptoms related to digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome, it’s important to schedule an appointment to be evaluated by a qualified eye doctor. Get in touch with Dr. John Frangie’s office today to schedule your consultation and learn how to experience better, healthier vision every day!

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Cataract Surgery Using the LenSx

In people over the age of 55, cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss. They occur because of naturally occurring proteins in the eye clumping together over time. This causes the lens to become cloudy. While changes to the lens due to cataracts occur slowly, eventually it may become so clouded that it no longer allows enough light into the eye for you to see. Fortunately, the condition is treatable with cataract surgery. The LenSx machine is an innovation in treating cataracts surgically that offers our patients in West Springfield, MA, significant advantages over traditional cataract surgery.

What Is LenSx Laser Cataract Surgery?

Traditional cataract surgery involves using a scalpel to make incisions in the eye through which another instrument is inserted to break up and remove the clouded lens so that a new artificial replacement can be placed. The LenSx machine uses a laser to make the incisions and break up the cloudy lens during cataract surgery.

The laser used by the LenSx Machine makes more precise incisions than could be done with a scalpel in traditional cataract surgery. There is less trauma to the eye in breaking up the effective lens because the laser works more efficiently. This means fewer side effects, less time in surgery, and faster recovery for patients in West Springfield, MA.

What Type of Laser Is LenSx?

The LenSx machine uses a femtosecond laser. A femtosecond is one-quadrillionth of a second. This refers to the rate at which the machine emits bursts of laser energy. Following its introduction in the early 1990s, the femtosecond laser gained the approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration for LASIK procedures in 2001. In the intervening 20 years, there have been dramatic improvements in the technology to make it faster, more precise, and more efficient, with reproducible results. It is now used in other ophthalmologic surgical procedures, including cataract surgery.

Is LenSx Cataract Surgery Covered by Medicare?

Cataract surgery is usually performed to correct vision loss. Medicare only considers the medical necessity of the procedure, not the technique used, and will cover a procedure performed with a LenSx machine the same as it would the traditional procedure to remove cataracts. This means that, in either case, Medicare covers 80% of the total cost, with the remaining 20% being the patient’s responsibility.

Bladeless Cataract Surgery From Northeast Laser

Dr. John Frangie at Northeast Laser is always at the forefront of technology when it comes to advances in eye surgery. Patients in West Springfield, MA, trust his years of experience. Contact us when you are ready to permanently correct your vision by having your cataracts removed safely and efficiently.

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What Causes Double Vision?

Double vision is when your eye sees more than one image of the same thing. Instead of looking crisp and clear, objects seem blurry, almost as if a “ghost” image were overlapping. The scientific name for this eye condition is diplopia. What causes double vision, and how serious is it?

Causes of Double Vision

Several conditions can cause double vision. Sometimes, the problem is related to the lens or cornea of the eye, causing light to focus incorrectly on the retina and create double images. In other cases, diplopia is related to nerve damage, muscle weakness, or brain problems.

1. Astigmatism

Astigmatism is one of the most common causes of double vision in West Springfield, MA. This condition means the eye’s cornea or lens is curved incorrectly, so light focuses on different parts of the retina simultaneously. This causes blurry vision, double vision, or eye strain. Fortunately, most cases can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.

2. Dry Eyes and Eyestrain

The muscles of your eyes can get tired out after long or intense use, such as staring for hours at a computer screen. Dry eyes can happen when you don’t blink sufficiently (often from a computer screen) or when your house is very dry. Both eyestrain and dry eyes can cause temporary double vision.

3. Cataracts

A cataract is when the lens of an eye becomes clouded. This is a common condition for senior adults, and it can affect one or both eyes. Eye specialists can remove cataracts with a safe, effective surgery.

4. Diabetes or High Blood Pressure

Diabetes and hypertension can cause nerve damage in the muscles that control eye movement. This can make it hard for your eyes to focus properly and cause double vision. In this case, the solution is to get treatment for your diabetes or high blood pressure.

5. Migraine Headaches

Some migraine sufferers experience double vision every time they get a migraine. If this is your case, the diplopia should go away when your migraine subsides.

6. Head Injuries

Injuries to the head can cause bleeding or swelling of the brain. This trauma can happen even if the impact doesn’t look serious on the outside. Pressure on nerves can cause double vision, vomiting, vertigo, and other symptoms.

7. Stroke

Sudden double vision that doesn’t go away after an hour or two may be a sign of a life-threatening stroke or a brain aneurysm. The brain isn’t receiving blood or oxygen, which can cause double vision in both eyes. Other symptoms are paralysis of facial muscles, severe headache, slurred speech, and intense dizziness.

8. Brain Tumors

Similar to head injuries, brain tumors put pressure on nerves in the brain. The result can be long-lasting double vision, headaches that increase in severity, unexplained vomiting, and other serious systems.

Double Vision: Should You Be Concerned?

Seeing double can make anyone panic. The good news is that diplopia caused by astigmatism can be treated with a visit to the eye doctor. If you mainly notice double vision after spending all day in front of a bright computer screen, the solution may be just to give your eyes some rest every 20 minutes.

That said, sometimes diplopia is caused by serious or life-threatening health conditions. If double vision appears suddenly, or you have other worrying symptoms, visit your doctor right away. Always do this if double vision occurs after a head injury. Afterward, contact Dr. John Frangie and the team at Northeast Laser in West Springfield, MA, to find an effective treatment for double vision.

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What is Pink Eye?

  • Pink eye is a common eye issue that results in redness and eye discharge. Although it is usually harmless, some cases may require prescription treatment.
  • Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is most often caused by exposure to viruses, bacteria, or common allergens. It can be helpful to see a doctor to diagnose the underlying cause to determine the best treatment plan for symptom relief.

Are you or your child experiencing redness, swelling, or discharge from one or both eyes? You may be dealing with a case of pink eye. Also known as conjunctivitis, this eye condition is relatively common and usually harmless. However, it’s important for families in West Springfield, Massachusetts, to understand pink eye so they can protect themselves and seek treatment when necessary.

What Causes Pink Eye?

In general, there are three leading causes of pink eye:

  • Exposure to a virus
  • Exposure to bacteria
  • Exposure to an allergen

Sometimes, wearing contact lenses, a foreign body in the eye, or exposure to certain chemicals or pollutants can also cause conjunctivitis.

Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are highly contagious and are most common among children. Most people contract this type of pink eye by touching their face or eyes with unclean hands. It’s important to wash your hands often and to avoid rubbing or touching your eyes. This can significantly lower your risks of developing pink eye.

What Are the Symptoms of Pink Eye?

A person who has conjunctivitis may experience redness and swelling around the eyelids. A white or yellow discharge is also common and can become crusty, especially during sleep. Pink eye can be uncomfortable and may also cause itching, burning, and eye pain.

Is Pink Eye Serious?

Most of the time, pink eye is bothersome but not dangerous. However, you should see a doctor right away if your symptoms are accompanied by:

  • Pain
  • Blurred vision (that is not caused by discharge)
  • Sensitivity to light
  • An existing immune system condition

You should also seek medical treatment if your symptoms worsen. Sometimes, it can be helpful to see an eye care specialist in West Springfield, Massachusetts, to determine the underlying cause and rule out other possible issues.

Will Pink Eye Go Away on Its Own?

Depending on the cause, a mild case of pink eye usually clears up on its own within a week or two. More severe cases may take up to three weeks before all symptoms disappear. However, certain types of bacterial conjunctivitis may not go away without treatment. Even though treatment isn’t always necessary, it can speed up healing time to resume everyday life.

What Pink Eye Treatments Are Available?

Most experts recommend some simple home care techniques to improve pink eye symptoms. Cold compresses and artificial tear eye drops can help some patients experience relief from irritation and swelling. You should also avoid using eye makeup and wearing contact lenses until you are symptom-free. Your doctor may give you special instructions about cleaning or replacing your contact lenses before you start wearing them again.

Bacterial conjunctivitis usually requires an antibiotic treatment, which is usually prescribed in the form of an eye ointment. Patients should follow the instructions carefully and complete the entire treatment. Otherwise, pink eye could come back.

While antibiotics are not effective in treating viral conjunctivitis, antiviral medications may be helpful if the case is serious. Recurring or severe allergic conjunctivitis may be treated with antihistamines and prescription eye drops.

Where Can You Turn for Complete Eye Care?

Whether you’re dealing with pink eye, refractive issues, or other eye conditions, Northeast Laser of West Springfield, Massachusetts, can help you get the care and treatment you need to see clearly. Call us at 413-363-2732 or Contact us online today to learn more about our numerous services for the entire family. We’re here to help you enjoy all of the benefits of better eye health.

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Are Prescription Sunglasses Really Worth it?

No matter if it’s summer or winter, your eyes are vulnerable to sun rays without a pair of prescriptions sunglasses:

  • – Sunglasses help reduce the signs of aging.
  • – All sunglasses offer protection from ultraviolet rays. 

If you wear prescription eyeglasses, you owe it to yourself to consider your options for prescription glasses that protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Prescription sunglasses from Northeast Laser are designed with your eyes in mind, ensuring you receive superior protection from UV rays while still improving your eyesight. Perhaps you aren’t entirely convinced you need custom sunglasses. Let’s dive into their advantages, things to consider, and more.


To lower your chances of experiencing cataracts from spending a lot of time outside in Springfield, don a pair of prescription sunglasses. Reducing your eyes’ exposure to the sun cuts your chances of getting cataracts by roughly 20%. In addition, sunglasses protect your eyes from dangerous ultraviolet A and B rays, which are present in the winter and stronger during cloudy days.

Even if you don’t spend a lot of time outside, we still recommend you wear sunglasses with prescription lenses. Many of the electronic devices we use emit harmful blue light, leading to several eye issues, such as macular degeneration.

Speaking of macular degeneration, even if a Springfield eye specialist already diagnosed you with the disease, you can weaken the effects of the condition with proper eye protection. A pair of sunglasses wards off less common eye ailments, such as astigmatism, sunburned corneas, and photokeratitis, which triggers discomfort and light sensitivity. 

Things To Consider

Now that you have a better idea of why you should order a prescription pair of sunglasses, we’d like to share a few facts to keep in mind while narrowing your options. If you feel you’re fine with the magnetic or clip-on sun shields you use for your regular eyeglasses, consider how much you spend on replacements after breaking or losing the item. You and your wallet may be better off with custom sunglasses.

Are you due for a pair of new prescription lenses soon? If so, ask your eye care specialist if you qualify for a discount if you buy new glasses and prescription lenses that offer UV protection at the same time.

Those who spend a lot of time out and about in West Springfield exploring nature may enjoy the convenience of slipping on prescription sunglasses. No longer do you have to squint or miss out on sites because of blinding sun rays.

Your eye care provider can work with you to better determine if a good pair of protective UV lenses fit your current lifestyle, no matter if you’re a nature enthusiast or spend a lot of time in front of electronic screens.


While talking with your eye care specialist, we recommend going over a few precautions. For instance, depending on your prescription’s strength, you may require thicker protective lenses. If so, ask about high-index lenses, which give you the strength you need to see better in sunlight without wearing massive lenses.

You may also want to think about getting a classic style of UV glasses. That way, you don’t have to worry about sacrificing style while improving and protecting your eyesight outside.

Contact Us

If you live in the West Springfield, MA area and would like more information on prescription sunglasses, reach out to Northeast Laser today. Call (413) 363-2732 or contact us online.

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How Early Should Children Have Eye Exams?

By reading this blog post, you’ll learn: 

  • When your child should receive their first eye exam and how often they should have their eyes examined
  • What signs to look out for that may indicate an issue with your child’s vision

For parents, there’s nothing more important than the healthy development of their child. An essential part of that development is their vision, as that will aid in coordination, learning, and fine motor skills. As a child’s vision develops, though, it can be difficult to know when you should start to be concerned or when they are following the normal development path.

During this period of rapid development, your child may receive a vision screening by a pediatrician or through their preschool. While these screenings can find issues, they also miss potential concerns. This can give a parent a false sense of their child’s development. 

Instead, parents should seek out a comprehensive eye examination conducted by a doctor of optometry. By utilizing a specialist, you’ll gain the needed insights to take early corrective action as necessary. 

When Should You Book Your First Children’s Eye Exam? 

Infant eye exams, preferably before they turn a year old, can help identify a variety of early vision issues: 

  • Astigmatism
  • Farsightedness
  • Nearsightedness 
  • Nontypical eye movement 
  • Nontypical eye alignment 
  • Nontypical responses to stimuli like light
  • Weakness in one eye when compared to the other 

After this first initial examination, your child should undergo another one after they’ve turned three but before they’ve turned five years old. Generally, a full eye examination should also be conducted before they enter first grade. Once they’ve reached elementary school, their eyes and vision should be checked annually. 

Based on the results of any of these examinations, the eye doctor may recommend further examinations or follow-up appointments. This approach will help uncover potential issues early enough so they shouldn’t affect other aspects of the child’s development.

What Are the Common Signs of Vision Issues in Children? 

Of course, if you suspect that your child is having issues with their eyesight, you don’t need to wait until their next eye examination to discuss it with a doctor. You can book an earlier appointment before the schedule suggested in the previous section, especially if you notice some of the common indicators of a child’s vision issue: 

  • • Covering an eye 
  • • Frequent eye rubbing 
  • • Frequent headaches 
  • • Holding a book too close 
  • • Issues with eye-hand-body coordination 
  • • Noticeable sensitivity to light 
  • • Reading with their fingers 
  • • Sitting too close to the TV 
  • • Squinting 

Your child won’t know they have difficulty seeing as they are unable to compare their experience to others. Keeping watch for any of those signs will help you know when a quicker return to the eye doctor is needed. 

How Can You Help With Your Child’s Vision Development? 

There are ways to help your child develop improved vision skills. Some of these things are fairly routine, like providing time to color or giving them building blocks with which to play. Other things may take further involvement, such as playing catch, even with a bean bag, or reading aloud and having your child follow along in the book. Playing with other children will also aid in developing visual skills. 

Where Should You Go for Pediatric Eye Care? 

If it’s time for your child’s eye examination or if you’re noticing potential issues with their vision, contact Northeast Laser in West Springfield, MA today for an appointment. We offer comprehensive exams and services to help identify and correct potential eyesight concerns. Call us today at 413-363-2732.

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Wearing Eye Makeup & Vision

  • Wearing eye makeup carries some risk for negatively impacting the health of the eyes.
  • The best way to avoid potential vision care issues is to practice good hygiene, avoid sharing eye makeup products, and never apply mascara in a moving vehicle.

To look good, you have to be able to see correctly. So, it makes sense that one of the most common questions people ask about their eye makeup is whether it can lead to potential vision issues in the future.
Any time you apply anything to the area around your eye, there is a chance of inflicting unintentional damage. However, if you practice basic cleanliness as well as some foundational safety tips, you should be able to avoid significant harm.

How Makeup Affects Eye Health

You only get one set of eyes in your life, so it’s important to understand how makeup could potentially interfere with the health of your peepers. For instance, if you wear contacts, makeup products could touch the lens and potentially reduce its visual impact or cause an infection.
Beyond the possible issues that stem from contact use, there are generally four main concerns when it comes to eye makeup:

  • Allergic reactions to some makeup products
  • Bacterial infections, such as pink eye, from shared makeup or expired makeup
  • Eye irritation from wearing glitter makeup or forgetting to remove eye makeup before falling asleep
  • Scratched corneas when applying mascara

Some of the harm here may be minor and easily fixable. For example, if you’re allergic to a specific product, you can avoid products containing the specific ingredient that causes the reaction. Some brands even market themselves as hypoallergenic.

Yet, it can also be easy to misunderstand the source of the issue. This can lead to repeated and lasting damage to your vision. If you’re ever unsure of the underlying cause of the eye problem you’re dealing with, you should consult with an eye doctor.

Safe Eye Makeup Application Practices

Generally, it doesn’t take much effort to prevent eye makeup from harming your eyes. Routine hygiene practices such as washing your hands before touching your eye and putting in your contacts before applying makeup can prevent possible infection or irritation.

Still, there are times where we engage in risky behavior without realizing it. This can be the case when the behavior could lead to serious injury but often does not. To prevent these situations from occurring, make sure to incorporate some standard practices into your eye makeup regimen:

  • Do not apply mascara in a moving vehicle.
  • Never share eye makeup with anyone.
  • Never wear eye glitter or sparkles.
  • Only let a professional apply faux lashes.
  • Remove your makeup before falling asleep.
  • Replace your eye makeup after an eye infection.
  • Throw out eye makeup that’s past its expiration date, gives off an odd odor, or is more than three months old.
  • Use fresh applicators if trying on makeup at a store.

If you’ve recently had an eye operation, you should not wear any makeup until your eye doctor gives their approval. Eye makeup can negatively impact the healing process and possibly cause the need for another procedure.

Better Vision Care with Northeast Laser in West Springfield, MA

At Northeast Laser, we care about your eye health. We offer a variety of services, from comprehensive eye exams to corrective surgery to help improve your vision and keep your eyes healthy.

If you live in West Springfield, MA, and need Ophthalmology services, contact us today for an appointment or consultation by calling 413-363-2732.

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How to Prevent Digital Strain on the Eyes

How to Prevent Digital Strain on the Eyes

On average, Americans spend seven hours each day on screen time. Whether they use a digital device for work or pleasure, spending so much of their time on a screen often leads to digital strain on the eyes. If you want to keep your eyes healthy, it is essential to recognize eye strain symptoms and know how to relieve it.

Symptoms of Eye Strain

Staring at a computer for many hours can cause your eyes to get fatigued. In addition to sleep problems and neck and back pain later on in the day, you may also experience the following symptoms if your eyes are strained.

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches

Ways To Decrease Eye Strain

When you’re trying to reduce eye strain brought on by excessive screen time, the apparent answer is cutting down on the amount of time you spend on digital devices. However, this solution isn’t always practical, primarily if you use a computer a lot for work. Implementing the following useful habits can relieve your eyes’ strain without requiring you to cut out screen time.

  • Adjust your computer screen angle: Ideally, your face should be at arm’s length from any digital device you are using. You should also adjust your screen, so it is at a 15-20 degree angle, putting it at least four inches below eye level.
  • Be mindful of how often you blink: Blinking is a natural action by the body that keeps your eyes moist. When you read or stare at a digital screen for an extended period, you tend to blink less, so your eyes are more likely to dry out. Try to blink slowly and frequently to maintain your eyes’ moisture and keep them from drying out. If your eyes do dry out, try replacing lost moisture with artificial tears.
  • Decrease the screen’s glare: Blue light leads to eye strain, so if you can filter it out before it reaches your eyes, you can prevent digital strain. There are many apps available that filter out blue light from smartphones. You can also purchase a glare filter to install on your computer screen or invest in high-quality computer lenses.
  • Take frequent breaks: Giving your eyes short breaks during screen-time is the best way to prevent eye strain. Every hour you spend looking at a screen, use the 20-20-20 rule, and look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes. You should also take a more extended break every two hours. Whether you get up to get a drink or just walk around for a few minutes to stretch your legs, giving yourself a 15-minute break from screen time every two hours is essential for eye health. It can also help relieve muscles that get stiff when you sit for long periods as a bonus.

If you suspect you are dealing with digital eye strain, take preventative measures to reduce eye fatigue. These habits can improve your overall eye health, but it is also essential to get an annual eye exam and speak with your provider regarding eye strain. Dr. John Frangie with Northeast Laser is an eye care provider in Springfield, Missouri, who can help you reduce strain on your eyes. Schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners today to learn more about protecting yourself from eye strain.

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How Often Should You Get Eye Exams?

If you have vision problems and wear glasses or contact lenses for any reason, you probably already receive regular eye exams. However, routine exams are important even if you don’t have vision problems as they can identify other health problems or determine if your vision is changing so you can resolve minor issues before they become major.

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

The condition of your eyes gives doctors better insight into your overall health. Whether your vision has changed recently or not, you should schedule regular eye exams because the doctor can analyze your eyes’ condition to determine if you have any hidden health conditions. Serious health problems such as diabetes, lupus, glaucoma, and high blood pressure can often be diagnosed based on your eyes’ condition. Regular eye exams can also identify minor changes in vision so you can correct them before they start interfering with your quality of life.

Which Type of Eye Doctor Should You See?

A comprehensive eye exam can be performed by either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. An optometrist is an eye specialist who generally administers vision tests and prescribes glasses and contact lenses as needed. An ophthalmologist is a licensed medical doctor who is certified to perform surgery on eyes as needed. If you don’t have vision problems, you may want to visit an optometrist but if you are experiencing severe changes in your vision or suspect you need eye surgery, an ophthalmologist such as Dr. John Frangie at Northeast Laser may be a better fit.

How Often Should You Get an Eye Exam?

If you are aware you have vision problems and wear contact lenses or glasses, you should have your eyes checked yearly. You can skip yearly visits if you don’t have vision problems, but you should still use the following guidelines for routine eye checkups.

  • People between the ages of 20 and 39 should visit the eye doctor every five years.
  • People between the ages of 40 and 54 should have their eyes checked at least every four years.
  • People between the ages of 55 and 64 should get eye exams every three years.
  • People over the age of 65 should have their eyes checked every two years.

What Does an Eye Exam Entail?

An eye doctor will check for disease or vision problems at a routine eye exam. He or she may first dilate your pupils to get a better look at the nerves and blood vessels in your eye. Although your vision may be slightly blurry and sensitive to bright lights for a few hours, dilation is not painful. The doctor will also have you read from an eye chart and check different visual elements such as color perception and peripheral vision. Finally, you can expect the doctor to examine your pupils’ reactions to light and ensure eye muscles are functioning properly.

Regular eye exams should be part of your wellness routine. Not only can they help you identify and correct minor vision problems before they become problematic, but they can also alert the doctor to serious hidden medical conditions. The experts at Northeast Laser in West Springfield, MA are here to perform routine eye exams to help avoid major vision problems so you can live your best life. Contact us to schedule an appointment to have an eye exam performed by one of our vision experts. Call (413) 363-2732 today!

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