An ophthalmologist specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders affecting the eye and visual system. Acting as both physicians and surgeons, ophthalmologists manage acute and chronic eye diseases. Ophthalmologists face a diversity of ophthalmological problems in the UK, particularly with an expanding elderly population. An ophthalmologist’s patient range covers the entire population, from premature babies, to very elderly adults. Although rarely life-threatening, eye symptoms and disorders are very common and can cause people significant distress and anxiety. Ophthalmologists often distribute reassuring advice and sympathy for patients, as well as diagnosis and treatment.
An ophthalmologist performing surgery will usually seek the aid of an operating microscope and may, especially with advances in new technology, use lasers.
Our eyes should be treated with care throughout our lives and ignoring symptoms can be detrimental to their health. You should consider a consultation as soon as you can with an ophthalmologist If you are experiencing problems such as: loss of vision or decreased vision in one or both eyes; changes to your vision with issues like sudden spots, flashes of light or light streaks, blurry faces, distortions or wavy lines, rainbows or haloes around light, double vision; changes in the field of vision such as the experience of a curtain coming down over one or both eyes, black spots; physical changes to the eye such as swollen or red eyes, changes in the colour of the iris, white areas in the pupil of the eye, crossed eyes, pain, discharge or other signs of infection; changes to colours.