Ophthalmology is a surgical subspecialty within medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders. Ophthalmologists are medical professionals who focus on the surgical and medical care of this organ. If a patient exhibits signs of cataracts, infections of the eyes, issues with the optic nerve, or other eye diseases, a general practitioner may suggest that the patient see an ophthalmologist. The science of ophthalmology encompassed all aspects of visual function, both in health and in illness. Furthermore, ophthalmology also involves animal eyes as ocular function and optic diseases are similar among humans and animals.
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The medical and surgical treatment of the eyes is the focus of the specialty of ophthalmology. Only ophthalmologists are medically qualified to oversee the whole spectrum of eye and vision treatment. They can perform surgeries, distribute drugs, diagnose and treat eye ailments and diseases, prescribe glasses and contact lenses, and more. Subspecialist ophthalmologists tend to perform a smaller range of procedures on a day-to-day basis, focusing instead on the treatment of one condition or a few related conditions.
There are sub-specializations that physicians can master. The most common sub-specializations include the following:
- Pediatric Ophthalmology: It deals with eye disorders of infants and young children including strabismus (misaligned eyes)
- Neuro-Ophthalmology: It deals with vision disorders caused by nervous system problems, specifically the brain
- Ophthalmic Pathology: It involves the diagnosis of a neoplastic eye condition (also known as surgical pathology or surgical ophthalmology). Ocular oncology is a sub-specialization focused mainly on eye tumors and cancer of the eye or its parts.
Procedure of Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology has multiple procedures for multiple ailments. With the advancement in medical science, ophthalmologists have discovered newer and minimally invasive methods to cure the patients at utmost.
- Pneumatic Retinopexy: Retinal detachment is treated with pneumatic surgery, a non-incisional procedure. The ophthalmic surgeon performs this surgery by inserting a gas bubble into the center of the eye.
- Scleral Buckle: A surgical procedure called a scleral buckle is used to treat different types of retinal detachments. The retina is flattened and fractures are closed with this method.
- Corneal Cross: Linking Process: The cornea can be straightened using this procedure. It involves very little physical contact. UV radiation and eye drops are used by the surgeon during this procedure to straighten the corneal collagen fiber.
- Corneal Inlays: A surgical procedure called a corneal inlay is used to correct presbyopia. The illness known as presbyopia causes a loss in vision for close-up objects due to the lens's diminished ability to change shape.
- Radial Keratotomy: It is the oldest and successful technique which is performed for the treatment of myopia. In myopia, the distance object appears blurry.
- Goniotomy: It is the surgery used to treat glaucoma and is considered as minimally invasive surgery. In this surgery, the surgeon makes an opening in the trabecular meshwork.
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