Optometry Specialist

Scarbrough Family Eyecare

Optometry located in Traverse City, MI & Beulah, MI

Eye care should be a part of everyone’s health routine. Even if you don’t need eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may still develop conditions that affect your eyes. At Scarbrough Family Eyecare in Beulah and Traverse City, Michigan, board-certified optometrist Edward Scarbrough, OD, offers optometry services including eye exams and treatment for eye conditions. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone.

Optometry Q & A

What is the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist?

The two main types of eye doctors are optometrists and ophthalmologists. The difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist is similar to the difference between a dentist and an oral surgeon.

Both optometrists and ophthalmologists have to undergo extensive training and are qualified to examine the eyes for vision and health problems. Both can diagnose refractive errors, such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism, and prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses.

As an optometrist, Dr. Scarbrough is qualified to diagnose and treat a wide range of common eye conditions, including through medication. However, if you need surgery or specialty care, he may refer you to an ophthalmologist. Scarbrough Family Eyecare is happy to serve as the home base for your eye health needs and can even provide pre- and post-operative care.

Why do I need to get regular eye exams?

Eye exams help determine how clearly you see. They also allow you to get a prescription for corrective lenses to treat refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. In addition, eye exams are crucial to detect eye health problems, which is why it’s important to get them regularly, and not just when you notice changes in your vision.

If your vision has gotten worse, you may simply need stronger glasses or contacts. However, vision changes may also be a sign of a serious condition, like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. Many of these conditions only cause noticeable symptoms after they cause significant vision damage, so the best way to treat them is by catching them early, through an eye exam.

Depending on your age and eye health risk factors, you may need an exam once a year or once every two years.

What happens during an eye exam?

Eye exams include a series of tests to evaluate your vision and eye health. They usually last at least an hour. Your exam at Scarbrough Family Eyecare may include:

Eye muscle test

You follow a small object, such as a pen, across the room to test your eye muscles.

Visual acuity test

You look at letters on a chart or screen that get smaller as they go down. This measures how clearly you can see and determines if you have 20/20 vision (or how far your vision is from 20/20).

Refraction assessment

You look through a device called a phoropter, which contains lenses of different strengths. This determines how strong a prescription lens you need to treat refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Glaucoma test

Your Scarbrough Family Eyecare provider uses a device to measure the level of pressure in your eyes, an important risk factor for glaucoma.

Pupil dilation

Your doctor gives you eye drops that enlarge your pupils so they can see the structures in the back of your retina.

They also take a health history and ask about any eye or vision problems you’re having.

An eye exam is one of the best things you can do for your health. Schedule an appointment at Scarbrough Family Eyecare online or over the phone.