Ophthalmology is the medical specialty focused on the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of problems with the eyes and visual system. Ophthalmologists — physicians who specialize in ophthalmology — use eye examinations, medications, lasers, and surgical first-line treatments to help manage and treat eye problems.

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What eye problems require specialized treatment?

Here are some examples of conditions when you might seek treatment from an ophthalmologist:

  • Age-related macular degeneration : This is a common age-related eye problem that prevents people from seeing what’s directly in front of them.
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye) : Amblyopia, or lazy eye, occurs when one eye becomes weaker than the other during infancy or childhood. Treatments include an eye patch or glasses.
  • Astigmatism : This eye condition causes blurred vision. It’s sometimes treated with laser surgery.
  • Corneal disease : hese are conditions that can affect your vision by damaging your cornea.
  • Diabetes-related retinopathy : Diabetes-related retinopathy is an eye condition that weakens the blood vessels in your retina.
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia) : People who are farsighted can see objects that are far away but have trouble focusing on close things. Farsightedness is sometimes treated with LASIK surgery.
  • Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) : This is a common age-related eye problem that causes you to see “floaters” or flashes of light.