Dr. Michael H. Manning of Gulfcoast Eye Care believes that routine eye exams are a vital component for maintaining healthy eyes, regardless of age.
Palm Harbor, FL – Dr. Michael H. Manning heads a comprehensive ophthalmology practice that offers procedures ranging from LASIK and cataract surgery to aesthetic treatments designed to rejuvenate the areas around the eyes. While there have been many advances made in eye and vision care over the last several years, and new technologies that have led to significant leaps forward in the treatment of common vision conditions and eye diseases, Dr. Manning says the best way to maintain lasting eye health is to have routine checkups with a qualified eye care specialist.
At Gulfcoast Eye Care, his laser eye surgery and vision care practice near Tampa and St. Petersburg, Dr. Manning stresses that, while it is particularly important for patients to make an appointment if they experience any visual changes, eye symptoms, or injury to the eye, Dr. Manning believes all patients – even those without risk factors for eye disease – should consider an eye exam every 2 to 4 years. Until patients reach their forties, Dr. Manning says, the main purpose of these exams is to screen for refractive errors – such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism – that can often be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or laser vision correction surgery. He says early detection and correction of these refractive errors promotes healthy eye development. Additional concerns Dr. Manning screens for in younger patients include alignment issues such as lazy eye (amblyopia), eye muscle imbalances, and tumors of the eye.
When his patients enter their forties, Dr. Manning monitors the eyes for a condition known as presbyopia, which causes progressive difficulties with near vision activities such as reading. Once his patients reach the age of 55, Dr. Manning recommends increasing the frequency of routine exams to every 1 to 3 years. He also notes that the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends an exam every 1 to 2 years for patients over 65, even if they are not experiencing any vision changes, for common problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, among others.
Patients that possess certain risk factors may want to have a routine eye exam performed more frequently. “If you have an eye disease, a family history of eye disease or a risk factor for developing one, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, then it is important to get regular annual eye exams,” says Dr. Manning. For example, he suggests that diabetic patients have examinations at least once per year—and more often if they have active diabetic eye disease like diabetic retinopathy. Patients with glaucoma should have examinations 2 to 3 times per year or more, while patients with macular degeneration should have examinations at least once per year depending on the level of activity of the disease. Dr. Manning also highlights that patients who take the medication Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) should have an eye examination every 6 months.
Dr. Manning considers routine eye exams to be an important part of maintaining the health of the eyes. He says keeping eyeglass prescriptions current may also alleviate headaches, in addition to perceived eyestrain. Dr. Manning says individuals can take additional steps to help protect their eyes by taking contact lenses out at night to reduce the risk of infection, wearing protective eyewear when engaged in activities such as sports or construction work, and wearing sunglasses to shield the eyes from harmful ultraviolet light.
About Michael H. Manning, MD, FACS
A graduate of Rollins College, board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Michael H. Manning earned his Doctorate of Medicine degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine, and completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. In addition to co-authoring several publications, he has spoken on ophthalmology at many national and international conferences. Dr. Manning is available for interview upon request.
For more information about Dr. Manning and Gulfcoast Eye Care, please visit gulfcoasteyecare.com or facebook.com/GulfcoastEyeCare.
Gulfcoast Eye Care
Palm Harbor Office
2650 Tampa Rd.
Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Pinellas Park Office
6036 Park Blvd.
Pinellas Park, FL 33781