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Simon Eye Associates Encourages Comprehensive Eye Exams from an Early Age

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Simon Eye Associates Encourages Comprehensive Eye Exams from an Early Age

Here are the answers to four crucial eye care questions.


Routine eye exams are crucial. Yet so many of us put them off until there’s a problem—or perhaps we think they only apply to people with glasses. Dr. Joe Senall, Medical Director for Simon Eye Associates and a practitioner for almost 25 years, helps us answer four key eye care questions.

1. When should I get my first eye exam?

The American Optometric Association recommends that children should have their first eye exam at around 6 months, then again at age 3. Another exam should be performed at 5 or 6, when they start school, and once a year thereafter.

2. What’s involved in a routine eye exam?

Depending on the reason for the visit, testing will differ for everyone. A typical comprehensive exam consists of a thorough medical and eye history; a vision evaluation, both near and at distance; and preliminary depth-perception and color-vision tests. It also includes evaluations of eye-muscle function, visual fields (side vision) and pupil reactions; a refraction to determine the best prescription (for glasses or contact lenses); and an eye-health examination, with a glaucoma test and pupil dilation to check for diseases.

3. Why must my pupils be dilated during an exam?

“The eyes are the windows to the soul,” says Senall. And they’re certainly a window to what’s happening in the rest of the body—especially the blood vessels. In addition to conditions like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, doctors can also detect hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, autoimmune disease and even some cancers.

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4. What are some common eye issues?

  • Cataracts: A cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye that’s a common age-related condition in people over 55. When a cataract gets too dense and prevents acceptable vision, surgery can usually restore vision to normal.
  • Macular degeneration: An age-related eye disease that causes loss of central vision. It affects the macula (the center of the retina at the back of the eye), the area responsible for clear central vision. Early detection during an eye exam can lead to lifestyle modifications like sun protection, smoking cessation, and adding dark, leafy green vegetables and supplements to one’s diet—all of which can slow vision loss. Senall warns that UV exposure is a risk factor for both macular degeneration and cataracts, so protecting the eyes year-round with good sunglasses is key.
  • Diabetic retinopathy:  A condition that occurs in people with diabetes, which causes progressive bleeding and damage to the retina. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, so it’s important that all patients with the disease have an annual dilated-eye exam.
  • Glaucoma:  Largely characterized by high pressure inside the eye, glaucoma damages the optic nerve and causes blindness, often without symptoms until it is too late. A simple test can detect the condition early. And while it can’t be prevented, early detection and treatment can prevent vision loss and blindness.

Guided by the motto “Eye Care for Life,” since 1987, Simon Eye Associates has grown from a single private practice in Wilmington to six locations throughout Delaware. Founded by Dr. Charles Simon, the practice specializes in routine eye exams, emergency care and treatment of diseases, and contact lens evaluations. LASIK and cataract surgery consultations and follow-up through Ophthalmology at Simon Eye are also available.

Simon Eye Associates Locations:
5301 Limestone Road, Suite 128, Wilmington
(302) 239-1933

Fox Run Shopping Center
116 Fox Hunt Drive, Bear
(302) 239-1933

Middletown Crossing Shopping Center
472 E. Main St., Middletown
(302) 239-1933

2625 Concord Pike, Suite A, Wilmington
(302) 239-1933

Union Plaza
912 N. Union St., Suite 1, Wilmington
(302) 239-1933

19 Haines St., Suite B, Newark
(302) 239-1933

Greenville Optical
4001 Kennett Pike, Suite 128, Greenville
(302) 660-8706

Visit www.simoneye.com and www.facebook.com.

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