Ophthalmology is a special branch of medicine and within this field the ophthalmologist is active. Among ophthalmologists, there are other specialisations, so that there are special specialists for the most specific areas of the eye and optimal care of the patient is possible. The tasks of an ophthalmologist concern both general and specific areas.
Ophthalmology, also called ophthalmology or ophthalmiatrics, consists of diagnostics, consultation and finally treatment and aftercare of the patient by the treating ophthalmologist. In addition, the ophthalmologist also deals with preventive measures to prevent deterioration of vision or the health of the eye as far as possible. The ophthalmologist also has his field of expertise in surgical interventions and his field of activity here leads into the areas of other medical specialties, such as nasal and otolaryngology, internal medicine, neurology and dermatology (skin medicine). In addition, knowledge of general medical aspects and surgical skills complete the work spectrum of an ophthalmologist.
The ophthalmologist advises the patient and recommends remedies and aids, which he usually provides himself. In addition, he discusses possible surgical procedures with the patient, advises in the field of orthoptics, pleoptics and offers occlusion therapy or surgical eye corrections for vision disorders.
Common diseases of the eyes and the visual system are glaucoma and cataract, as well as misalignment of the eyes (strabismus), destruction of the eye’s own lens and presbyopia. Pathological impairments of vision also fall within the scope of ophthalmologists. These include myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
The ophthalmologist pays attention to abnormal developments and malformations of the eye and ensures in his diagnostics that strabismus, night or colour blindness, as well as uncontrolled eye tremor can be detected as early as possible and, if possible, treated. In addition, all imaging disorders and anatomical areas of the eye and visual system fall within the ophthalmologist’s field of activity. Systemic diseases that lead to visual disorders are also of importance to the ophthalmologist for treatment and therapy.
The eyes of humans are very sensitive organs and disturbances in them can lead to severe limitations in the quality of life of those affected. To determine the changes in the eye, the ophthalmologist has various examination methods and examination equipment to choose from. These include the device for determining the intraocular pressure (in case of suspected glaucoma) and for diagnosing the visual field (e.g. for driving test).
The ophthalmologist is able to see the finest microscopic structures of the different sections of the eye using the so-called slit lamp. This slit lamp is usually a large device mounted on the examination table and can be found in every ophthalmological practice. The ophthalmologist also has devices for determining the chamber angle, for measuring visual acuity and for examining ametropia.
If the eye disease needs to be treated, the ophthalmologist uses laser surgery. Here, the modern LASIK technology is often used, which is very expensive and for this reason is usually only available in eye clinics. Computer-assisted treatment methods, such as OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) and topography are available to the ophthalmologist for important examinations, as are various drugs and optical aids such as magnifying glasses.