Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Optometrists are the primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases, injuries and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures, as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. They work closely with primary care physicians, other health care providers and specialists to coordinate care.

People often associate the need for an eye exam with how well they are seeing or when they need to replace their eyeglasses. Even though it is important to see well, undesirable changes can occur which go undetected and unnoticed by patients because these changes do not adversely affect vision in their early stages. Do not rely on changes in your vision or on the need for new eyeglasses to remind you of your next exam. Follow the advice of experts and have your eyes examined yearly. Those with a family history of eye disease, diabetic patients, taking medications that may have side effects on the eye and anyone whose overall health is poor may need their eyes examined more often.

It is a measurement of sight. If you can see a letter 8.7mm tall at 20 feet than you have 20/20 vision. If you have to be twice as close, say 10 feet away to see this same object than you have 20/40 vision.

A complete eye exam is more than a vision test. Your eye examination includes computerized state of the art instrumentation for testing, so the doctor has the best information to evaluate the health of your eyes. The exam includes testing for glaucoma, cataracts, peripheral vision and all other eye diseases. In addition to a complete eye health evaluation your exam will determine what prescription is needed for the best possible sight.

Nearsightedness is a vision condition in which objects far away appear blurry, but objects up close appear clear. This occurs if your eyeball is too long or if the front curve of your eye is too steep. Nearsightedness is correctable with glasses or contact lenses.

You are farsighted if objects at a distance appear clear, but you find it difficult to bring close objects into sharp focus. Farsightedness can cause eyestrain, headaches, fatigue or difficulty in concentration while reading or performing other near-vision activities. It occurs when the eyeball is too short or the front curve of the eye is too flat. Regular eye examinations are recommended to check for this, as it is often missed in school screenings.

Astigmatism is caused by an irregular shaped cornea, the clear cover on the front of the eye, or the lens inside the eye. Instead of being round like a basketball, it is more oval-shaped like a football. Astigmatism causes the light to not focus properly on the back of the eye, resulting in blurred vision. This condition can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

The lens of your eye grows your whole life. Eventually it begins to harden and loses some elasticity, making it difficult to focus up close. This is called presbyopia and bifocals enable you to see at a distance and up close again. Presbyopia can also be corrected with contacts in many patients.

You can train your eye muscles to work better together and correct problems like strabismus crossed eyes which involves training the muscles that align the eye.

Yes! Two examples of this are "snow blindness" and "welder's flash". Outdoor enthusiasts and those with sensitive eyes should invest in quality sunglasses with an ultraviolet filter to block harmful UV radiation from the sun. Contact lens wearers are especially sensitive to bright light. They should always wear a good pair of non-prescription sunglasses with their contacts when they are outdoors.

Eye Diseases and Eye Disorders

Cataracts are the cloudiness of the crystalline lens of the eye.
A clouded lens interferes with light reaching the retina, causing blurred vision.

The eye has a certain internal pressure not unlike a balloon. Rather than being filled with air the eye is filled with a watery substance (aqueous) and thick, oily or jelly like substance (vitreous). It is vital to check eye pressure yearly to help detect Glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a disease in which the eye pressure causes nerve damage and can result in blindness. Open angle glaucoma can occur painlessly and slowly. It can gradually destroy your vision without your knowledge. It is treatable with eye drops or surgery.

It is called amblyopia, but one of the best definitions of a lazy eye is an eye that does not see well. If it is diagnosed before the age of five or six, amblyopia can often be corrected with eyeglasses and patches over the good eye to force the "lazy eye" to "learn" to focus. Note: Some people refer to a lazy eye as one that turns in or out, in a direction different than the focusing eye. That is actually a condition called strabismus.

Eyeglasses

No. Both glasses and contact lenses allow you to see comfortably. When you remove them, you see less comfortably. This contrast is what makes some people believe their vision is worse for wearing glasses. Corrective lenses won't make your vision problems go away, nor will they worsen them. They only correct the symptoms.

Bifocals use two different powers in one lens. Typically, the upper portion of the lens if used for distance vision and the lower portion is used for viewing objects up close. Bifocals correct for a decreasing ability to focus, a problem that sneaks up on just about everybody as they age. It is likely that most people will need bifocals, or what is known as progressive lenses, at some point in their lives.

Progressive lenses are sometimes called a no-line bifocal. The focus of this lens changes gradually as you look down through the bottom of it. This lens gives vision at distance, intermediate and near without a line in the lens.

Contact Lenses

Most people are able to wear contact lenses whether they are nearsighted, farsighted, have astigmatism or have lost the ability to read up close.

I have worn contact lenses for years but now I cannot wear them for as long as I used to. Why? The more you wear contact lenses, the less tolerant your eyes become to the protein deposits that naturally collect on the lenses. Your eyes can actually become allergic to those deposits. That is why wearing fresh contact lenses is essential.

Soft contact lenses are made from a soft pliable material that is hydrophilic (water loving). This means the contact lens material holds a certain amount of water within itself.

Daily wear contact lenses are designed for the purpose of wear during waking hours. They are not to be worn while sleeping. You can get these type of lenses in daily, weekly or monthly replacement. They are designed for the optimum health of your eyes as well as to meet your lifestyle needs.

Extended wear contact lenses are designed for the purpose of sleeping overnight in and wearing continuously for one week or up to one month depending on the overall health of the patients eyes and the type of extended wear lens.

A gas permeable contact lens is made of a plastic polymer material that is flexible and permeable to oxygen. They are generally smaller and less flexible than a soft lens. For some patients these lenses provide better and more stable vision than a soft contact lens.

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