Can I sleep in my contacts?
Can playing video games and using the computer harm my eyes?
“Computer Vision Syndrome”- It’s real and it’s a diagnosis used by eye care providers and insurance companies to explain what happens to the focusing system and the health of your eyes as a result of computer and video game use. Symptoms include eyestrain, fatigue, burning, and watering eyes, headaches, and blurred vision. Prolonged reading and computer use may cause worsening of your eyeglass prescription and focusing problems in adults and children. Ask the doctor what you can do to minimize the impact the computer has on your eye health.
When should my child have his first eye exam?
Newborns are evaluated for eye disease before leaving the hospital. If you have a family history of congenital eye disease or if you notice an eye that is turned in or out or anything that appears abnormal, it’s best to make an appointment with a pediatric specialist. Otherwise, all children should have their first eye exam with an eye doctor before starting kindergarten (Age 4 or 5). Our staff is great with children and we look forward to making your child’s first eye exam a fun experience.
How often should I have my eyes examined?
If you wear contacts, every year
If you have or are being treated for a general health condition (high blood pressure or cholesterol, thyroid disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory disease, kidney disease, heart disease) every 1 to 2 years
If you are a diabetic, every year, and if your blood sugar is uncontrolled, on a schedule determined by the doctor
If you are taking a high-risk medication like Plaquenil, hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate, or chloroquine, every 6 months.
If you have no health problems and are under the age of 60, every 2 years.
If you are over the age of 60, every year.
If you are a child under the age of 18 and you wear glasses, every year. These are big years for prescription changes. As children grow their eyes change. Some children are examined every 6 months when they demonstrate large changes in their eyeglass prescription during big growth spurts.
Are red eye relief drops okay to use?
Drops that promise red eye relief can be used occasionally when needed, but regular, daily use may pose a health risk to your eyes. There are other drops that are safe to use on a daily basis that does not have the side effects that red eye relief drops have. Just remember, if your eye is red, there is a reason, something is wrong. A red-eye relief drop simply masks the problem, it does not solve it. Make an appointment to see the doctor determine the cause of your red-eye so that the appropriate treatment can be prescribed.
I bought a 12 pack of reading glasses that my wife and I share, are those bad for the eyes?
Not necessarily, but we can do better. You may be inducing extra strain on your eyes by using over-the-counter glasses that are not measured for you. When the doctor examines you, an exact prescription is determined, which may be different for each eye. Your vision is clearer and more comfortable with both eyes working together. If you are using glasses that are the same for each eye, but each of your eyes requires a different prescription, your brain is probably only using one eye to read. Additionally, there are other measurements that are taken when you are fitted with optical quality glasses, which may not be accurate with over-the-counter glasses. Let our doctor determine what prescription works best for you so that you can surf the web and read a great book without eyestrain or discomfort.
Does wearing glasses make my vision worse?
Wearing glasses that are your correct prescription does not make your vision worse. Once you see how clear your vision is with your glasses, removing the glasses makes it obvious that you were seeing a lot better with them! As far as losing your ability to focus up close in your 40’s and 50’s, unfortunately, your vision is going to get worse for reading, regardless of whether you wear your glasses or not. So wear them and enjoy your clear, comfortable vision! And no, eye exercises for losing your ability to focus up close in your 40’s and 50’s do not work
Sunglasses - Do I really need them?
Absolutely! Everyone, at every age, should wear sunglasses when outdoors. Sunglasses protect your eyes from cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae and pterygiums, and skin cancer. The eyelids are unfortunately a common place to develop skin cancer, and most of us do not apply sunscreen here because it burns when you get it in your eyes. Transition lenses that darken outdoors are a great way to protect children’s eyes without having to remind them to wear their sunglasses. Look for sunglasses that block 100% UV light.
I have contacts so I don't need to update my glasses right?
No. Contacts are meant to supplement your glasses. You should allow your eyes to breathe and give them a break in the evenings and for an additional day each week. Additionally, there are certain occasions when you should not wear your contacts:
Do not wear your contacts:
when you are planning to take a flight that is longer than 2 hours. Airplanes are very dry environments and are a great place to pick up pink eye, due to all of the germs and poor air circulation.
when you are sick. Your eyes are connected to your nose and your throat. When you have a cold, it is very easy to get an eye infection, especially when you touch your nose and mouth often while you’re sick.
when your allergies are bothering you. Contact lenses do not naturally belong to your eyes. When your allergies are in full swing, your body reacts more strongly to your contacts, causing increased protein deposits and irritation. Additionally, most allergy medications cause dry eyes and make contact lens wear uncomfortable.
What can you see when you look into my eyes?
Many general health conditions show up in your eyes. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis, and high cholesterol are just a few. An eye exam is a whole lot more than just an “Eye Exam,” it’s a Health Exam. This is why having a clear vision doesn’t mean you should pass on a regular eye exam. An eye exam could save your life! A complete eye exam is not complete without dilation. With your consent, dilation drops will be instilled in the office to fully evaluate the health of your eyes. Most people can drive afterward, but your vision for reading and computer use may be blurred, and you will be sensitive to sunlight for 3 hours. You can reschedule this part of your exam if need be. And no, it doesn’t hurt, we promise!
My child passed the vision screening at the Pediatrician's office, so she sees fine right?
Reading letters on an eye chart for a fraction of a second is not equivalent to maintaining clear focus in the classroom or reading a book for an hour. Children have very adaptive focusing abilities and may be able to focus to compensate for a large prescription, hiding the need for glasses. If your child is complaining of headaches or blurred vision, or if you observe poor performance in school, reduced attention span when it comes to near tasks such as homework, poor reading comprehension, holding a book close or sitting close to the television, or the use of finger tracking to keep place while reading, these may all be signs of poor focusing abilities or eye muscle problems which may require correction. This is why despite a perfect report from the vision screening conducted by your pediatrician, a complete eye exam is recommended for all children before starting school.
Can I wear contacts? They told me I couldn't.
It’s quite possible! Every year contact lens manufacturers introduce new lenses to the market. Today there are many contact lens options for astigmatism, bifocal correction, large prescriptions, and those with dry eyes. When you schedule an appointment in our office for contact lenses, you will receive sample contact lenses at no cost to try before ever purchasing a supply of lenses. Make an appointment with our office if you’re ready to enjoy the freedom from glasses on the soccer field, at the gym, at the beach, or for everyday life.
What about glasses you can buy online?
There is a lot more to choosing glasses than just selecting a stylish frame. Here is a breakdown of where you can go wrong without the professional care provided by a licensed optician:
The Frame: Certain prescriptions warrant a specific shape to your frame in order to minimize lens thickness and distortion in your peripheral vision. Additionally, how a frame sits on the bridge of your nose affects how comfortable you will be at the end of the day, whether the glasses stay in place, and whether you are looking through the proper part of the lenses.
The Lenses: Lenses can be made out of a number of different materials. The types of lenses you have worn in the past, the specifics of your prescription, and the type of frame you select all weigh into the material an optician will select for your lenses. Some lenses will crack and chip if they are not appropriate for the frame you have selected.
Measurements: Those measurements the optician takes after you have selected a frame are important! They determine the location of the optical center of your lens (which is different for driving glasses than for reading glasses). They also take into consideration the fact that a good percentage of the population has one eye that sits slightly higher than the other eye (an important factor if you want to be able to use both eyes together comfortably). And if you wear a bifocal or progressive, the optician measures the exact point in your lenses where the computer or reading prescription should start: Too low and your reading is blurred, too high and you can’t see the road when you’re driving! This number is different for kids and adults, pilots and musicians, short people, and tall people.
Lens Coatings: Ever have a coating that peeled off the front of your lens? That likely occurred because of the way it was applied to your lenses. Not all coatings are created equal, and some coatings you need for specific reasons. An optician is trained on which lens types work with which lens coatings and when they are needed for better vision and a better-finished product.