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FAQ

How often should I have an eye exam?

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that adults wearing glasses or contacts and adults aged 61 and older should see their eye doctor every year or as recommended.

What should I bring to my eye exam?

You should provide your doctor with a list of all prescription medications and any vitamins or dietary supplements you're currently taking or regularly took in the past. You should also bring your glasses or wear your contacts and a copy of your most recent prescription. Your eye may be sensitive to light for a few hours after having your pupils dilated so you may want to bring sunglasses.

At what age should children begin seeing an eye doctor?

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter the first grade. For all school aged children it should be annually as recommended by their optometrist.

What is the difference between a school screening and an eye exam?

To put in simple terms, a screening is more or less like a pop quiz at school. It’s a short, uncomplicated way to see if you actually know anything about the subject matter over all. A vision screening is similar. It is a very quick and simple way to test if there are any obvious indications of a vision or eye problem over all.

A comprehensive eye exam, on the other hand, is the actual test. The way a test in school is designed to deeply investigate how much you know through different types of questions, a comprehensive exam investigates the overall health of your eye by testing different dynamics.

This type of eye exam takes into account your medical history and the vision history of you and your family. It tests the external and surface parts of your eye.

This in-depth exam also tests your eyesight. Doctors can determine if you need glasses or contacts through testing if you have a refractive error , usually through autorefractor to get an idea of your vision before making you read different letters through different lenses.

Vision screenings, though a great surface level way to make sure nothing is obviously wrong, should never replace comprehensive eye exams.

What is myopia (nearsightedness)?

Nearsightedness is a refractive error that makes distant objects look blurry. It typically happens when the eye is longer than normal causing the focal point to fall short of the retina.

What is hyperopia (farsightedness)?

Farsightedness is a refractive error that makes close-up objects look blurry. It typically happens when the eye is shorter than normal causing the focal point to fall behind the retina.

What is the difference between nearsightedness and farsightedness?

Nearsightedness, or myopia, causes objects in the distance to be blurry while farsightedness, or hyperopia, causes near objects to appear blurred.

What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia is the hardening of your eyes' natural lenses. This makes it harder to see sharp images at all distances.

What are presbyopia symtoms?

One of the early indicators of presbyopia is trouble with reading fine print. If you find yourself having to hold books farther away to see them clearly, you should talk to your eye doctor. Other symtoms include:

  • Blurred vision at normal reading distance, including while wearing your normal glasses or contact lenses
  • Holding reading materials at arm's length to focus properly
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Fatigue while reading or doing close-up work such as sewing

What is the difference between hyperopia (farsightedness) and presbyopia?

The difference is cause and age. Hyperopia is usually caused by an eye that is shorter than normal, while prebyopia is a result of the normal aging of the eyes' lenses. Hyperopia can happen in childhood and later while prebyopia only occurs after 40 years of age.

What is an astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a vision problem that causes objects to appear distorted and blurry. It often affects both distance and near vision. It is the most common vision problem and it may occur with nearsightedness and farsightedness. Astigmatism is caused by the cornea having an oblong shape, like a football, instead of spherical shape, like a basketball. A cornea with astigmatism has two curves, one flat curve and one that is steep. Light is then focused at two points instead of one. One point of focus may be in front of the retina and the other behind. This causes images to appear distorted in addition to appearing blurry. Astigmatism may also be caused by an irregularly shaped crystalline lens. This condition is termed "lenticular astigmatism."

Can myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism be prevented?

No. These common focusing errors are the result of a defect in the mechanism of the eyes that is most likely hereditary. However, in the case of myopia, there is some evidence that visual stress caused by too much close work may exacerbate an existing condition.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a cloudiness of the lens in your eye that prevents light from passing to the retina, which can impair vision. Cataracts form naturally as you age and sometimes remain small and unnoticeable. But with more developed cataracts, it's like constantly viewing the world through a foggy window.

What are symtoms of cataracts?

An annual visit to your eye doctor can help identify cataracts early on, but there are symptoms your can look out for, including:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in glasses or contacts prescriptions
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Seeing faded colors

How do I know if I need cataract surgery?

You should begin by consulting your eye doctor. He or she will review your medical history and perform tests to determine if you need corrective surgery. Then you can begin to discyss which specific surgery option is best for you.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma usually occurs when fluid in the eye builds up, causing higher pressure than the eye can withstand. The canal responsible for draining this fluid becomes plugged, preventing proper drainage. In other cases, the eye may produce more fluid than normal and simply cannot be drained fast enough, producing higher intraocular pressure. Researchers do not know exactly what makes some people more prone to this problem. Other causes may include trauma, genetic disorders and low blood flow to the optic nerve.

How will I know if I have glaucoma?

The only way for you to know you have glaucoma is to be examined by a doctor. Glaucoma has no symtoms until there is damage to your optic nerve. But there are many routine tests that can identify fisk factors and/or presence of glaucoma.

What are the symtoms of glaucoma?

Glaucoma has been nicknamed the "sneak thief of sight" because it often goes undetected and causes irreversible damage to the eye. There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Many people have glaucoma but are not aware of it. As the disease progresses, vision seems to fluctuate and peripheral vision fails. If left untreated, vision can be reduced to tunnel vision and eventually, total blindness.

Does having high eye pressure mean I will lose vision?

Not necessarily. But it does indicate that you may be at risk for glaucoma, which may lead your doctor to recommend an appropriate treatment to lower your intraocular eye pressure (IOP)

Do treatments for patients with glaucoma work differently?

Yes. While the aim of any treatment is to reduce elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), how this is achieved can vary patient to patient based on his or her disease severity, tolerance to side effects, past history with IOP-loweing medications, additional health conditions, or other factors.

Can you have cataracts and glaucoma at the same time?

Yes, you can, simply because both often result as a natural part of aging. But they are not related to one another. And though nost people with glaucoma are not at any greater risk to develp cataracts as those without it, there are some exceptions. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.

What is dry eye?

Dry eye is a condition caused by changes in the quantity or quality of your tears. Tears are composed of three main layers that work together to keep your eyes comfortable and protected. If anything affects the balance of these elements, your tears may evaporate too quickly, causing your eyes to feel dry and irritated.

I'm intersted in wearing contact lenses. How long does it take to ge used to them?

Depending on your eye sensitivity it may take only a day or it could take a week or more for your eyes to adjust to the lenses. Some people's eyes never adjust, but that's rare.

Are contact lenses difficult to care for?

No. There are certain steps you need to take to ensure that your eyes stay healthy and your contacts last as long as possible. Using the correct solutions and cleaning products help to ensure that.

How old must children be before they can wear contact lenses?

That depends on how responsible the child is. Thsi decision is best made jointly between you, your child and your eye doctor.

Can a contact lens get lost behind my eye?

No. At worst, you might have trouble finding it under your upper eyelid if you rub your eye and dislodge the lens from its proper position. If necessary, your eye care practitioner can help you locate and remove the lens.

What happens at a contact lens fitting?

During a contact lens fitting, your visual acuity is tested using an eye chart. A number of tests are performed to determine your eye health and whether prescription eyewear is required to correct refractive errors like myopia or hyperopia. After testing is completed, your eye care professional may gather additional information so you can be fitted with contact lenses. You may be asked general questions about your lifestyle and preferences regaurding contact lenses, such as daily disposables vs. monthly replacement lenses. Once the contacts have been determined, a fitting session appointment will be made. This session usually takes up to 30 minutes for a contact lens technichian to teach you how to properly insert, remove and take care of your contact lenses. Once this has been accomplished, a one week appointment is then made for you to return to make sure your vision and comfort are good.

Should I be sleeping in my contacts?

We don't recomend sleeping in your contact lenses. Some contacts lenses are not approved to sleep in or for overnight wear. Others are only approved for 6 nights for continuous wear. If you are sleeping in your contact lenses, it is very important that you talk to your eye care professional and be honest about your sleeping habits so that you can get the contact lens that is right for you.

Do I need a prescription to purchase contact lenses?

Yes. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a prescription, and for good reason. A contact lens that is poorly fitted or made from a material not well suited to your eyes can cause distorted vision, discomfort, infection, inflammation, and in rare cases, permanent eye tissue damage.

When does my contact lens prescription expire?

Your contact lens prescription should state when it expires. Contact lens prescriptions are valid for one year. When your prescription expires, you won't be able to buy more lenses until your eye care professional gives you an updated prescription.