Education

Answers

1 EYE EXAMS

top > Why are eye examinations important?

Regardless of your age or physical health, it is important for everyone to have regular eye exams. When an eye doctor examines your eyes, he or she is doing more than checking to see if you need glasses. During a complete eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

top > What does nearsighted and farsighted mean?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a disorder where near objects are usually seen clearly, but distant ones do not come into proper focus and are blurred. There are a number of reasons for this optical condition. The eyeball may be too long, causing the image to be focused short of the retina at the back of the eye, or the focusing lenses of the eye are too strong.

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is a disorder where distant objects are usually seen clearly but close ones do not come into proper focus and are blurred. This occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is too flat, and light rays entering the eye focus behind the retina rather than directly on it.

top > What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a vision condition that occurs when the front surface of your eye, the cornea, is slightly irregular in shape. This irregular shape prevents light from focusing properly on the back of your eye, the retina. As a result, your vision may be blurred at all distances.

2 CHILDREN’S VISION

top > When should a child have his/her first eye exam?

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should receive additional eye exams at 3 years of age, and just before they enter kindergarten or the first grade at about age 5 or 6. Vision is closely linked to the learning process. Children who have trouble seeing or interpreting what they see will often have trouble with their schoolwork. Many times, children will not complain of vision problems simply because they don’t know what “normal” vision looks like. If your child performs poorly at school or exhibits a reading or learning disability, be sure to have his/her eyes examined to rule out an underlying visual cause.

top > What are the warning signs that a child might need glasses?

  • Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close
  • Losing his/her place while reading
  • Using a finger to follow along while reading
  • Squinting
  • Tilting the head to see better
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Excessive tearing
  • Closing one eye to read, watch TV, or see better
  • Avoiding activities that require near vision, such as reading or homework, or distance vision, such as participating in sports or other recreational activities
  • Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
  • Receiving lower grades than usual
  • 3 EYEGLASSES

    top > Will my eyes get worse if I wear my glasses all the time?

    It is a common misperception that wearing eyeglasses makes your eyes worse, to a point where you cannot go without the glasses. There is no permanent vision change caused by wearing glasses. Your brain does lose its “blur adaptation” temporarily, which is how you compensate for seeing badly, but it comes back if you go without glasses for a while.

    top > What are Occupational Lenses?

    An occupational lens is a type of multifocal that is generally suited for performing a particular job or hobby and is not meant for everyday wear.

    4 CONTACT LENSES

    top > Can I use my glasses prescription for contact lenses?

    Because a contact lens sits directly on your eye, a prescription for contact lenses will be different from that of glasses. A contact lens prescription includes power, shape, diameter, thickness and more. Also, you will need to be evaluated and fitted for contacts and given instructions on the care and handling of the lenses.

    top > Are contact lenses bad for your eyes?

    Contact lenses have proven to be a healthy vision option for millions of people. But only your eyecare professional can determine if they are healthy for you. If you follow all prescribed steps for inserting, removing, and caring for them, contact lenses will continue to be safe and effective. You also need to see your eyecare professional regularly to insure long-term corneal health.

    top > Can I sleep in contact lenses?

    Ask your doctor. It depends on the type of lens you’re wearing, the composition of your tear film, your general eye health, and other factors. Gas permeable contact lenses and certain soft lenses can be slept in, but never wear them while sleeping unless your eyecare practitioner says you can.

    top > Can children wear contact lenses?

    What parents are really asking could be: “Is my child mature enough to wear contact lenses?” Only parents can answer that question. If you’re considering contact lenses for your child, take a look at how your child handles other responsibilities. Does he or she take out the trash, care for the dog, or follow through with school or other projects? If your child needs frequent reminders for everyday chores, he/she may not be ready for the responsibility of wearing and caring for contact lenses. Contact lenses, if not cared for properly, can become damaged or lost, and can become infected and cause serious injury to the eyes. But if your child handles such duties well, he/she may be excellent candidates for contact lenses.

    5 COMPUTER VISION

    top > What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

    Computer vision syndrome is the combination of eye and vision problems related to near work that are experienced during or related to computer use. Its symptoms include eyestrain, dry or burning eyes, blurred vision, headaches, double vision, distorted color vision, and neck and backaches.

    6 LASIK

    top > What is LASIK surgery?

    Refractive Laser Surgery or LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is an advanced laser procedure used to reshape the central cornea, thereby decreasing or eliminating myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The refractive surgeon uses an automated microkeratome to shave off a thin, hinged layer of the cornea. This flap is then lifted like a hinged door and the exposed surface is reshaped using the excimer laser. After altering the corneal curvature, the flap is replaced and adheres without stitches.

    top > Can anyone get LASIK surgery?

    People who are nearsighted or farsighted, as well as those with astigmatism can benefit from LASIK, but not those people who need reading glasses. There are limits to what the laser can do thus each person needs to consult a physician.

    7 PROBLEMS AND EYE DISEASES

    top > What is a cataract?

    A cataract is cloudiness in the usually clear lens of the eye. Common cataract symptoms include poor night vision, sensitivity to light, a painless blurring of vision and a fading or yellowing of colors. Cataracts may develop slowly, over a period of years, and may not be immediately apparent if the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens. Cataracts are most commonly caused by aging, but may be related to family history, eye injury, eye surgery or some medications, and long-term exposure to light. Everyone gets cataracts.

    top > Can diabetes affect my eyesight?

    Diabetes can affect sight by causing cataracts, glaucoma, and most importantly, damage to blood vessels inside the eye, a condition known as Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. When blood vessels in the retina are damaged, they may leak blood and grow fragile, brush-like branches and scar tissue. This can blur or distort the vision images that the retina sends to the brain.

    Diabetic eye disease is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. People with untreated diabetes are said to be 25 times more at risk for blindness than the general population. The longer a person has had diabetes, the higher the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Fortunately, with regular, proper eye care and treatment when necessary, the incidence of severe vision loss can been greatly reduced.

    top > What is Macular Degeneration?

    Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail. Macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease and it is the leading cause of blindness for those aged 55 and older in the United States, affecting more than 10 million Americans. Risk factors include hypertension, heredity, smoking, poor diet, and diabetes.

    top > What is Glaucoma?

    Glaucoma is a disease characterized by increased pressure within the eyeball. If not diagnosed and treated, glaucoma may lead to optic nerve damage, loss of visual field, gradual vision impairment, and sometimes blindness. Usually, glaucoma is very treatable.

    top > What is a Sty?

    A sty is a small abscess of the glands in the eyelids (near the root of an eyelash) which can occur externally and internally. This abscess is generally localized staphylococcal infection and you may get more than one sty at a time or several in succession. The symptoms of a sty are redness, swelling, and pain in a localized area of the eye. An external sty may be noted when there is a tender nodule present below the lid margin; an internal sty may not have a visible nodule.

    top > What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

    Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common problems treated by eye physicians. Over ten million Americans suffer from dry eyes. It is usually caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film that lubricates the eyes.

     

     

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