FAQs About Eye Care, Dry Eye, Eyewear, Contact Lenses, & Eye Diseases
Q: My eyes are always burning and tired, what is causing this and what can I do about it?
A: These are often signs of dry eye syndrome, a very common condition that affects many people over time. Women are generally more prone to developing these symptoms and aging is often a cause as well. Dryness of our eyes is often due to a decrease in the oil production in our eyelid glands which causes the surface of the eye to become irritated. Certain medications and health issues can also contribute to dryness. There is no true cure for dryness but many treatments are available such as the use of artificial tears, nutritional supplements incorporating Omega 3, prescription medications such as Restasis, and eyelid hygiene. No single treatment works for every individual so we customize treatments for each person and their specific condition.
Q: Are some people more prone to having Dry Eyes than others?
A: Yes. Generally those that suffer with allergies, or have systemic inflammatory diseases like arthritis and sjogrens’, or those who use the computer or digital devices often and even contact lens wearers tend to be more susceptible to dry eye symptoms.
Q: What are some of the warning signs of Dry Eye? How is it best detected?
A: Warning signs can accumulate quite gradually over many years. Not uncommonly among contact lens wearers, they may incorrectly assume the lenses are old and need to be replaced. Other times the eyes water a bit more, or burn, or itch. Many, many cases are sub-clinical – they can only be diagnosed with the use of microscopic detection and special equipment! We look at tear quality, tear meniscus, and gland structure. Research has pointed towards the testing of tear osmolarity as a reliable indicator of the disease in terms of pre-treatment and post-treatment situations.
Q: What is meant by the term allergic conjunctivitis? Is that the same as “pink eye”?
A: Allergic conjunctivitis is the clinical term of ocular inflammation of the lining or membrane of the eye, called the conjunctiva, caused by allergic reactions to substances. Although a patient may present with red or pink eyes from excess inflammation, the common term "pink eye"can signify a broad term of conditions and can be misleading, as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other irritating substances can cause redness resembling a "pink eye." Your eye doctor can differentiate between an allergy reaction and a true infection, which can lead to faster healing with proper treatments.
Q: Are disposable contact lenses good for my eyes?
A: Everyone has different eyes. Some people can wear contacts overnight while some patients are never good candidates for contacts. It is best to let your eye doctor determine if contacts are a good option for you.
Q: What are the advantages of daily disposable contact lenses?
A: Daily disposable contact lenses are great for many reasons. The chance of infection decreases because a new sterile lens is used everyday and there is no need to clean the lens or the case. This is also a great option for patients that have allergies, contact lens solution sensitivities and dry eye as it eliminates the buildup of contaminants on the lenses that can exacerbate those problems. Dailies make for a low maintenance and comfortable option for any patient!
Q: How will I know if my child is getting better from Amblyopia? Is it too late to help my child if the problem is undetected after age 6?
A: Lazy eye will not go away on its own. We have what is called electrodiagnostic testing which can determine the effectiveness of amblyopia treatment without relying on the response of the child to "tell" us how well they are seeing. Oftentimes, parents worry that the eye exam is not accurate if their child is not old enough to read the chart or is uncooperative due to anxiety of getting an eye exam. This test is non-invasive and fast (30 minutes) and can be done right here in our office for patients of all ages, starting in infancy. We can track over time how the therapy is working and the prognosis of vision.
Q: What exactly is astigmatism?
A: Usually it is related to the shape factor of the front surface of the eye called the cornea. Instead of being shaped spherically like a ball bearing or a marble, it is shaped like a football, being more curved in one direction than the other. This brings light to focus at more than 1 point. The root word stigma means point and the prefix A means without a point focus in the eye.
Q: How often should I have my glasses prescription checked?
A: The American Optometric Association recommends yearly eye-health examinations. As part of a comprehensive eye exam your optometrist will not only check your glasses prescription for changes, but he/she will also evaluate your eye health. Every patient needs to be regularly monitored for glaucoma and other diseases. For adults, it’s important to monitor for cataracts and macular degeneration. And certain medical conditions, like diabetes, require yearly eye-health exams as well to monitor the potential side-effects they can have on the eyes. For children, visual dysfunction conditions like “lazy eye” and “crossed eyes,” can be missed with school vision screenings alone. A regular complete eye examination is an integral part of routine health care.
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