Q: How do I know if I have Dry Eye?
A: Dry eye can cause quite a few symptoms, anything from the eyes actually feeling dry to the eyes watering often, or having a burning, itchy, or irritated feeling. One of the most common symptoms is the eyes feeling gritty or like something is in your eye. Most people will often experience blurred vision since the tears, which comprise the outermost surface of the eye, are unstable.
Q: What are some of the symptoms of Dry Eye?
A: There are numerous symptoms of dry eye disease, but the most common ones include excess tearing, lack of tearing, burning, redness, foreign body sensation, intermittently blurred vision, and an inability to tolerate contact lenses. If you have any of the above symptoms, and want a professional diagnosis, please make an appointment here.
Q: What is the examination like to determine whether someone is suffering from Dry Eyes?
A: As part of a regular eye examination we will inquire about use of eye drops and whether the patient has any discomfort or redness which may be dry eye related. We will also take a careful look with the biomicroscope to see if plugged oil glands in the lid or any dry patches on the cornea are present. We often use a yellow stain called fluorescein to see how quickly the tears evaporate. We also look for eyelid issues like blepharitis (inflamed crusty lids) or demodex mites which can worsen dry eye symptoms.
Q: When should my child have their first eye examination?
A: Our office actually participates in InfantSee, a free program that allows for screening of infants between 6 to 12 months of age. It is a way of checking for the risk of lazy eye and the internal health of the eye. Obviously at this age, children cannot read an eyechart, but we have methods that allow us to check for any prescription and health issues. After that, it is recommended that children have a comprehensive exam at around age 3. At this age, they are able to respond more interactively and we are able to make sure their vision is developing properly. We can also begin testing for any developmental delays that may be eye or vision related and that may hinder their learning abilities in the future.
Q: What is Vision Therapy?
A: Vision therapy is an individualized treatment plan prescribed by a Doctor of Optometry. It is used to treat eye conditions, such as strabismus (eye turn) or amblyopia (“lazy eye”). Through Vision Therapy, a Doctor of Optometry also teaches, improves and/or reinforces important visual skills, such as eye tracking, eye focusing and eye teaming abilities. Without these visual skills, simple tasks like reading or copying notes from the board become difficult. Skipping words or lines while reading, using a finger while reading, blurry near vision, double vision, eyestrain and/or eye fatigue are also common symptoms.
Q: What does it mean to have 20/20 vision [actually, 20/20 visual acuity]
A: When we say that someone has 20/20 visual acuity, we mean that he or she could read a letter standing 20 feet away that most people with healthy eyes should be able to read standing 20 feet away. It is a standard set in our industry to indicate “normal” vision. Some people could actually see better than 20/20 visual acuity, so it is not accurate to state that 20/20 visual acuity is “perfect” vision. Also, visual acuity is not the only aspect of a person’s overall vision. For instance, you also have to consider one’s color vision, depth perception, peripheral vision, and contrast sensitivity.
Q: What exactly does "20/20 vision" mean?
A: "20/20 vision" is commonly accepted as the standard of normal distance vision for a human being. Basically it means "good visual acuity at 20 feet." So if your vision is 20/20, you can read certain sizes of letters on a Snellen chart clearly at 20 feet or closer. But if your friend has 20/15 vision, his visual acuity is better than yours: you would have to stand 15 feet away from the chart to read the smaller letters that he can read while standing 20 feet away. Conversely, someone with 20/30 vision has worse distance vision than you. By the way, visual acuity at a distance isn't the only measure of how good your vision is. You could have 20/20 distance vision but still have difficulty seeing at night because of poor contrast sensitivity. Or you could have near vision problems because you're over 40 and experiencing presbyopia.
Q: At what age should i bring my child in for an eye exam?
A: 6 months old, 3 years old and 5 years old. Those ages are chosen based on critical development milestones between the eyes and the brain and the overall visual system. During each of those visits there are specific signs that we look for to ensure good development of your child's visual system. including binocular development and depth perception. The specific components of the exam are tailored to the age of your child. All children entering school should also have their eyes examined because seeing is a vital component to learning in school.