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What do I do if I see flashing lights and things floating in my vision?
Call the eye doctor immediately- you must be examined to rule out a retinal tear or detachment.

At what age should children have their eyes checked?
We recommend having an eye exam at least before starting pre-school. It is important for kids to have the right start in school, and vision plays a major role in learning. The American Optometric Association recommends vision exams for children as young as six months. If you notice your child's eyes turning in or out or if they are unusually clumsy, an eye examination is needed to determine the cause.

How old should you be to wear contact lenses?
We have fit patients from 8 years old to 90 years old. The determining factor is usually the ability of the patient to put the lenses in and out of the eye themselves. They must also be responsible to clean and dispose of the lenses.

I wear bifocals. Can I wear contact lenses?
There are several options available for the bifocal wearer - soft bifocal contact lenses, rigid gas permeable bifocal contact lenses, or monovision contact lenses which fits one eye for distance and one eye for near.

Can I sleep in my contact lenses?
While it is always better for the eye to remove the contact lenses at night, there are several brands of contacts on the market that are approved for 6 days of continuous wear and then disposing of them. There are also lenses approved for up to 30 days of continuous wear. However, continuous oxygen deprivation by consistently sleeping in the contacts often results in a red, painful eye and may lead to infections or ulcerations.

What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a condition where the central part of the retina has changes in pigmentation and circulation, resulting in loss of central vision. It is believed that it occurs due to lack of nutrients being supplied to that area. It is genetically linked, but can occur in individuals with poor diets or frequent sun exposure. Smoking is also a risk factor.

What is the difference between wet and dry macular degeneration?
Wet macular degeneration is the result of blood leaking in the central part of the retina. Dry macular degeneration occurs when cellular debris accumulates between the central retinal layers but no blood leakage occurs. Both dry and wet macular degeneration generally occur in adults 50 years or older and can cause loss of the central part of your visual field.

What is glaucoma? 
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which there is damage to the optic nerve, resulting in loss of vision. It is a slow, progressive disease that begins with peripheral vision loss and gradually progresses to total blindness if left untreated. It is often, but not always associated with increased pressure of the fluid of the eye.

If there is glaucoma in my family, am I at risk for the disease? How often should I get my eyes checked?
If someone in your family has glaucoma you are definitely at risk to develop the disease unless it was caused by trauma to their eye. If you have a family history of glaucoma, you should get your eye pressure checked yearly.

How often should you get your eyes checked if you have diabetes?
It is recommended to have yearly dilated eye exams if you are diabetic.

What type of problems can occur in my eyes if I am diabetic?
If you are diabetic, you can experience vision loss from hemorrhaging on the retina. If your sugar is high, you may also experience temporary myopia (nearsightedness) from swelling of your crystalline lens, causing distance vision to be blurred. You will also be more at risk to develop cataracts and glaucoma. All diabetics, Type I and Type II, are at risk to develop retinopathy. Also, the longer you have the disease, the greater the likelihood of retinopathy occurring.

What is pink eye? Is it contagious?
"Pink eye" is commonly used to refer to a red eye. True pink eye is one specific viral infection that is very contagious. It does not produce a lot of pus discharge, but may produce tearing. It usually affects both eyes. Most red eyes are bacterial infections that produce a lot of discharge and usually affect one eye at a time and can be treated with antibiotics. There are no treatments for true pink eye.

What are those black things that I see floating around in my vision?
Those black things are vitreous floaters. Floaters are deposits of various size, shape and consistency in the liquid of the eye (the vitreous). When you were young, your vitreous was very transparent. But as you have gotten older, imperfections develop and the vitreous gradually degenerates. Floaters are visible because they cast a shadow on the retina. They can vary in shape as spots, threads or cobwebs and can appear alone or grouped together. Any damage to the eye can also cause floaters.

Why do my eyes often feel gritty, like there is sand in them all the time?
You probably are experiencing Dry Eye Syndrome. It is a condition where there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor tear quality. Other common symptoms of dry eyes are burning, excessive watering, foreign body sensation, scratchiness and blurred vision.

What is Latisse and how does it work?
Latisse is an FDA approved prescription treatment for inadequate or not enough eyelashes, growing them longer, fuller and darker. You begin to see changes in 4 weeks and full growth in 16 weeks of usage. The solution works by speeding up the growth cycle of the eyelash and is applied at the base of the eyelashes on the upper eye lid. The solution must be applied daily and if irritation is experienced, must be discontinued. It is not intended to replace mascara, but instead is for individuals with inadequately thin lashes.

How should I clean my contact lens case?
If you are a soft contact lens wearer, it is best to rinse your case with multipurpose soft contact lens solution. You should avoid using tap water unless it is filtered since your lenses will absorb the chemicals in your water. If you have rigid gas permeable contacts, you can rinse your case with water and even boil your case in hot water to sterilize it. Rigid contacts will not absorb the chemicals in your water.

Can I substitute generic contact lens solutions for name brand solution?
If your lenses are made of silicone hydrogel it is recommended to use only name brand solutions. This will include Air Optix brand contact lenses and Acuvue Oasys brand lenses. There have been a large number of red eye cases reported with these lenses when generic solutions are used.

Why do my transition lenses not darken in my car?
Ultraviolet light activates the crystals in transition lenses, causing the crystals to come to the surface and darken the lens. Many of the newer vehicles have windows and windshields that filter UV light.

Why can I not see at arm's length (my dashboard, my computer screen, on shelves) with my new bifocals?
If you have a line bifocal, you will be able to see at near and distance but will have to view intermediate distance either by looking through the distance portion of your glasses and backing away or through the bifocal portion and leaning closer. You need a trifocal to avoid these movements. If you have a progressive (no line bifocal), you will be able to see at arm's length by looking between the distance portion (top) of your glasses and the bottom portion of your glasses.

How do I use my new no-line bifocals?
For distance viewing, you should be able to look straight ahead and see clearly. To view things closer, point your nose at the object you want to see and tilt your head back until it is clear. You should be able to see clearly at all distances by first pointing your nose at the object and then tilting your head backwards. When reading the newspaper, you must move your head back and forth (left to right), not just moving your eyes.

What type of warranty do my new glasses have?
Most of our frames have a 2 time replacement in 2 years. Lenses with scratch coating have a 1 time replacement in 1 year, while some lenses with specialized coatings such as antireflective coating or TD2 coating have a 2 year unlimited replacement.

What is the blur on the extreme sides of my new no-line bifocals?
All bifocal lenses have some distortion to them. In a line bifocal or trifocal, the blur is concentrated into the lines. In a no line bifocal, there is not blur in your direct line of sight as you look down as with lined bifocals or lined trifocals. Instead the blur is placed to the outside edge of the lens. It is easily cleared if you just turn your head toward what you want to see. There are high definition (HD) no line bifocals now available that have very minimal side blur.

What causes halos around lights at night?
Two of the most common causes of halos around lights at night are cataracts and dry eyes. Contact lenses that are over worn or dirty may also cause this.

What are some common causes of dry eyes?
Dry eyes can result from environmental factors such as ceiling fans, air conditioning and heating vents, as well as dusty environments. Nutrition can also cause dry eyes, especially drinking a lot of coffee, tea, and soft drinks which are diuretics that dry the eyes out. Medications such as water pills can also dry the eye. Dirty contacts that are not disposed of properly is another cause. Also the eye itself could produce poor quality tears or not enough tears, leading to dry eyes.

What causes eye twitching?
Eye twitching is a repetitive, uncontrollable blinking or spasm of the eyelid. Most people develop some form of minor eyelid twitching at some point in their lives. Causes include stressfatigue and caffeine. It usually is temporary and will subside. Eye twitching can also be a sign of several eye conditions:

  1. Blepharitis - inflammation of the eyelids
  2. Dry Eyes
  3. Light Sensitivity
  4. Pink Eye

Eye twitching can also be the side effect of certain medications, especially epilepsy drugs and drugs used to treat psychosis. If you experience persistent eye twitching, make sure to get a thorough eye examination.