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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Optometrist?

A Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) is an important member of your health care team, caring for the health of your eyes and vision. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures. This includes glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Optometrist can also identify systemic conditions affecting the eye such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Optometrists have specialized training in using glasses, contact lenses, and prisms to maximize your visual performance. Low vision rehabilitation and vision therapy are other specialty areas optometrist can help improve your vision.

Is reading in dim light harmful to my eye?

Using your eyes in dim light does not damage the structure of the eye. However, it does cause the eye muscles to fatigue quicker, which may lead to headaches, eyestrain, etc.

Will wearing eyeglasses cause me to become dependent on them?

Eyeglasses are used to correct blurry vision. Since clear vision with eyeglasses is preferable to uncorrected vision, you may find that you want to wear your eyeglasses more often. Although it may feel as if you are becoming dependent on your eyeglasses, you are actually just getting used to seeing clearly.

Does staring at a computer screen all day hurt my eyes?

Working on your computer does not damage the structure of the eyes. However, if you spend lots of time looking at a computer screen, you could be at risk for Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS is a temporary condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a screen (computer, smart phone or tablet) for long uninterrupted periods of time. Some symptoms include headaches, blurry or double vision, neck pain, fatigue, eyestrain, dry irritated eyes, and difficultly refocusing the eyes. CVS reduces efficiency at work and decreases the quality of life, but can easily be treated. Dr. Walsh discusses necessary steps to reduce these symptoms to make computer use more comfortable.

I have a prescription for my eyeglasses. How can I get a prescription for contact lenses?

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration classifies contact lenses as medical devices. Therefore, you have to receive a prescription with specific measurements for contact lenses. Your eyeglass prescription and contact lenses prescription may be different powers because contacts sit directly on the eye and eyeglasses sit further away from the eye. In order to get a prescription for contact lenses, you have to have an appointment to get them fitted on your eyes. If you are first time wearer, then you will return to the office for training. This is where Dr. Walsh will show you how to properly insert and remove contacts, proper use of your contacts and how to care for your contact lenses.

Why is there a contact lens evaluation fee in addition to the standard exam fee?

Contact lens patients require additional testing and monitoring over and above what is done during a routine eye exam. Contact lenses are medical devices and even though they may feel fine, there are health risks that must be taken seriously.

What is included in my contact lens exam?

Your contact lens evaluation includes:
History and Medical/Visual Need
• Patient visual needs analysis
• Prescription considerations
• Medical considerations/contraindications for wear
• Allergy evaluation for contact lens material compatibility
• Recommendations for proper UV protection
Clinical Examination
• Visual acuity measurement
• Corneal curvature for proper contact lens design
• Corneal integrity
• Corneal sensitivity
• Eye aperture size measurements
• Eyelid evaluation
• Biomicroscopic observation of the eye
• Biomicroscopic evaluation of proper contact lens position and movement
• Tear flow analysis as it relates to quality and quantity of tears
• Tear film analysis as it relates to contact lens comfort
• Vertex distance conversions
• Diagnostic contact lens selection
• Contact lens application
Progress Evaluations
• Instructions on timely lens disposal and return visit reminders
• Periodic evaluations of your current backup spectacles
• Progress evaluations as required to check for healthy contact lens wear
Patient Instructions
• Instructions on proper cleaning, storage, and disinfection of contact lenses
• Techniques and tips on application and removal of contact lenses
• Instructions on contact lens care and handling
• Advice regarding use of makeup and/or other cosmetics with contact lenses
• Information regarding the use of contact lenses and sports
• Precautions regarding contact lenses and swimming
Emergency and Follow-Up Care
• Answers to your contact lens related questions in office or by phone
• Advice on how to identify a contact lens emergency
• Providing you access to emergency care from our office after hours As you can see, there is a lot that goes into a complete lens evaluation to ensure the long-term health of your eyes. We look forward to continually providing you with the highest level of contact lens services, and the highest quality contact lens material to help you maintain clear, healthy vision throughout your lifetime.

I am currently wearing progressive/bifocal eyeglasses, can I be fitted for contacts?

There are various types of contacts lenses on the market today that accommodate people who have a different prescription for the distance and for reading. Multifocal contacts are those that have distance and near prescription built into each lens. Another option is monovision where one eye would be fitted for distance and the other eye is fitted for reading. During the contact lens fitting, Dr. Walsh will discuss in detail both of these options and recommend the option that is most appropriate for you and your prescription.

I have a history of discomfort with soft contact lenses. Is there an alternative?

Rigid contact lenses are a great alternative for patients that have discomfort or poor vision with soft contact lenses. Rigid contacts are great for those patients who want very crisp vision and for those patients with certain eye diseases, such as dry eye. Compared to soft contact lenses, rigid contacts tend to be more durable, more resistant to protein buildup, easier to handle, and typically there are less adverse reactions such as allergies or infections.

Why do my eyes always feel dry, what can I do to help?

Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. There are two main types of dry eye: (1) Inadequate amount of tears and (2) Poor quality of tears. Dry eyes can be a chronic condition, but Dr. Walsh can prescribe treatment to keep your eyes healthy, more comfortable, and prevent your vision from being affected. The primary approaches used to manage and treat dry eyes include adding tears, conserving tears, increasing tear production, and treating the inflammation of the eyelids or eye surface that contributes to the dry eyes. Dr. Walsh will perform tests to determine what type of dryness you have and the best course of treatment specific to you.

Are there any vitamins and/or supplements that I can take for my eyes?

Nutrition plays and vital role in overall health including your eyes. Vitamins and supplements can prevent or slow down diseases, including Macular Degeneration and Dry Eye. Dr. Walsh will discuss the role of nutrition in your eye health examination.