What is an Optometrist?

An Optometrist (OD) is a Doctor of Optometry that generally provides routine vision care services, prescribes eyeglasses and fits contact lenses. Currently, Optometrists diagnose and medically treat eye diseases. Optometrists may not perform any form of surgery.

What does an Optician do?

Opticians are qualified to measure for eyeglasses. Opticians do not have to obtain special licenses in most states.

My vision is fine and I feel no pain. Should I get an eye exam?

It is important to get regular eye exams. Eye exams are a valuable tool in diagnosing and preventing disease. Some diseases occur and develop gradually without causing symptoms. Early detection is the best defense against eye disease.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. Glaucoma occurs when pressure in the eye rises enough to damage the optic nerve. A blockage is formed in the eye fluid drains. Those at the greatest risk are African Americans with a family history, people over 40, and diabetics. Currently, there is no cure for glaucoma.

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration occurs when the macula, a part of the retina in the back of the eye, degrades causing progressive loss of vision.

Symptoms include:
Gradual loss of color vision, gradual loss of the ability to see objects clearly, and a dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision.

Treatment for macular degeneration: 
Dry macular degeneration has no treatment. Wet macular degeneration can be treated with laser procedures if it is treated early. Some vitamins and minerals can slow or prevent vision loss.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are defined as cloudy areas in the clear lens in the front of the eye. They are caused by a chemical change. At risk groups are: over 55 years old, have eye injuries or disease, those with cataracts in their family history, cigarette smokers and the use of certain medications.

Cataracts cannot be prevented, but early detection can help sustain vision for longer.

Blurred vision, sensitive to glare, a feeling of film over the eyes, spots in front of the eye, temporary improved nearsightedness.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is the weakening of blood vessels that supply nutrients to the retina. When the weak vessels leak, sell or develop branches, loss of vision occurs. Progression of the disease can advance to blurred/cloudy vision, floaters and blind spots. Eventually blindness will occur and the damage is irreversible.

People with diabetes are the most at risk. You can reduce your risk by following your prescribed diet and medical regimen, exercising daily and controlling your blood pressure. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Be sure to receive eye exams are important to early detection.

What does it mean when I have dry eye?

Dry eyes means your eyes are not receiving enough moisture. This occurs because your body cannot produce enough tears or because the tears are not the proper chemical composition.

Irritated or red eyes, burning sensations, feeling as if something is in your eye, blurred vision.

Non-surgical procedures include blinking exercises, increasing humidity, using eye drops or moisturizing ointment. If these methods are unsuccessful, small plugs may have to be inserted in the corners of the eyes or the drainage tube of the eye will have to be surgically closed.

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a condition where the lens of your eye loses flexibility. This will make it difficult to focus on close objects. The loss occurs over several years and may seem to occur suddenly but it usually become noticeable in the early 40s.

Presbyopia is a natural part of aging, it is not a disease.