As an often neglected aspect of general health and wellness, eye health is essential not only for vision, but also for daily and general activity. Within eye health, lay many misconceptions and unknown factors in regard to eye exams, eye condition, and illnesses associated with the eyes. That being in mind, here are ten common questions about eye health and their corresponding answers.
1.How Often Should You Have an Eye Exam?
According to the American Optometric Association, adults that are aged 61 and above should see their optometrist every year, if they are currently using glasses or contact lenses. However, adults 60 or younger are typically only required to have an eye examination every two years, although their optometrist might recommend a more frequent checkup, depending on the severity of their eye condition.
2.What is a cataract?
Despite being one of the most common eye conditions, cataracts are largely misunderstood, both in how they are acquired and what treatment is available. A cataract is a cloudy film that develops in your eye that prevents light from passing into your retina which, if left untreated, can impair your vision. Cataract removal is one of the most common mandatory surgeries in the United States once the condition is discovered.
3.What is the difference being nearsighted and farsighted?
Also known as myopia, nearsightedness causes objects, that are far away, to be viewed blurry. Farsightedness is also known as hyperopia, which causes nearby objects to appear blurred. Both conditions – which are very common, are caused an elongation of the eyeballs that occurs with age.
4.Do you need a prescription to purchase eyeglasses or contact lenses?
It is necessary to have a prescription when purchasing prescription eyeglasses, and contact lenses, as they need to be adjusted specifically for your eyes and vision. Contact lens or eyeglasses that are fitted incorrectly can cause blurred or distorted vision, infection, inflammation or permanent eye tissue damage if used continuously, which is why a prescription is required.
5.How safe is LASIK eye surgery?
While all surgery necessitates some level of risk, LASIK laser eye surgery is considered particularly safe and noninvasive. Possible side effects include dry eye syndrome, the need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses after surgery, or seeing halos or glares due to over correction or under correction of eye tissue. Loss of vision is also a possible risk, although this is thought to be quite rare.
6.How do you know if you have glaucoma?
Unfortunately, glaucoma is not detectable outside of specialized tests by medical professionals, and will only become apparent once there is damage to your optic nerve. This is why regular preventative eye examinations are recommended, as glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65.
7.Can you develop both cataracts and glaucoma simultaneously?
While cataracts and glaucoma affect different areas of the eye, both can occur at the same time. Both cataracts and glaucoma are onset by aging, although contracting one does not increase your risk to contract the other. However, there are some exceptions, and those concerned should consult a medical professional.
8.Can you prevent hyperopia or myopia?
Unfortunately, neither condition is preventable, although they are both treatable through either prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses or LASIK laser surgery. Both conditions are a result of a defect in the eye, which makes the light entering the eye focus incorrectly. However, myopia can be made worse by intensely focusing on close blurred objects for extended periods of time.
9.What are dry eyes?
Dry eye syndrome is a condition that alters the quality, or quantity, of tears that leak out of your eyes. These tears are made up of three different layers that are balance to keep your eyes nourished and lubricated. If anything changes the balance of these three layers, your tears will evaporate too quickly, which, in turn, will cause your eyes to become chronically puffy and irritated. This can be caused by a combination of age, medications and environmental factors. This can be treated by adding artificial tears, other medications, and consuming more water and other nutrients.
10.What is macular degeneration?
While glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65, macular degeneration is the leading cause. Unlike glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration is often slow and painless, and there is no cure, although treatment can slow or in some cases keep the process at bay. Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, which blocks imaging from the brain to the eye. It is an all too common condition that affects more people than both glaucoma and cataracts combined, and is estimated to affect more than 10 million Americans.
For more information on the health of your eyes or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Ghosheh at, 1-888-439-6565, today.