Q: When should my child’s eyes be examined?

A: Most physicians test vision as part of a child’s medical examination. They may refer your child to see an ophthalmologist (a medical eye doctor) if there is any sign of an eye condition. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend the first vision screening to occur in the hospital as part of a newborn baby’s discharge examination. Visual function (including ocular alignment, etc.) also should be checked by the pediatrician or family physician during routine well-child exams (typically at two, four and six months of age). Amblyopia and alignment screenings should be performed at three years of age, then yearly after school age.

Q: When should an adult’s eyes be examined?

A: Adult eye examinations should be performed on a regular basis. Young adults ages 20-39 should have their eyes examined every few years. Adults 40 and older should have their eyes examined every year. High risk adults, which include people with diabetes, glaucoma – or a strong family history of glaucoma – and people with other systemic diseases may need more frequent visits.

Q: What are the medical terms for nearsightedness and farsightedness?

A: The medical term for nearsightedness is myopia, correctable with glasses, contact lenses or in some cases, refractive surgery (LASIK). The medical term for farsightedness is hyperopia, correctable with glasses, contact lenses or in some cases ,refractive surgery. Related conditions (also correctable with glasses or contact lenses) include astigmatism and presbyopia.

Q: What is legal blindness?

A: You are legally blind when the best corrected central acuity is less than 20/200 (perfect visual acuity is 20/20) in your better eye, or your side vision is narrowed to 20 degrees or less in your better eye. Even if you are legally blind, you may still have some use of vision. If you are legally blind, you may qualify for certain government benefits.

Q: What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, an optometrist and an optician?

A: An ophthalmologist (MD) has a medical degree and is licensed to practice medicine and perform eye surgery. An ophthalmologist has had at least 12 years of education and training beyond high school, and is qualified to diagnose and treat all eye diseases, perform surgery and prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses. An optometrist (OD) has a degree in optometry and is licensed to practice optometry. An optometrist has had at least 8 years of education and training beyond high school, and is qualified to determine the need for glasses and contact lenses, prescribe optical correction and screen for some eye conditions. An optician usually has a combination of college (or two years of opticianry school) and on-the-job training. An optician is trained to fit and dispense eyeglasses or contact lenses based upon a prescription from a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist.

Q: What’s the secret to getting eyeglasses that look great on me?

A: First, decide which of the seven basic face shapes you have and select the frame that best suits your shape. Then, find out which colors suit your skin, eye and hair colors.Our Certified Opticians can assist you select the best frame, lens and lens options for your specific needs.

Q: I’m interested in the glasses that change to sunglasses when you go outside. Can you tell me more about them?

A: These are photochromic lenses. When they’re exposed to ultraviolet light, they become darker or change to a different color. Most brands remain lighter when you’re driving, because windshields block most UV light.

Q: How often should I get a new pair of glasses?

A: You should get a new pair if your prescription has changed; and your doctor will let you know. Therefore, it’s important to know how often to visit the eye doctor. It depends on many factors. However, your doctor can tell you what schedule is right for you. If your prescription doesn’t change very often, or at all, just get new glasses when you’re tired of your old ones or they go out of style.

Q: If I wear contacts why do I need a back-up pair of glasses?

A: It is very important to have a back-up pair of glasses in the event you have an eye health issue and cannot wear your contacts. It’s also recommended to give your eyes a break from contacts in the evenings and weekends. If you travel, it’s also nice to have a back-up option in case you need it.

Q: Can a contact lens get lost behind my eye?

A: No. At worst, you might have trouble finding it under your upper eyelid if you rub your eye and dislodge the lens from its proper position. If necessary, your eye care practitioner can help you locate and remove the lens.