Category Archives: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: “When should my child have her first eye exam?”


Your baby should have her eyes examined at any age if a

problem is suspected. Until recently eye exams were recommended for all children before they entered kindergarten. However, numerous national organizations such as the American Optometric Association, American Academy of Ophthalmology and Prevent Blindness America have begun to recommend that your child receive their first eye exam at 6 months of age and then again at 3 years of age. Many forms of blindness or amblyopia (a decrease in vision) that occur in children can be prevented if caught early. Before you take your child to your eye doctor ask them if they are set up to evaluate children that are your child’s age. Not all eye doctors see young children.

Q: I Have Been Seeing Spots Before My Eyes for About a Week, is This Serious?

A: Generally, seeing spots or “floaters” in you vision is a harmless, but annoying condition caused by particles of natural materials floating in the jelly-like fluid in the back chamber of your eye. These spots are more common with age and treatment is rarely necessary. These spots, however, can also be a symptom of retinal problems such as retinal holes or detachments or as a result of diabetic complications or hypertension. Floaters may be more dangerous if accompanied by flashes of light. These flashes may appear as lightening bolts or merely sparkles that you see to the side of your vision. Evaluation of flashes or floaters requires urgent attention. I always recommend that we see patients with flashes and floaters to differentiate the cause of these symptoms.

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Q: I know I should have my child’s eye’s examined at 6 months of age but how can you get good information from a child that has not learned to talk yet?

A: Accurate results can be obtained from children and adults whom can not communicate verbally. Rather than asking the patient “which is better”, objective tests are used which require no responses from the child. Computerized testing and a diagnostic procedure called retinoscopy can be used to determine an accurate prescription for young children. Drops can often improve the accuracy of these procedures. Your child will also be examined for “lazy eye”, abnormal ocular development, and eye diseases.

Frequently, the examination takes only 15-20 minutes, and the vast majority of children enjoy their time at the office. Best results are usually obtained if the visit is scheduled when your child is usually at his or her best, by avoiding nap times or typically fussy periods.

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Q: “What is the Difference Between a Therapeutic Optometrist and an Optometric Glaucoma Specialist?”

A: An optometrist who is “therapeutic” is trained and licensed to treat eye diseases and write prescriptions as needed, in addition to ascertaining the need for visual corrections such as glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery. A therapeutic optometrist has completed eight years of college and postgraduate instruction leading to the Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree and the conditions they treat and manage vary by state.

An optometric glaucoma specialist is an optometrist that has gained training in addition to that of an therapeutic optometrist allowing him or her to treat patients with glaucoma. The glaucoma specialist can also prescribe oral medications in addition to the topical ophthalmic medications prescribed by the therapeutic optometrist.

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Q: Why are my eyes so dry lately?

A: Many conditions can contribute to dry eyes, including both your health and your, environment. Are you near any ceiling fans or heaters? Does your car’s heater or air conditioner blow directly on your eyes? Some medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants and diuretics can also contribute to dryness. Hormone changes, such as those attributed to pregnancy or menopause may also be a factor. Some people have a condition called blepharitis, where their lids become dry and flaky, this too can contribute to dryness.Other people may be suffering with “Sjogren’s Syndrome”, which is an autoimmune disorder where the mucous membrane glands are attacked causing significant dryness and discomfort.

Your optometrist can evaluate the source of your dry eyes and initiate a treatment plan. Dry eye syndrome is very common and can be successfully treated. In addition to eye drops there are many new solutions for the treatment of dry eyes that don’t require the use of eye drops.