Do I need an eye exam if I have good vision?

YES! Getting an annual comprehensive eye exam is the best preventative medicine for maintaining good vision and overall health. Your eyes can reveal early signs of high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts as well as other health problems.

Why do children need eye exams?

It is estimated that vision accounts for 80% of learning. Many children are misdiagnosed as having a learning disability when they see poorly. Approximately 1 in 6 children have a vision related problem significant enough to impair their ability to learn. “Amblyopia” (or a lazy eye) is usually treatable if detected at a young age.
** Did you know- OHIP still covers annual eye exams for children under 20 and adults over 65? **

What kind of diseases can be detected in an eye exam?

The eyes are the only part of the body where blood vessels can be examined without cutting any skin. Therefore, many diseases of the body can be detected such as diabetes, high blood pressure, tumors, multiple sclerosis, and also drug abuse.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism means that the front clear dome of the eye (cornea) is shaped more like a football than a basketball, (meaning more oval than round). Therefore, in order for light to focus at the back of an oval eye we need different powered lenses in different directions.

What is Glaucoma and can it be cured?

Glaucoma is defined as damage to the optic nerve. It usually results from high pressure in the eye and can cause tunnelling of vision, an increase in the size of your blind spot and eventually blindness if left untreated. In the early stages, glaucoma can be managed with eye drops to reduce the pressure. Later stages, however, may require surgical intervention. Since there are no early symptoms, this condition can only be detected by a thorough eye examination. Therefore, it is important, especially for people with a family history of glaucoma, to have routine eye check-ups.

What are cataracts, and will I get them if my family had them?

Cataracts occur when the lens in the eye, which is normally clear, becomes cloudy causing hazy vision. They are frequently found to occur as the lens naturally ages, but can also develop from certain medications, injury or diabetes. Initial stages of cataracts can be managed with a visual correction. However, when the cloudiness progresses to a stage where the vision cannot be improved by glasses, cataract surgery can be performed. Today, cataract surgery is a very common outpatient procedure.

What does it mean when someone has a lazy eye?

Lazy eye, also called amblyopia, means the vision in one eye is not correctable to the same level as the other one. This can occur due to crossed eyes or when there is a large difference in the refractive error between the eyes. If this condition is diagnosed early, wearing a patch on the good eye and performing visually demanding tasks with the other may increase the development of vision in that eye.

What is LASIK?

LASIK is short for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. In this procedure a thin flap of the cornea is created and flipped back. Then the laser is used to remove thin layers of tissue and shape the surface according to your prescription. The flap is put back down and improvements can be seen almost immediately. This is a very safe procedure, although, as with any surgery, there are risks involved.

How do you know if you are a good candidate for LASIK?

A good candidate is one who is at least 18 years of age with health eyes, and has had a stable prescription over the last 2-3 yrs. The refractive error also must fall within a certain range. In addition, your corneal thickness must be sufficient for your particular prescription. LASIK does not correct for presbyopia so patients who normally need a correction for reading or bifocals will still need a reading correction after the surgery.

I currently wear bifocals but I was wondering if I can wear contact lenses also?

Yes, there are two different ways of fitting contacts to aid in both distance and near vision.

  • One of the ways is called monovision fitting. In this case, your dominant eye is fit with a contact lens to see clear at distance and the other eye is fit to see clearly at near. Initially, there is an adjustment period for new fits.
  • The other method is to use bifocal contact lenses in both eyes. This option is used when patients have a difficult time adapting to monovision. They simultaneously focus the distance and near objects on the retina, but it is the one that you concentrate on that you will see. Therefore, vision will be good at distance and near but not as subjectively sharp as a monovision correction fitting.

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