Faq Eye Care Perth Amboy NJ

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Opticians Different?
Is reading in dim light harmful to your eyes?
Is using a computer or video display terminal (VDT) harmful to the eyes?
Can you wear your eyes out if you use them too much?
Does wearing poorly-fit glasses damage your eyes?
Does wearing poorly-fit contacts harm your eyes?
Do I need to have my eyes checked before my 40s or 50s?
Do children outgrow crossed eyes?
Must a cataract be ripe before it can be removed?
Are cataracts removed with lasers?
Can eyes can be transplanted?
How do I put eyedrops in my eyes?
When is a person legally blind?
Does Viagra affect the eyes?
First Aid for Eye Injuries
Is smoking bad for the eyes?
There's a white fleshy film growing over my eye! Should I be worried?
There's a yellowish bump growing on the white part of my eye! Should I be worried?
Are cataracts removed with a laser?



How Are Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Opticians Different?

Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.s) are different from optometrists and opticians in their training and in what they can diagnose and treat.

As a medical doctor, an ophthalmologist is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. He or she diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, performs eye surgery, and prescribes and fits glasses and contact lenses. After four years of college and eight additional years of medical education and training, an ophthalmologist must pass a rigorous examination given by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

While all ophthalmologists can treat all conditions, some have a specialty in a specific are of ophthalmology, like glaucoma, cataracts, retina or cornea.

An optometrist is a doctor of optometry, licensed to practice optometry. Optometrists determine the need for glasses and contact lenses, prescribe optical correction, and screen for abnormalities of the eye. They attend two to four years of college and four years of optometry school.

In some states, optometrists can prescribe a limited amount of drugs to help diagnose and treat certain eye conditions. Optometrists generally do not perform surgery.

An optician--licensed by a state to make optical aids--fits, adjusts and dispenses glasses, contact lenses and other optical devices on written prescriptions of a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist. Training for an optician varies from a preceptorship to two years of opticianry school.


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Is reading in dim light harmful to your eyes?

Although reading in dim light can make your eyes feel tired, it is not harmful.


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Is using a computer or video display terminal (VDT) harmful to the eyes?

Although using a VDT is associated with eye strain or fatigue, it is not harmful to the eyes.


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Can you wear your eyes out if you use them too much?

You can use your eyes as much as you wish. They may make you feel tired, but they do not wear out.


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Does wearing poorly-fit glasses damage your eyes?

Although a good glass fit is required for good vision, a poor fit does not damage your eyes.


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Does wearing poorly-fit contacts harm your eyes?

Poorly fit contact lenses can be harmful to your cornea. Make certain your eyes are checked regularly by your ophthalmologist if you wear contact lenses.


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Do I need to have my eyes checked before my 40s or 50s?

There are several asymptomatic, yet treatable, eye diseases (like glaucoma) that can begin prior to your 40s; not to mention diabetic retinopathy, which can start at any age. Therefore, it is good practice to get a full exam every year.


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Do children outgrow crossed eyes?

Children do not outgrow truly crossed eyes. A child whose eyes are misaligned has strabismus and can develop poor vision in one eye (a condition known as amblyopia) because the brain turns off the misaligned or "lazy" eye. The sooner crossed or misaligned eyes are treated, the less likely the child will have permanently impaired vision.


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Must a cataract be ripe before it can be removed?

With modern cataract surgery, a cataract does not have to ripen before it is removed. When a cataract keeps you from doing the things you like or need to do (like driving, reading or working on the computer), consider having it removed.


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Are cataracts removed with lasers?

Cataracts cannot be removed with a laser. The cloudy lens must be removed through a surgical incision. However, after cataract surgery, a membrane within the eye may become cloudy. This membrane can be opened with laser surgery.


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Can eyes can be transplanted?

The eye cannot be transplanted. It is connected to the brain by the optic nerve, which cannot be reconnected once it has been severed. The cornea (the clear front part of the eye) can be transplanted. Also, surgeons often use plastic intraocular lens implants (IOLs) to replace natural lenses removed during cataract surgery.


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How do I put eyedrops in my eyes?

Inserting eyedrops may seem difficult at first but becomes easier with practice. To put in an eyedrop, tilt the head back. Then create a pocket in front of the eye by pulling the lower lid down with an index finger or gently pinch the lower lid outward with the thumb and index finger. Let the drop fall into the pocket without touching your eye or eyelid (to prevent contamination of the bottle).

Immediately after instilling the drop, squeeze the bridge of your nose for two to three minutes with your thumb and forefinger. This prevents most of the drop from traveling down the tear duct to the throat and the rest of the body.

If you are taking two different types of eyedrops, wait at least five minutes before instilling the second drop.


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When is a person legally blind?

Normal vision, or 20/20, means a person sees the smallest letters or pictures on an eye chart when standing 20 feet away. Some people cannot see normally, even with glasses or contacts, because a medical condition affects their vision. These people are called visually impaired or visually handicapped.

If a visual handicap limits vision to 20/200, or one-tenth of normal, a person is legally blind. Legally blind does not mean totally unable to see. Someone legally blind cannot see the line below the second big E at the top of the eye chart. People with 20/20 vision but less than 20 degrees of side vision can also qualify as legally blind. People who see well with only one eye are not considered legally blind, nor are people who wear glasses to see better than 20/200.


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Does Viagra affect the eyes?

Viagra is known to cause a mild disturbance of color vision in approximately 3% of people taking a higher than recommended dose, since this drug acts by interfering with the action of a special enzyme to cause an erection. A nearly identical type of enzyme in the retina may also be affected by the drug, causing the aforementioned symptoms.Because of this unusual side effect, doctors recommend people with retinitis pigmentosa should not use Viagra.


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First Aid for Eye Injuries

The most common type of eye injury that needs immediate action is a chemical burn. Alkaline materials (lye, plasters, cements, and ammonia), solvents, acids, and detergents can be harmful to the eye. Eyes should be flushed liberally with water if exposed to any of these agents.

If sterile solutions are readily available, use them to flush the affected eye. If not, go to the nearest sink, shower or hose and begin washing the eye with large amounts of water. If the eye has come in contact with an alkaline agent, it is important to flush the eye for ten minutes or more. Make sure water is getting under the upper and lower eyelids.

Abrasions or scratches of the eyelids or cornea, the clear covering of the eye, occur frequently and can be quite uncomfortable. If the abrasion is dirty, gently cleanse the area with a stream of clean water.

Do not attempt to treat severe blunt trauma or penetrating injuries to the eye. Tape a paper or Styrofoam cup over the injured eye to protect it until proper care can be obtained.

In the case of a blow to the eye, do not assume the injury is minor. The eye should be examined thoroughly by an ophthalmologist because vision-threatening damage could be hidden.

First aid is only the first step for emergency treatment. If you experience pain, impaired vision, or any possibility of eye damage, call your ophthalmologist or go the emergency room immediately.


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Is smoking bad for the eyes?

People who smoke cigarettes are at increased risk for developing cataracts. Cataracts cause a variety of vision problems, including blurry distance vision, sensitivity to glare, loss of contrast and difficulty seeing colors.

Tobacco smoking is also one of the preventable risk factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Studies have shown that current smokers and ex-smokers are more likely to develop AMD than people who have never smoked.

In people with high blood-sugar levels, some studies suggest that smoking may be linked to diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the retina. The optic nerve is also susceptible to damage from smoking. People with poor diets who smoke heavily and drink excessive amounts of alcohol run the risk of developing optic nerve-related vision loss (called tobacco-alcohol amblyopia). Certain optic nerve problems run in families (called Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy). People with this condition who smoke have increased risk of vision loss. In some patients with thyroid disease (called Graves' disease) who also have eye involvement, smoking can cause the eyes to become worse, with vision loss possible.

For people with dry eye, smoking is a significant irritant, worsening the symptoms of scratchiness, stinging or burning of the eyes, and excess tearing from irritation.


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There's a white fleshy film growing over my eye! Should I be worried?

This fleshy film that grows over a person's cornea is a pterygium. It is usually not removed unless it interferes with the field of vision. A pterygium is nothing to worry about, but can get irritated and cause discomfort.


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There's a yellowish bump growing on the white part of my eye! Should I be worried?

This bump is called a pingueculum and is usually seen on people who spend a lot of time under the sun. It is usually not treated unless it gets irritated and caused discomfort.


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Are cataracts removed with a laser?

No. Cataracts are removed by making a small incision on the side of the cornea and inserting a probe that dissolves the cataract and suctions it out.