1Glossary of Eye Care Terms
While certainly not a complete eye care dictionary the EyeGlass Guide Glossary
covers many of the common eye care conditions, terms and technology you’ll commonly discuss with your eye care professional.
2How Can I Promote Healthy Sight?
Having healthy eyes understanding how lifestyle, diet and personal habits can affect the way you see—today and tomorrow.
Healthy body. Healthy habits. Healthy eyes. Healthy sight.
Your eyes are a part of your body. Some of the same healthy habits that protect your general health also promote healthy eyesight:
Eating a balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables
Drinking water to hydrate your body and your eyes
Not smoking, and avoiding long-term smoke exposure
Wearing ultraviolet (UV) protection
Considering appropriate vitamin supplements
Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and carotenoids such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin have shown some promise in research studies at reducing the risk and progression of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD)..
3How the Eye Works
To understand how the human eye works, first imagine a photographic camera—since cameras were developed very much with the human eye in mind.
Light reflects off of objects and enters the eyeball through a transparent layer of tissue at the front of the eye called the cornea. The cornea accepts widely divergent light rays and bends them through the pupil—the dark opening in the center of the colored portion of the eye.
The pupil appears to expand or contract automatically based on the intensity of the light entering the eye. In truth, this action is controlled by the iris—a ring of muscles within the colored portion of the eye that adjusts the pupil opening based on the intensity of light. (So when a pupil appears to expand or contract, it is actually the iris doing its job.)
The adjusted light passes through the lens of the eye. Located behind the pupil, the lens automatically adjusts the path of the light and brings it into sharp focus onto the receiving area at back of the eye—the retina.
An amazing membrane full of photoreceptors (a.k.a. the "rods and cones"), the retina converts the light rays into electrical impulses. These then travel through the optic nerve at the back of the eye to the brain, where an image is finally perceived.
It’s easy to see that a slight alteration in any aspect of how the human eye works—the shape of the eyeball, the cornea’s health, lens shape and curvature, retina problems—can cause the eye to produce fuzzy or blurred vision. That is why many people need vision correction. Eyeglasses and contact lenses help the light focus images correctly on the retina and allow people to see clearly.
4How Should I Protect My Eyes?
If you work in a hazardous environment like a construction zone or workshop, or participate in ball sports or extreme sports—sturdy, shatter-and-impact-resistant eyewear is a must. Polycarbonate is a lens material that is widely used for shatter-and-impact resistant lenses, and when combined with sturdy frame materials, makes for formidable eye protection.
- Nearly half of traumatic eye injuries relate to ball sports
- 45% of these occur in children under the age of 14
- 90% of these are preventable
5What Can I Expect With an Eye Exam?
Prior to your exam you should decide whether you will be seeking special services such as a contact lens exam or LASIK consultation. These services may cost extra. Check with the doctor’s office or your insurance provider to see if they cover any of the exam expenses.
You need to know if you have medical insurance, vision plan coverage or both. Medical insurance usually does not cover "wellness/refractive" exams for glasses or contact lenses. Vision plans will cover exams for glasses or contacts, but usually cannot be used for red eyes, floaters, or other medical eye health problems. Please bring your insurance cards with you.
In addition to bringing your current pair of glasses or contacts if applicable, it is important to be aware of your personal and family history and to have a list of medications or supplements you are currently taking. Your pupils will probably be dilated as apart of your exam, so plan accordingly.
To see what's involved with a common test, click here.
To see what's involved with a comprehensive test, click here.
Tired of wearing glasses or contact lenses? Today, several surgical methods can correct your eyesight and, in most cases, give you the freedom of seeing well without corrective lenses. Corrective eye surgery ranges from reshaping of the eye surface with a procedure known as LASIK and PRK to surgical insertion of artificial lenses for correcting your eyesight.
To be a good candidate for LASIK, you should be at least 18 years old, have healthy eyes, and have adequate corneal thickness since LASIK corrects your vision by removing tissue from your cornea to reshape your eye. Chronic dry eye problems, corneal diseases and other abnormalities may disqualify you from having LASIK surgery. In order to know for sure if you are a good candidate, a comprehensive eye exam is required. For your convenience, we are happy to provide LASIK pre-operative exams and consultations at our office. Call us for details.
And don't forget to continue to have routine eye exams after LASIK. Even if your vision is perfect, you still need to have your eyes checked for glaucoma and other potential problems on a regular basis. Routine exams also help you make sure your vision stays stable after LASIK.
8What Are The Most Common Eye Diseases?
The following is a list of common eye diseases. For information about eye problems such as astigmatism, blepharitis, keratoconus and many more
please see Eye Conditions.
Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss after age 55. Learn more about recognizing cataracts symptoms, protecting your eyes and understanding cataract surgery.
- Diabetes and Eyesight
How does diabetes affect vision? What does diabetes mean for eyesight? Learn more about eye problems resulting from diabetes including diabetic retinopathy, the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading contributor to blindness for adults in America.
Early detection is key, so knowing the early symptoms of glaucoma could go a long way toward preventing and treating this common eye disease.
- Macular Degeneration
Macular Degeneration is an eye disease that affects the portion of the eye responsible for processing fine detail and providing sharp central vision (called the macula).
9What Are The Most Common Eye Conditions
Eye problems can range from mild to severe; some are chronic, while others may resolve on their own, never to appear again. The cardinal rule is if your eyes don't look good, feel good or see well, you should visit your doctor.
Please visit our Eye Conditions page
Often mistakenly called "stigmatism," this common vision problem can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
Red, swollen eyelids and crusty debris at the base of your eyelashes are signs you may have blepharitis.
This eye disease causes the cornea to grow thinner and bulge forward in an irregular cone-shape. Treatment options range from gas permeable contact lenses to a cornea transplant.
10Vision After 40
If you are over the age of 40, you've probably noticed your eyes have changed. Most notably, presbyopia - the normal, age-related loss of near focusing ability - usually becomes a problem in our 40's, requiring new vision correction solutions. Just as our physical strength decreases with age, our eyes also exhibit an age-related decline in performance - particularly as we reach our 60's and beyond. Some age-related eye changes are perfectly normal, but others may signal a disease process. It's important to recognize signs and symptoms, and perhaps even more important to mitigate the effects of aging with some simple and common-sense strategies. Specific age-related eye changes, such as cataracts or farsightedness caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye (presbyopia), are perfectly normal and don’t signify a disease process. These are absolutely common along with age and can be readily corrected with treatment.
A Few Tidbits for aging Clients:
- If you are over 40, already wear glasses, and your "arms aren't long enough" to read a newspaper, it's time for multifocal lenses.
- There is no need to advertise your age with bifocals or trifocals-choose progressive lense
- The risk for dry eye increases with age, especially for women.