Ask the Doctors


Question:
Email: 1

1 - Notification of when your question has been answered. (Optional)  

Questions & Answers

  1. I just picked up my new contacts and they forgot to mark on the boxes which eye is which?? I know that on my paper prescription, "OD" is for one eye, and "OS" is for the other; but which is which?

    OD is the right eye and OS is the left eye. OD is an abbreviation for “oculus dexter” and OS stands for “oculus sinister.” Both of these terms come from Latin. Oculus (plural oculi) is Latin for eye but can also denote any circular opening as in the top of a dome like the famous Oculus of the Pantheon in Rome. Dexter and sinister are simply the Latin terms for “of the right side” and “of the left side.”

  2. I know it's important to protect your eyes from the sun, just like we protect our skin with sunscreen. Can you give me some guidelines on what to look for in sunglasses that will offer the best protection?

    Great question! As anyone knows whose experienced the pain of a sunburn knows, ultraviolet light can be very damaging to the human body and the eyes need equal protection. Short term, high doses of UV light can actually sunburn the eyes, called photokeratitis and occurs from flashburn with welding, tanning beds, or skiing without proper eye protection. Long term low dose ultraviolet exposure can speed the development of cataracts, pinguecula, and newer studies are suggesting a link to increased onset of macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in the US over 65 years of age). As a result it is very important the sunglasses block all UV-A and UV-B radiation. Equally important is that the sunglasses wrap and fit tightly to the face so that UV light does not bounce off the back of the lenses and into the eyes. Remember as well that children tend to spend a more time out in the sun than adults; don’t forget about the health of their eyes!

  3. 20/20 vision, 20/40 vision...what do those numbers mean?

    This is often a source of confusion for patients. With these terms (20/20, 20/40, 20/200), the one constant is the first 20. That number stand for 20 feet, the distance past which our eyes focus the same for any distance further out. This distance is considered “optical infinity” and as a result is the distance that far away vision is tested. In the olden days it wasn’t uncommon to see 20 foot exam rooms, but nowadays we use electronic charts that control letter size or mirrors to bounce the image off of to make it look further away. The second 20 in the 20/20 denotes what a normal human eye can see. In other words, with normal vision, a patient will see the 20/20 line of letters at the normal 20 foot distance. If your vision is only 20/50 or 20/100, that means you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a patient with normal vision sees at 50 feet, or 100 feet, etc.

  4. I've read a lot about something called "mono-vision", where you use one eye for close-up, like reading; and the other eye for distance. Is this a good idea? Or will it hurt my vision in the long run?

    Monovision is a really great option for a lot of contact lens wearers. This method of contact lens wear is essentially the 21st century version of the monocle. Here we correct one eye to see very well far away, like for driving or television, and the other eye is corrected to be able to see things up close for reading. The benefit of this system is that one eye is always in focus for certain tasks and patients are less reliant on reading glasses over their contact lenses. The main drawback to this system is that the eyes are focused in very different places and some patients may not adapt to this correction, for some of those patients Bifocal contacts are an option. It is important to note that Monovision will not make the eyes worse. The aging process of the eye that affects near vision (called presbyopia) is perfectly normal and will continue getting worse throughout the 40s and early 50s whether or not anything is done to improve the near vision. As a result we will often suggest Monovision as a way to improve near vision in contact lens wearers who are looking for freedom from reading glasses in their day to day lives.

  5. When should I begin getting vision exams on my child?

    Ideally, children should actually be examined for the first time as infants, then at 3 years old, and then every year as children go through school. The important thing to understand about vision in children is that just like crawling, walking, and talking; vision is also a learned skill. Therefore it is important to monitor this process during the time when it is most critical for proper development. For a very thorough discussion about visual development please visit our Learning Vision in Infants page .

  6. Can you explain what is meant by "Over-40" vision?

    Ah, yes, “The Curse of the 40’s”… The technical term for this frustrating change is Presbyopia. Most people are familiar with the common conditions leading to glasses (myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism); however Presbyopia is a completely separate condition and occurs in all humans regardless of underlying glasses prescription. Simply put, this condition occurs due to the hardening of the lens inside the eye and is a completely normal, albeit rather annoying, consequence of the aging of the eye. There are, however, many possible solutions for this problem. For more information as well as potential treatments of this condition, please visit our Presbyopia “The Curse of the 40’s" page.

  7. After detached retinal surgery should ED drugs be avoided

    Good question! Thank you for asking. If the retinal detachment was rhegmatogenous, meaning it was due to hole or tear in the retina which precipitated the detachment, you should be fine. Assuming the detachment was not recent. That said, ED medications can cause a whole host of other eye problems like color vision changes, light sensitivity, ocular pain, blurry vision, as well as conditions that cause swelling of the optic nerve or macula that can be sight threatening. Before starting any medications it is important to consult your doctor to further investigate your individual medical and ocular history as well as receive routine care.
    Thanks!
    Drs. Wolf and Roberts

  8. Is it incorrect to begin the Snellen eye exam on the 20/20 line and then work upward?

    Line #8 on the standard Snellen Chart refers to the famous 20/20 line. If you'ld like to understand more about the history of the Snellen Chart and what 20/20 actually represents, here is a link to a blog I did on this subject awhile back - "What does 20/20 mean?"

    When it comes to having patients read the chart, I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do it. That said, I've found that reading the chart is one of the most stressful parts of the exam for the majority of patients. Nobody likes a pop quiz!

    So when it comes time for patients to read the chart, I like to start a little higher up (like 20/30 or 20/40) and work my way down to the harder lines. I find this method give patients some confidence and a bit of "running start" for reading the smaller lines.

  9. Does precision eye care test for everything that a 66 year old man should be tested for. Thanks

    Absolutely! When it comes to eyes, giving a few choices behind the big pair of glasses is simply not adequate to assess ocular health. At Precision Family Eye Care, we take the thoroughness and caliber of our complete ocular health exams seriously and provide more than ample time for examination and answering questions. From glasses to glaucoma and contact lenses to cataracts, we strive to give our patients the best chances for a lifetime of healthy eyes and excellent vision.