Are my eyes always looking?
Yes. Your eyes are derived from the same tissue as your brain and spinal cord. Eyes are always ready to receive input. Just like if I pinch your foot in your sleep you wake up because your nerves in your skin are always “sensing.” Your eyes contain millions of nerves always “sensing.” When your eyelids open they immediately process light and movement sending a message to your brain. When you close your eyes they process that it is dark. Your eyes are not always “seeing” the light, but they are always ready and looking.
Does my medication affect my eyes?
Yes, medications affect children and adult eyes quickly due to their small size and structure. While some drugs can cause permanent vision loss, some common drugs such as birth control, allergy medications, and anxiety and depression medications can cause near blur, abnormal eye movements, dry eye, and light sensitivity that interferes with reading and work performance. Ask your pharmacist about ocular medication side effects and report all symptoms to your prescribing doctor and eye doctor as soon as possible.
My prescription changes every year, is that normal?
The eye has multiple parts that can cause vision changes. A changing prescription means tissue changes and progression of disease that we need to work to slow. Progressing myopia is an epidemic and can lead to retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, and maculopathy. Corneal changes can lead to decreased vision and corneal dystrophy if left untreated. An undiagnosed systemic disease can also create prescription changes. I offer multiple visits and evaluate your lifestyle to get to root causes of your prescription so it stays stable year to year. Then, you only change glasses based on the demands of your activities.
Do I really need my glasses?
When I give you a prescription I tell you when you need to wear them and if you can go without them. Some prescriptions do not need to be worn if you never work on a computer or read, while some must be worn always for driving. People do different activities all day long, and these activities change as we age. Likewise, your eye’s ability and structure is changing. Therefore, how your mom wears her glasses isn’t how you may need to wear your glasses.
I see fine, do I need an exam?
I recommend a yearly exam for ages 3-28 years old and will tell you if you can wait longer. After the age of 45 years I recommend an annual exam again due to physical changes. You may “see fine,” but you have two eyes. Often one eye will make up for what the other one isn’t seeing. You can have decreased depth of vision, progressing vision loss, or peripheral vision loss that you may not even notice. If left untreated this could lead to permanent vision loss. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States, but is an example of a needed exam because if detected early it can be treatable.