How often should I have a Sight Test?
We recommend that you have your eyes checked once every year, but this may vary depending upon the nature of your prescription and if you have an ocular findings that require exams more often. These recommended intervals assume that you are not experiencing any symptoms of visual change.
Will my sight worsen if I start wearing glasses or contact lenses?
Wearing a prescription does not make your vision worse. Often when someone gets glasses for the first time the visual improvement is so amazing that vision without them seems much worse, especially as time goes by. However, this is simply because the brain can now compare two images directly: one with specs and one without. Prior to this, your eyes had nothing to make a comparison with. Therefore, the vision did not seem quite so fuzzy, when in fact it was. Both nature (your genes) and nurture (life's influence on you) have their roles to play and their interaction will decide the way your eyes will change with time.
How long will the eye exam take?
This should take aproximately 45 minutes assuming no extra tests or contact lens fittings are required.
What does the eye exam involve?
An Eye Exam allows the optometrist to:
- Determine any relevant prescription for your eyes (far or near-sighted, astigmatic, presbyopic)
- Check that the muscles of the eyes work together
- Check your Eye Health and screen for any associated general health problems
- Perform any further testing as deemed necessary like Eye Pressures, Visual Fields, Color Vision or Pupil Dilation
This may be achieved through a series of procedures including electronic pre-testing, retinal scanning, sight testing and checking the health using special instrumentation. For more information, please see the eye exam section of our web site
What is an Optometrist
Optometrists, also known as doctors of optometry, provide primary vision care.They examine people's eyes to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases,and they test patient's visual acuity, depth and color perception, and the ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. Optometrists prescribe glasses and contacts as well as administer drugs to patients to treat eye diseases.They also provide pre and postoperative care to cataract patients as well as laser vision correction or other types of surgery. They can also diagnose conditions due to systemic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
What is LASIK surgery?
LASIK stands for Laser In Situ Keratomileusis. It is a form of refractive surgery, which corrects near or far-sightedness and astigmatism. It cannot correct presbyopia, but treatment is sometimes aimed at leaving one eye slightly short-sighted in order to account for this condition. For more information on presbyopia, see our Optical Terms section. LASIK can only be performed by an eye surgeon. Use is made of a microsurgical instrument to create a flap through the cornea (front part of the eye). Once the flap is moved out of the way, the exposed tissue is reshaped using a laser. This reshaping is what corrects the vision. The flap is then replaced over the cornea and the eye is allowed to heal. To find out if you are suitable for LASIK you would need to attend a pre-operative assessment at which your corneal thickness will be measured and your prescription verified for stability. If your cornea is too thin or your prescription is still changing, you will probably be advised against LASIK.
Do I still need glasses if I wear contact lenses?
Absolutely YES! The key to successful contact lens wear is to allow your eyes a rest without them, on an occasional basis. This is why no contact lens wearer should be without a pair of glasses. Furthermore, an average of 12 hours wear per day is recommended. There will always be times when you cannot wear contact lenses. Examples include: when you have Hay fever causing the eyes to itch; if you have a bad cold or flu; if you have a mild conjunctivitis; if you are taking a course of medication which is not compatible with lens wear or if you are about to take a trip in an airplane. Perhaps you simply need to see your way to the kitchen in the middle of the night in order to grab a glass of water. As a parent of a newborn infant, you will understand the demands placed upon you throughout the night - no time for contact lenses when your baby needs you. Your glasses should also be updated so that the prescription matches that of your contact lenses. All too often contact lens wearers have glasses that they cannot see with, as the prescription is so old.
Is it possible to get contact lenses for occasional use only?
Yes. Many glass wearers are happy using their glasses but want the option of contact lenses for certain occasions. Examples include partaking in a sporting activity once or twice per week or weekend or holiday use. Generally, daily disposable soft lenses are the best type for occasional wear as they are so easy to use. The responsibility of cleaning them is removed since they are discarded immediately after use. They are also great for patients with dry eyes or bad allergies.
Is my prescription the same for both specs and contact lenses?
No. A contact lens prescription is only 100% complete when the details of their fit are included. This means that although the powers may seem similar to your spectacle prescription, the powers alone are not sufficient when specifying a contact lens prescription. Additional parameters like lens type, diameter and base curve must also be included.
Can my contact lenses get 'lost' behind my eyeball?
No, this can NEVER happen as the eyeball has a 'safety net' situated underneath both eyelids. This 'safety net' is a membrane called the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a continuous membrane enveloping the outer portion of the eyeball as well.
Can I use any contact lens solutions or fluids for my lenses?
No. Always discuss your solutions with your optometrist if you are thinking of changing types. It is quite possible to change from one brand of multipurpose solution to another, however, it is not wise to change from a multipurpose solution to a peroxide type where neutralization is required. Many contact lens wearers have made the mistake of using 3% hydrogen peroxide as a multipurpose solution.
How soon can I get contact lenses?
Our stock range allows us to fit and supply most established contact lens wearers in an hour. If you are new to contact lenses then more time is required in order to teach you how to insert, remove and take care of the contact lenses. Our patient contact lens dispensers will spend all day with you if necessary, so do not feel pressured and take your time as you are introduced to the new world of contact lenses.
Is it okay to sleep with my contact lenses in?
Unless your optometrist has specifically said that you can, sleeping with your contact lenses in is a no-no. Our optometrists generally allow overnight wear only if you are using a silicone-hydrogel type of lens.
Is it okay to use saliva or tap water to clean or re-wet my contact lenses?
Absolutely not! Always carry a travel-size solution pack with you if you can. If you are not able to do this then pop a few strips of contact lens comfort drops or your contact lens container filled with fresh solution into your back pocket. Tap water and saliva are extremely unhygienic sources of fluid and many dangerous bugs can find their way to your corneas if they are used with your lenses. Don't forget to wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.
What should I do if my contact lenses feel dry?
It is always wise to carry contact lens comfort drops in your handbag or back pocket. Environments to watch out for are smoky and dusty places, gyms, where working out causes your body temperature to rise and eyes to dry out as a result, air-conditioned and heated offices, especially when coupled with staring at a computer all day and long-distance driving. Take care to only use drops specified for use with contact lenses and ask your optometrist if you are unsure.
Can I wear contact lenses?
Yes - in most cases you will be able to use contact lenses. Certain individuals with unusual prescriptions or poor eye health may not be suitable. Ask your optometrist to advise on the options available.
How long can I wear my contact lenses in a day?
In today's high tech world contacts can be worn safely all day as long as they remain comfortable. If you require longer wearing times because of your lifestyle, speak to your optometrist about lenses that allow more oxygen to your eyes.
How quickly can you make my glasses?
Usually 2 to 3 days depending on the presciption. It does not pay to rush....our goal is to make your glasses accurately and asthetically pleasing.
How thick will my spectacle lenses be?
This depends on your prescription, the type of lenses you choose, and your frame. The higher the prescription the thicker the lenses, but this can be minimized with high index lenses. In the lower prescription ranges, the type of lens does not matter as much. Ultra-thin Hi index plastics are now available which make plastic lenses much more feasible in more moderate prescriptions. As a general rule, the smaller the frame the thinner the edges of a lens for short-sighted individuals. Smaller frames always mean less lens, so significant weight advantages are gained when opting for something smaller. Ask your dispenser about smaller diameter lenses. This means that the original lens size is smaller and the overall thickness is therefore less. Long-sighted individuals can have thickness reductions by asking to have their lenses "metzed" (Minimum Edge Thickness reduction).
What are the advantages of glass lenses over plastic lenses?
Plastic lenses are lighter and have 3 x the impact resistance of glass therefore we advise against the use of glass.
Does the price on the frame include the lenses?
No, the price on the frame relates only to the frame. Lens prices vary depending on the material and design of the lenses required. Ask your optometrist or dispenser to advise on the most suitable lens type for your prescription.
How difficult is it to adapt to multifocals?
The first time any spectacles are worn some adjustment time is required mainly because the new, clear vision needs to be accepted by your brain. Once it has learnt to recognize the images seen through the spectacles and become familiar with them, the initial "WOW" effect should have worn off. Multifocals are slightly trickier than single focal specs since they change in power as the eyes look from the top to the bottom of the lenses. Your eyes need to learn which parts of the lens to use when looking either close-up, far-away or in-between. Your optometrist can advise you on tricks to help you get started and in no time you should be well on your way to successful multifocal wear. A few individuals may struggle with these type of lenses simply because they cannot tolerate the changes in power which is inherent in the design of these. We advise that a period of 4 weeks be allowed before deciding that multifocals are not for you.
My new specs make me feel slightly odd even though my vision is clearer - why does this happen?
The brain is amazing. When your vision was blurry before getting your specs, you may not have been 100% happy with it, but you were comfortable. Your brain adjusts to cope with any visual situation to the best of its ability. Suddenly when new spectacles are worn, the brain is 'surprised' by this new, clearer way of seeing and it takes a few days to learn to recognize the new image. Certain individuals who are prone to vertigo, motion-sickness or are simply highly sensitive may take longer to adjust. Often you feel that the floor is either nearer or farther than before. This is because prescriptions produce changes in magnification and magnification is associated with the perception of distance. This means that even if the distance of the floor is the same, if it is seen as smaller, it will be understood to be further away. Likewise, something larger will be perceived to be closer. The best advice is to persist with your new spectacles and 'wear them in'. If you are still feeling odd after 3 weeks of wear then please let us know. Steps to take in this instance are outlined below. See Something is definitely not right about my new specs what do I do?
I feel odd in my new spectacles even though they are made to the same prescription as my old ones - is this normal?
A change in your prescription is not all that causes a new pair of specs to feel weird. The frame change requires adaptation as you may be looking through a smaller or larger viewing area and the lenses may be closer or farther from your eyes compared with before. The lenses may also be tilted at a different angle in the new frame and perhaps the frame does not wrap your face as much or as little as it did previously. The type of lens design in the new specs will also influence your vision. For example, thinner, flatter, aspheric high index lenses often seem less clear when looking through the extreme periphery of the lens. Perhaps the centers of the lenses are higher or lower than before. This can also influence your initial comfort. Perseverance is the key to adaptation, but after 3 weeks without improvement, please see our optician for further assistance.
Do you stock children's' frames?
Yes. Ask about our Fisher-Price designer children frames. Remember to buy your child a frame that fits snugly, but has room for lengthening of its temples and is not too narrow. This way the frame can be readjusted to match your child's facial growth.
What are polarized lenses?
These are special tinted lenses that polarize light as it passes through. This means that light from only certain planes is allowed to pass through while the rest is eliminated. Visually, the effect would be to get rid of unwanted stray light. This can be quite useful for the avid fisherman, for example, who wants to see just beneath the surface of the water without having to worry about distracting reflections from the surface. Ask your dispenser for more information on these lenses.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration (MD) is the leading cause of blindness in the free world. The disease breaks down the macula, the area that controls central vision that is needed to drive or read. There are 2 types, either wet or dry. The dry form affects 90% of macular degeneration while the wet form usually leads vision loss. MD can produce slow painless loss of vision. If straight lines look wavy or there are shadows in your central vision then you may be experiencing early signs of MD. The exact cause is still unknown but risk factors include family history, smoking, obesity and overexposure to uv radiation. Researchers believe that certain nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamins like A, C, and E help lower the risk.
What are near-sightedness, far-sightedness and presbyopia?
Please see the Optical Terms page, which explains all of these in detail.
Why do we become more "far-sighted" as we grow older?
This is due to a progressive change that occurs within the natural lens of the eye and is called presbyopia. Although similar to far-sightedness in its effect, these two conditions are not identical. Please see far-sightedness and presbyopia for more information.
My close-up vision is not as good as it used to be - is this normal?
Yes - this change in your near vision focus happens to everyone and is called presbyopia. The effect of presbyopia is similar to that of longsightedness, but they are not the same. See Lingo for more information.
I see black spots floating around in my vision especially when the sun is out - what are these and should I be worried?
These are called floaters. As the eye ages, more of these are seen and they are due to the changes in the vitreous jelly of the eye. The vitreous is simply a clear jelly that fills up the internal space of the eyeball between the lens and the retina. Changes may occur which cause the very fine fibrils contained in the jelly to clump together and become visible as floaters. As long as these are longstanding and not associated with any flashing lights, they are generally okay and all you would need to do is notify your optometrist and keep a watchful eye on them. If however you have not seen them before and they have only recently appeared, a thorough check with your optometrist is advised. Floaters are most easily seen against a white or bright background. This is why they are more visible in the sunshine, against white walls or whilst flying and looking out at the clouds. Sometimes floaters are an indication of retinal tears and possible detachment of the retina. Although this does not happen all that often it is wiser to be safe rather than sorry so if in doubt, please find out!
What is a cataract?
A cataract refers to any cloudiness within the natural lens of the eye. Most often, this is age-related, but accelerated risk of cataract is now caused by over-exposure to ultra-violet light. This is worsened by the fact that the Ozone Layer is constantly thinning. Our advice is to take care when in the sun and always don a hat and a good pair of UV-blocking sunglasses. Ask your optometrist for more information. If you develop or are developing a cataract, don't worry unnecessarily. A simple operation can be performed by an ophthalmologist whereby the cataractous lens of the eye is removed and replaced by a new implant. You will probably be sent home the same day!
What is glaucoma?
There are two types of adult-onset glaucoma and both refer to an increased abnormal pressure within the eyeball. The rarer form is when an acute attack occurs. Symptoms include a painful, red eye and possible light sensitivity and nausea. The most common form of Glaucoma is the preventable chronic type which has no symptoms early in the disease process. Sight is adversely affected if it is not picked up early, the long-term effect being progressively worsening tunnel vision. It is essential to have your eyes screened for glaucoma once you are over the age of 40 years as the relative risk increases from this point. Other factors increasing the risk of glaucoma are diabetes, high levels of short-sightedness, age and family history. When caught early glaucoma is usually successfully treated with drops.
At the start of spring I can't wear my contact lenses comfortably as my eyes itch - why is this?
You are probably suffering from an eye allergy. Spring often brings about more sneezing and increased pollen counts along with all the daffodils. Certain susceptible individuals will experience a reaction in the eyes and an allergic conjunctivitis results. The itching is usually confined to the upper and/or lower lids and possibly the corner of the eye closest to your nose. If you wear contact lenses, the best thing to do is switch to spectacles for the duration of the allergy and buy a small supply of daily disposable lenses so that you can use them for a few hours out in the evening if you are desperate. Daily disposables would be the best lens type if your allergies are fairly chronic and you refuse to wear glasses. For relief from the itching Dr. Boderman can prescibe medication which should relieve most of your symptoms. Drops can be used over a sustained period of time to strengthen the membranes of the cells that cause the symptoms of allergy. These drops have a longer-term effect and are called mast-cell stabilizers.
Why is it more difficult for me to see at night?
When it gets dark, our pupils dilate and this makes everyone more nearsighted. This is usually why night-time vision is worse than during the day even if you are wearing your up-to-date prescription. Should you be driving at night, more care should be taken on the roads, as oncoming headlamp glare can be quite distracting. Any prescription found for general use should obviously be worn in these conditions. Some inherited conditions of the eye like retinitis pigmentosa also cause problems with night vision.
Is there any treatment for dry eyes?
Yes! Today we are able to insert tiny silicone plugs into the punctum of the lower lids. This is where your tears exit the eye. By blocking the tear duct that allows for your own natural tears to remain in your eyes longer. Dr. Boderman has been doing this painless procedure for years with great success. A new presciption eyedrop is also available to help the eye produce more tears.