Our eyes are an organ that are often taken for granted. We spend long hours at work staring at computers, not eating as well as we could, not wearing safety glasses while working in the shop, or sunglasses on sunny days — all of these things can either affect how your eyes feel or their actual health. Whether you have been wearing glasses or contacts since you were 10, if you just started experiencing a change in vision, or if you’ve had healthy eyes and 20/20 vision all your life, it’s always important to learn as much as you can about your body so that you can give it what it needs.
Dr. Sina J. Sabet is a leading ophthalmologist in Alexandria who is passionate about educating every patient about what our eyes need to stay healthy, and so many other eye health-related topics. We get a lot of questions from our patients about how to maintain healthy eyes. Keep reading to learn more about your eyes so that you can continue leading a healthy life.
When Should My Child Get an Eye Exam?
The very first eye exam is actually held at the hospital before the mother and baby are discharged. As your baby’s eyes and vision develop, eye function will be monitored at their well-child exams. These are typically at two, four, and six months. If your pediatrician detects any vision problems, you will be referred to an ophthalmologist for a more in-depth examination. If everything looks normal, another eye exam should be held at three years old, again when they start school, and then every two years unless there is a change in their vision.
Are Bad Eyes Hereditary?
There are several issues that are directly related to your family’s eye health history. These include near and farsightedness, astigmatism, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. If your family has a history of eye-related health issues, pay close attention to your vision and schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist as soon as you start seeing a change in your eyesight.
Does Looking at Screens Hurt My Eyes?
Whether it’s the TV or the computer screen at work, there isn’t any evidence to suggest that screens can damage your eyes (but if you want to use that as an excuse to get your child to move away from the TV, we’ll allow it). It is important to be aware, however, that staring at computers for too long can cause your eyes to feel tired and strained — read our post about digital eye strain. If your eyes start to hurt when working on a computer, remember to take frequent breaks to give them a rest.
Is Pink Eye Contagious?
Most common in children, pink eye, or viral conjunctivitis, is extremely contagious. Symptoms include red and irritated eyes, excess tears, and a yellow discharge that can create a crust around the eyelashes. It is most commonly spread through hand-to-eye contact with infected hands or objects.
What Does an Eye Exam Consist Of?
At a standard eye exam, an ophthalmologist will ask you a series of questions about your family medical history, if there have been any signs of vision issues or eye pain, and whether or not you believe you need an update to your glasses or contacts prescription. The exam will also include:
- Looking at the intraocular pressure to determine any risk for glaucoma.
- Cover test, where you read a series of letters with one eye covered.
- Ocular motility test, to see how well your eyes follow movement.
- Stereopsis test, or depth perception.
- Refraction, to determine a necessary eye prescription.
Do Carrots Help Vision?
Foods with vitamin A are great for the eyes, including carrots. Other foods that contain vitamin A are dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and eggs, and broccoli.
What Do I Do in an Emergency?
If you had an injury to the eye or eyes, are experiencing pain, or have something stuck in your eye, you should visit an emergency ophthalmologist right away, or if necessary, go straight to the emergency room. The faster that treatment can be given, the less risk there is of permanent damage.
Should I Schedule an Eye Exam Even if My Sight is Fine?
Yes! This is especially important for older patients when there is an increased risk of age-related diseases. With a regular eye exam, you can be sure that certain conditions and diseases are caught before they become serious and potentially untreatable. These include diabetes, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Even if you get by with an outdated prescription or over-the-counter reading glasses, you should still visit an eye doctor once a year.
Why Can’t I Focus on Up Close Objects Anymore?
It’s natural for eyesight to change as you grow older, especially after you reach your 40s. As people age, their eye’s crystalline lens gradually hardens, which affects the eye’s ability to change shape and focus. This is a condition called presbyopia.
Is it Safe to Wait to Have Cataract Surgery?
If your ophthalmologist has diagnosed you with a cataract, there’s a chance that he or she will have you wait to schedule surgery. This is because cataracts develop slowly and often aren’t noticeable when they first begin to grow. As they grow, they will begin affecting your vision. Until you’re having difficulty maintaining a regular lifestyle, surgery may not be necessary. With a cataract, your vision may need to be monitored more closely, but surgery can, in most cases, wait until it is unsafe to drive or challenging to complete other daily tasks.
Should I be Worried About Spots in my Vision?
Although floaters and spots are usually harmless, it is a good idea to schedule a visit with an ophthalmologist. They could be signs of retinal detachment or bleeding. Dr. Sina J. Sabet has years of experiencing diagnosing issues and you can trust that he’ll put your health first.
What Does 20/20 Vision Mean?
During an eye exam, you will mostly likely be asked to name letters on a chart that are descending in size from top to bottom. This chart is measuring visual acuity, or the clarity or sharpness of vision. Having 20/20 vision means that you’re able to read the chart standing 20 feet away. When someone has 20/30 vision, the number 30 indicates that someone with normal vision would be able to read the same line at 30 feet away from the chart. The higher the second number is, the worse that person’s vision is.
It’s important to note, however, that distance isn’t the only way to measure a person’s vision. Someone may have 20/20 vision, but may find it difficult to drive at night because of poor contrast sensitivity.
Should I Schedule an Appointment With an Ophthalmologist?
Yes! Even if you aren’t having any issues with your eyesight or eye health, a visit to an eye doctor can prevent future issues.
Dr. Sina J. Sabet and his team of eye doctors are passionate about eye health and helping patients to maintain healthy eyes and vision. If you haven’t had an eye exam within the last two years, visit our Alexandria office and we’ll be more than happy to complete a comprehensive exam.