Q. I don't have any visual problems, do I still need an eye exam?
A. YES! By dilating your pupils and looking inside the eyes, Dr. Stybel will be able to detect early signs of various life and sight-threatening diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Together with other tests, eye professionals can also detect neurological disease and glaucoma, a potentially blinding disease if left untreated.
Early detection and prevention are crucial to the successful treatment of these diseases. It is recommended that young, healthy individuals have their eyes examined at least once every two years if they are not a contact lens wearer and annually if they are. Waiting until something is wrong with your eyes before having them examined is analogous.
Q. What is the difference between an optometrist and an Ophthalmologist?
A. In the United States, there are two different types of licensed vision care professionals: the optometrist and the ophthalmologist.
The optometrist is a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) who determines if the need for a prescription is required, evaluates binocular vision, and diagnoses and treats visual health problems as dictated by state law.
The ophthalmologist is a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) who specializes in surgery and diseases of the eye.
Q. I work on the computer many hours a day. Lately I seem to have headaches. Could there be a relation there?
A. YES! As Optometrists, we now know that your eyes focus differently on a computer screen than on regular printed material. The Doctors at Positive Eye Ons Optometry can help, sometimes as easy as an eye exam and a pair of anti-reflection lenses which take away the glare on your computer screen.
Q. How often should I have my eyes checked?
A. It can be different for each person but as long as your eyes are healthy, a general comprehensive eye examination is recommended every one to two years. Contact lens wearers should be checked yearly to ensure the cornea and anterior part of the eye stays healthy.
Q. What is refraction error?
A. Myopia, hyeropia and astigmatism are different types of eye disorders, or refractive errors. In the normal eye, light enters through the front of the eye at the cornea and is directed to a single point at the back of the eye on the retina. In an eye with a refractive error, the light is not directed to a single point to the back of the eye but in front of the retina. This is known as myopia or nearsightedness. When the light is directed to a point behind the retina, the refraction error is known as hyperopia or farsightedness. The refractive error known as astigmatism occurs when the light is sent to two points behind, in front of or on the retina.
Q. Why should I have my eyes dialated?
A. Dialation allows the doctor to examine the health of your eyes, including the retina. Drops are put into the eyes which make the pupils large enough to enable a detailed binocular view of the inside of your eyes. This part of the exam is important in order to detect conditions such as thinning or holes in the retina, vascular changes, glaucomateous changes, cataracts, ocular tumors and macular degeneration.
It usually takes 3 to 4 hours for the dialation to wear off. During that time, your eyes will be very sensitive to sunshine (sunglasses are required) and focusing at near (reading or using your computer) will be very difficult. It is best to have someone drive you home if it has been a while since your last dialation or if it is the first time to have the procedure done.
Q. What is 20/20?
A. The "20" numbers refer to Snellen visual acuity measurements for far or distant vision. The first number denotes the standard test distance in feet. The second number denotes the smallest letter size the subject can read at 20 feet, and here's where it gets interesting, expressed as the farthest distance away the "standard" eye can read that letter.
So, 20/200 means the subject can only read a large letter at 20 feet, one that the standard eye can read 200 feet away. Similarly, 20/20 means the subject can read the same size letter at 20 feet that the standard eye can read at that distance. 20/20 is standard vision, not necessarily "perfect" vision, which for humans in closer to 20/10 (or about twice as good as 20/20).
Q. My child has been coming home with poor grades and the teacher said I should have his eyes checked. My son is only in the 1st grade. Can you check eye health of children this age?
A. Of course! Proper eye care should begin early. By recognizing eye problems early, you help your child regain confidence in their abilities not only in school, but in other
activities as well.
Q. I work very strange hours and I need to get an Eye Exam, Can you help?
A. The offices of Dr. Stybel are open 7 days a week, we do have evening and weekend appointments avalible for your convenience.
Q. I am afraid my husband has something seriously wrong with his vision. A friend said it seems to be cataracts, but I'm not sure. Can you tell me what the problem is?
A. Recognizing eye problems early is a key element to ensuring the proper attention and treatments are given. The office of Dr. Stybel uses some of the most technologically advanced eye care systems available today. To ensure your husband receives proper eye care, you should schedule an appointment for him as soon as possible. You can call 323-651-5646 for more information.
Q. What is Farsightedness?
A. Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is a visual condition where light is not focused on the back of the eye. Distant objects usually appear clear, but near objects may appear blurry. Some signs of farsightedness include eye strain, fatigue or headaches after close work, aching or burning eyes, or difficulty maintaining a clear focus of near objects.
If you or your child have experienced these signs, a comprehensive eye exam by your eye doctor can test for farsightedness. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can correct farsightedness by altering the way light falls on the back of the eye.
Q. What is Nearsightedness?
A. Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a visual condition where light is not focused on the back of the eye. Distant objects appear blurry, but near objects appear clear. Nearsightedness is very common in the U.S., affecting about 30 percent of the population. There is some evidence that nearsightedness is caused by too much near work. Nearsightedness is usually first found in school age children, especially while children are growing. Signs of nearsightedness include trouble seeing the chalkboard in school or difficulty seeing distant objects like a TV.
If you or your child have experienced these signs, a comprehensive eye exam by your eye doctor can test for nearsightedness. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can correct nearsightedness by altering the way light falls on the back of the eye. You may only have to wear the optical correction for distant activities, such as watching movies.
Q. What is Glaucoma?...
A. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the US. Yet, can be controlled with little or no further vision loss if detected at an early stage and treated promptly. The disease process causes a loss of side vision that is painless and very gradual. Patients often do not even realize they are losing side vision, since central vision remains the same at 20/20. However, at later stages of glaucoma, there is potential to become completely blind. Vision loss by glaucoma cannot be recovered.
Comprehensive eye exams can detect glaucoma in its early stages. Your eye doctor should check the pressure of both eyes during your examination. Though there is an association of glaucoma with high eye pressure, it can also occur in eyes with low pressure as well. More importantly, an evaluation of the optic nerve head is needed to detect damage from glaucoma.
Glaucoma occurs more frequently in certain groups of people such as those who are over 40, diabetics, and people who are very nearsighted. Other risk factors include a family history of glaucoma, previous eye injuries and surgery, and high blood pressure. Despite the higher prevalence of glaucoma in these populations, anybody can develop it. There is no reason to lose vision from glaucoma. Treatment may be as easy as using pressure lowering eye drops. It is basically up to you to protect your eyes from glaucoma. Have regular eye exams including glaucoma tests.
Q. What is Sports Vision?
A. Outdoor sports - An athlete should protect his or her eyes from excessive sun exposure during outdoor sports. The amount of light reaching the eye can be reduced by wearing UV protecting lenses. These lenses will protect the eye from radiation damage, which can cause diseases like early cataract formation.
For Water sports - Prescription athletic eyewear is available for sports where eyeglasses and contacts are not practical. Prescription goggles and/or diving masks are a convenient way to provide the athlete with a prescription as well as protection.
Sports-related eye injuries - Did you know that more then 500,000 people suffer from sports-related eye injuries each year? The most common eye injury results from basketball, usually due to a finger or elbow penetrating the eye. However, baseball, racquetball, hockey, and other sports are also frequently related to eye injury. Over 90of sports-related eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear.
Eyeglasses and contact lenses do not provide protection and may actually place an athlete at an increased risk for eye injury. This is because plastic and glass lenses shatter when impacted. Protective athletic eyewear are made with polycarbonate plastics which are highly resistant to impact. Protective athletic eyewear should therefore be considered as necessary equipment for all sports activities.
Q. Are there many Different Contact Lenses?
A. Confused about the different types of contacts lenses? What is the difference between "hard" and "soft" lenses? What are "disposable" lenses? Can contacts correct astigmatism? Are there contacts designed to be worn overnight? To sort out the confusion, let's discuss the basic types of contact lenses.
Rigid gas permeable lenses - (RGPs) are generally the healthiest for your eye. RGPs allow for good tear exchange under the lens and provide a good supply of oxygen to the eye. These lenses provide excellent vision, and can even correct astigmatism. RGPs are relatively comfortable, easy to put on and take off, simple to care for, relatively inexpensive and have a long life. Adaptation may take longer than other types of contacts. Consistent wear to maintain adaptation is a requirement. Wearing lenses on an occasional basis may be difficult. Replacing a lost RGP takes a few days, as all RGPs are custom made.
Daily-wear soft lenses, require a shorter adaptation period and can be worn occasionally. They are more difficult to dislodge than RGPs and debris does not get under the lens as easily. These lenses are relatively inexpensive and can be tinted to change the color of your eyes. Vision with daily wear soft lenses may not be as sharp as with RGPs. These lenses should be replaced at least once a year.
Disposable / Planned Replacement soft lenses are very similar to the daily-wear soft lenses. However, disposable contacts are disposed of and replaced according to a wearing schedule of 3 months, 1 month, 2 weeks or 1 day. A simplified cleaning and disinfecting process may be used. Tearing or losing a lens is no big deal. Spare lenses are readily available. The main disadvantage is disposable lenses are more expensive than the daily wear.
Another sub-type of daily-wear and disposable/planned replacement soft lens is the toric soft lens, which corrects for astigmatism. The pros and cons are similar to daily wear and disposable soft lenses. The main difference is the fitting of these lenses is more difficult and requires more office visits. Also the astigmatism may not be corrected as well compared to astigmatism correction with a RGP.
Extended-wear lenses are RGP or soft lenses that can be worn overnight. In general, extended wear contact lenses are not recommended. Determining if contacts are right for you and which ones can help you depends on many factors, such as your prescription, the health of your eye, and lifestyle. A consultation with Dr. Stybel can help you make that decision.
Q. What is UV Radiation?
A. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the invisible high-energy rays from the sun that are just beyond the violet/blue end of the visible spectrum. UV radiation is broken down into three levels. UV-A and UV-B cause damage to the eyes. UV-C is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not reach the earth. Ultraviolet radiation reaches the eye not only from the sky but also by reflection from water, sand, snow and other bright surfaces.
Q. What kinds of eye damage does UV Radiation cause?
A. Cataracts: Cataracts are lens opacities caused by long term exposure to UV radiation. Lens opacities can potentially decrease vision.
Macular Degeneration: Chronic UV exposure may contribute to aging processes in the retina, including macular degeneration.
Pterygium: is a growth tissue on the white of the eye that may extend onto the clear cornea where it can block vision. It presents most commonly in people who work outdoors in the sun and wind, and is correlated to the amount of UV exposure.
Cancer of the skin: including the eyelids and facial skin, is a well-known consequence of excessive UV exposure.
Photokeratitis: is a reversible sunburn of the cornea resulting from excessive UV-B exposure. It follows from spending long hours on the beach or snow without eye protection. It can be extremely painful for 1-2 days and can result in temporary loss of vision.
Q. How can I protect my eyes from UV radiation A?
A. Protection from sunlight can be obtained by using a brimmed hat or UV-absorbing eyewear. Ultraviolet absorbing eyewear provides the greatest measure of UV protection, particularly if it has a wraparound design to limit entry of peripheral rays. Ideally all types of eyewear, including prescription spectacles and contact lenses should absorb most of the UV spectrum. UV absorption can be incorporated into nearly all optical materials currently use, and does not interfere with vision. There is presently no uniform labeling of sunglasses that provides adequate information to the consumer. Labels should be examined carefully to insure that the lenses purchased absorb at least of 99-100of UVA and UVB.
Q. Do contact lenses provide UV protection?
A. Acuvue and Precision UV are examples of disposable contact lenses that have UV protection. However, UV-absorbing contact lenses are not substitutes for UV-absorbing eyewear such as UV-absorbing goggles or sunglasses.