Dr. Pat Nguyen,
Family Eye Care
and Contact Lenses
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
is Myopia (nearsightedness)?
If you can see objects nearby with
no problem, but reading road signs or making out the
writing on the board at school is
more difficult, you may be near or shortsighted (myopic).
Myopia is not a disease. It simply refers to a variation in the
shape of your eyeball. The
degree of variation determines whether or not you will need corrective
In normal vision, our ability to "see"
starts when light enters the eye through the front surface of the eye
(also called the cornea). The shape of the cornea, lens and
eyeball help bend (refract) light rays in such a manner that light is
focused precisely onto a point on the back surface of the eye, which
contains the actual receptors and nerve connecting to your
brain allowing you to see. This back surface of the eye is called
If you are nearsighted or myopic,
light is focused at a point in front of the retina as opposed to directly on it.
As the light will only be focused in that one place, distant objects
will appear blurred.
Myopia can be corrected by a lens which pre-diverges the light,
it focus directly on the retina.
What is Hyperopia (farsightedness)?
- If you can see objects at a distance clearly but have trouble
focusing well on objects close
up, you may be farsighted
Hyperopia causes the eyes to exert
extra effort to see close up.
- After viewing nearby objects for an extended
period, you may experience blurred vision,
headaches and eyestrain. Children who are farsighted may find
is not a disease. It simply means that you have a variation
in the shape of your eyeball. The degree of variation will determine
whether or not you will need corrective lenses.
In normal vision, our ability to
"see" starts when light enters the eye through the front
surface of the eye (also called the cornea). The shape of the
cornea, lens and eyeball help bend (refract) light rays in such a manner
that light is focused precisely onto a point on the back surface of
the eye, which contains the actual receptors and nerve connecting to your
b brain allowing you to see. This back surface of the eye is called the
In farsightedness or hyperopia, light
focuses at a point behind the retina. As a result
since this light is not focused when it hits the retina, near objects
appear to be blurred.
Hyperopia can be corrected by a lens which pre-converges the light,
causing it to focus directly on the retina.
is usually caused by the front surface of the eye (cornea) having a shape
that resembles a football rather than the normal case, a basketball. This surface irregularity causes a point
of light entering the eye to bend unevenly, creating 2 points of focus
on the retina rather than a single point, forming a distorted image. People
with astigmatism generally have blurred or distorted vision when looking
far and near.
Astigmatism is not a disease and can be corrected by a lens which
focuses at 2 different points.
To help determine
whether you may have astigmatism, try the
Regardless of eye condition in your
youth, your eyes will most likely begin to change as you
your mid-40s and beyond. You will find yourself holding the
newspaper a little farther away in order to focus better on the
This common age-related condition is
called presbyopia and is brought on by the changing shape and flexibility of your
eye's crystalline lens. As you get older, the lens inside your
eye loses its flexibility. This flexibility is required by your eye
to focus in on near objects especially reading materials (a
process called accommodation). As a
result, light is still not bent enough to focus
properly. Note that this difficulty
to focus can still occur even for a nearsighted or farsighted person whose
vision has been corrected by glasses or contact lenses.
Presbyopia is not a disease. It is a normal age-related change of our
eyes which cannot be prevented. These
changes start at an early age but the
symptoms do not show until approximately 40 to 45 years of age.
The eyes continue to change the older you get and corrective glasses
or contact lenses are inevitable.
Similar to hyperopia,
presbyopia is corrected by lenses which converge light.
To help determine whether you may have presbyopia, try the
At what age should I bring my child in for an eye exam?
|You should have your child’s eyes
examined by age one. This is
critical in detecting
congenital eye diseases that could affect your child’s vision for life, if left untreated. Factors
that can put your child
at risk for eye diseases include premature infants, low birth weight,
and a family history of eye
disorders. Additionally, your child
should have another exam
prior to entering school or by age
five. A child's ability to learn is
significantly influenced by his or her ability to see and read
Can I wear contact lenses if I have astigmatism?
brands of contact lenses are now available and specially designed for
people with astigmatism. These lenses are made to fit the unique shape of an astigmatic
color contact lenses for astigmatism are now available.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)?
Macular degeneration is a condition that
causes a slow, progressive loss of central vision, color vision, and
difficulty reading and recognizing faces. Initially
there may be distortion or blind spots in vision near the sharpest point of
vision, the central part. More advanced cases may present as a total
obscuration of central vision. Peripheral vision is usually not
affected. While both eyes can be affected by ARMD, what occurs in one
eye does not cause or affect what happens in the other. ARMD is the leading cause of blindness in
people over 65 years of age.
An Amsler grid is a useful tool to self-monitor your
vision for early detection of visual abnormalities which may be indicative
of ARMD. Click on the following link to print or save a copy of
Am I a
good candidate for LASIK?
is the most commonly performed refractive surgery procedure. You may hear
people calling it "LASIX," but the name is actually short for
"laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis." Why is it so popular?
LASIK has advantages over other procedures, including a relative lack of
pain afterward and the fact that good vision is usually achieved almost
immediately, or at least by the very next day.
candidate for LASIK is over 18 years of age and has a healthy outer surface
of the eye (cornea). People with certain medical conditions or women who are pregnant may not be good
candidates for LASIK. Candidates
must not have had a significant increase in their prescription in the last
12 months. Your Eye Care
Professional would examine your eyes and medical status to determine if you
are a suitable candidate.
my eyes water when they feel dry and scratchy?
|Your eyes’ comfort and health is
affected largely by your tears.
Every time you blink, tears
form a coating that protects and
nourishes your eyes’ surface. When
tear production is reduced or your tears evaporate too quickly, the tear
glands sometimes react to
the dry, scratchy feeling by watering more
than ever. These “reflex tears”, however,
do not relieve the dryness as they lack a
natural component that is essential to lubricate your eyes properly. If this is happening to you, your Eye Care Professional can
give you a comprehensive exam and treatment