FAQ

Main Cateogries

Cataract

Contact Lenses

LASIK

Glaucoma

Diabetic Eye Disease

Healthy Eyes

Corneal Transplantation

Cornea


Cataract

What are possible side effects of cataract surgery?

As with any surgery, pain, infection, swelling and bleeding are possible, but very few people experience serious cataract surgery complications. In most cases, complications or side effects from the procedure can be successfully managed with medication or a follow-up procedure. To reduce your risk for problems after cataract surgery, be sure to follow the instructions your surgeon gives you and report any unusual symptoms immediately.

What is a "secondary cataract"?

In a minority of cases (perhaps 20 to 30 percent), months or years after cataract surgery, the posterior portion of the lens capsule that is left inside the eye during surgery for safety reasons becomes hazy, causing vision to again become blurred. This "secondary cataract" (also called posterior capsular opacification) usually can be easily treated with a less invasive follow-up procedure called a YAG laser capsulotomy. In most cases, this 15-minute procedure effectively restores clear vision.

How is a cataract removed?

A small incision is made in the front surface of the eye with a scalpel or a laser. A circular hole is then cut in the front of the thin membrane (anterior capsule) that encloses the eye's natural lens. Typically the lens is then broken into smaller pieces with a laser or an ultrasonic device so it can be more easily removed from the eye.

Is cataract surgery serious?

All surgery involves some risk, so yes, it is serious. However, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed type of surgery in the United States. Many cataract surgeons have several thousand procedures under their belt. Choosing a surgeon with this much experience will reduce the risk of something going wrong.

Are cataracts found only in older people?

Most cataracts develop slowly over time and affect people over age 50. About half of the population has a cataract by age 65, and nearly everyone over 75 has at least one. But in rare cases, infants can have congenital cataracts. These usually are related to the mother having German measles, chickenpox, or another infectious disease during pregnancy, but sometimes they are inherited.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a cloudiness of the eye's natural lens, which lies between the front and back areas of the eye, directly behind the pupil.

Contact Lenses

Is there really a big difference between daily wear and extended wear contact lenses?

Yes. Extended wear contacts are made of special materials that allow more oxygen to reach your eye, which makes them safer for wear during sleep. The FDA determines the maximum amount of time that extended wear lenses can be worn before removal. Some brands are approved for up to seven days of continuous wear; others can be worn for up to 30 days.

Are disposable contact lenses worth the extra money?

Many doctors highly recommend disposable contact lenses. They are an excellent choice health-wise, because there is less opportunity for protein and bacteria to build up on them. Also, if you wear daily disposable contact lenses, which are discarded at the end of the day, you won't need to buy contact lens solutions to clean and disinfect them after each use.

How old must children be before they can wear contact lenses?

That depends on how responsible the child is. This decision is best made jointly between you, your child and your eye doctor.

Can a contact lens get lost behind my eye?

No. At worst, you might have trouble finding it under your upper eyelid if you rub your eye and dislodge the lens from its proper position. If necessary, your eye care practitioner can help you locate and remove the lens.

Are contact lenses difficult to care for?

There are certain steps you need to take to ensure that your eyes stay healthy and your contacts last as long as possible

I'm interested in wearing contact lenses. How long does it take to get used to them?

It depends on the type of contact lenses you choose. Most people get used to soft (hydrogel or silicone hydrogel) contact lenses immediately or in just a few days. If you choose rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) lenses or hybrid contact lenses, it might take a couple weeks or longer for your eyes to fully adapt to the lenses. In rare cases, a person might not ever feel comfortable wearing contact lenses or be able to wear them safely.

LASIK

How Long Does LASIK Last?

In most cases the improved vision LASIK surgery provides is permanent.

Does LASIK Hurt?

Immediately prior to your LASIK surgery, eye drops will be applied to your eyes to thoroughly numb them throughout the procedure.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get LASIK?

You need to be at least 18 years of age to have LASIK surgery. And sometimes it's better to wait longer.

Can I Have LASIK If I Have Cataracts?

LASIK surgery does not correct vision loss caused by cataracts. Also, most cataracts worsen over time, requiring cataract surgery. For these reasons, LASIK generally is not recommended for people who have cataracts.

Do I Need Eye Exams After LASIK?

Yes, you definitely still need eye exams after LASIK surgery.

Can I Drive Home After LASIK?

No, you must have someone drive you home after LASIK surgery.

Glaucoma

Can I still wear contact lenses if I have glaucoma?

Whether or not you can wear contact lenses depends on which glaucoma treatment your doctor selects for you. You should be able to continue wearing them if you use eye drops. However, some drugs may need to be taken when lenses are not in your eyes. Also, some of the older medications can affect your prescription, so you may need to get new contacts at some point.

If I have glaucoma, can I still drive?

Most people with glaucoma can still drive -- as long as they pass the Department of Motor Vehicles' vision test. Simply put, your ability to drive will depend on how much vision has been lost. Some people with advanced glaucoma can still get their license renewed but with restrictions. Ask your doctor to discuss your condition with you to determine if driving will be a concern for you.

Are there effective treatments for glaucoma?

Yes. There are many different types of medications (in eye drops or pills) that are used to treat glaucoma. Typically, the doctor will start you on an eye drop formula. The medications work two ways: Some decrease how much fluid is produced in the eye; others help the fluid flow out better. Many people can preserve their vision if they take their medications as scheduled and visit their doctor regularly. Note: Medications for glaucoma -- even eye drops -- can affect the entire body, so you should alert all of your doctors that you are taking them.

If I have glaucoma, will I become blind?

The chances are good that you will not go blind if you take your medication correctly and regularly and follow up with your doctor. Treatment significantly slows the damage that occurs to the optic nerve because of the high pressure in the eye. In fact, if you take your eye drops on schedule each day, you'll probably keep your eyesight until the day you die of old age!

Is there any way to prevent glaucoma?

The There is nothing that will prevent glaucoma, but you can slow down its development with early treatment. Therefore, it is very important that you have regular eye exams. Your doctor will perform a series of painless tests -- eye pressure measurements, dilated eye exams, and sometimes visual field testing -- to check for any changes in your eye or in your vision. With early detection, glaucoma can often be controlled with medications, either eye drops or pills. If your glaucoma doesn't respond to medication, your doctor may also recommend surgery. Remember, because glaucoma is painless, about half of people who have it don't know they have it, and doctors cannot reverse damage from glaucoma. Vision lost is irreversible, you can't get your vision back once it is lost. Your best protection is to get regular eye exams, every couple of years if you are over 40 or on a schedule recommended by your doctor.

Diabetic Eye Disease

How is diabetic retinopathy detected?

If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes examined at least once a year. Your eyes should be dilated during the exam, which means eyedrops are used to enlarge your pupils. This dilation allows the eye care professional to see more of the inside of your eyes to check for signs of the disease.

Who is most likely to get diabetic retinopathy?

Anyone with diabetes. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will get diabetic retinopathy. Between 40-45 percent of those with diagnosed diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy.

What are its symptoms?

There are often no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. There is no pain and vision may not change until the disease becomes severe. Blurred vision may occur when the macula (the part of the retina that provides sharp, central vision) swells from the leaking fluid. This condition is called macular edema. If new vessels have grown on the surface of the retina, they can bleed into the eye, blocking vision. Even in more advanced cases, the disease may progress a long way without symptoms. This symptomless progression is why regular eye examinations for people with diabetes are so important.

What is the most common diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic retinopathy. This disease is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, retinal blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. These changes may result in vision loss or blindness.

What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of this disease. All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness.

Healthy Eyes

What are age-related eye diseases and conditions?

As you age, you are at higher risk of developing age-related eye diseases and conditions. These include: age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, low vision and dry eye.

What are common vision problems?

Some of the most common vision problems are uncorrected refractive errors. These include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia.

What is a comprehensive dilated eye exam?

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure in which an eye care professional examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help you protect your sight and make sure that you are seeing your best.

Corneal Transplantation

Can the Cornea be Saved After Rejection?

Yes. If your corneal specialist catches the rejection early enough, aggressive treatment can save the cornea and preserve vision.

What are Signs of Tissue/Graft Rejection?

Vision loss, red eye, pain, or sensitivity to light. You need to see your surgeon as soon as possibly if this happens.

Is There Such a Thing as a Bionic Eye?

No, but there is such a thing as an artificial cornea, which is the closest thing. The artificial cornea is used for patients who have had multiple corneal transplants and have very sick corneas. These patients can have an artificial cornea. The Boston Keratoprosthesis Type 1 is an example of an artifical corneal prosthesis.

What Kinds of Corneal Transplant Surgeries Are There?

There are 3 general types: Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP): the entire cornea is removed, similar to cutting cookie dough with a cookie cutter all the way through. Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK): only the back layers of the cornea are removed for conditions such as Fuchs endothelial dystrophy (inherited) or pseudophakic bullous keratopathy (complication after cataract surgery). Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK): only the front layers of the cornea are removed for conditions such as corneal scars (from infections or trauma), keratoconus (degenerative) , or pellucid marginal degeneration (degenerative).

Is There Such A Thing As Whole Eye Transplantation?

No. Some of the eye structures such as the retina and optic nerve are delicate and cannot be restored once damaged. If the eye is cut out completely, the connection between the eye and brain is permanently lost and results in total blindness.

What is Corneal Transplant Surgery?

The cornea is the clear, round dome on the front of the eye. When it is diseased and becomes cloudy, corneal transplantation is performed to remove the diseased cornea and to replace it with a healthy and clear cornea.

Cornea

What is Corneal Ulcer?

Any injury, infection or foreign body in the cornea can cause ulcer or infection of the cornea which can cause severe pain, redness, whiteness on the cornea and loss of vision.

How can cornea be affected?

If cornea is injured or affected by disease, it may become swollen or scarred, and its smoothness and clarity may be lost. Scars, swelling or an irregular shape can cause the cornea to scatter or distort light, resulting in glare or blurry vision.

What is the function of cornea?

A healthy, clear cornea is necessary for good vision. It is the first layer through which light is focused into the eye.

What is Cornea?

The cornea is the normally clear, front window of the eye that covers the colored iris and round, dark pupil. Light is focused while passing through the cornea, allowing us to see.