At Southwest Eye Consultants, we encourage our patients to ask questions about their eye health and the treatments we offer. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we typically receive:
A cataract refers to a clouding of the lens in the eye (or both eyes), which adversely affects your vision. Cataracts are common in older people. In fact, more than half of all Americans over the age of 80 have had a cataract or have undergone cataract surgery.
Age-related cataracts form when the protein in the lens of the eye begins to clump together, clouding a small area of the lens and preventing light to pass through. Over time, the cataract can grow larger, clouding more of the lens and making it more difficult to see. It is believed by some researchers that smoking and diabetes can also contribute to the onset of cataracts.
The lens is the transparent part of your eye that helps focus light on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the interior of the eye. Normally, light passes through the clear lens to the retina, enabling it to receive a sharp image. However, if the lens is clouded due to a cataract, the image appears blurred.
Glaucoma is a condition that occurs when the fluid that is normally produced by your eye doesn’t drain properly. Instead, it collects and raises the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve, a collection of nerve fibers that transmits visual information from the retina to the brain. As a result of the damage, glaucoma can lead to a loss of eyesight.
Also known as digital eyestrain, computer vision syndrome can result from prolonged viewing of a computer, tablet, e-reader and/or cell phone. Common symptoms of digital eyestrain include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes.
You can help alleviate digital eye strain by following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and view something that is 20 feet away. If symptoms persist, consult your ophthalmologist.
We recommend a driver because your vision will likely be blurred from dilation for a while after your appointment, making it unsafe for you to drive on your own.
Although some appointments are shorter than others, you should generally expect to spend two to three hours at our office, especially if you need to undergo tests.
At Southwest Eye Consultants, we do our best to make your appointment as brief and comfortable as possible. However, there may be several tests that need to be conducted by a technician so that your doctor will have all the necessary information to evaluate your vision – not to mention dilation, which takes about 30 minutes.
Just as your vital signs (eg, pulse rate, blood pressure, etc.) may change from one week to another, your vision can change for a number of reasons and need to be noted during your eye examination.
Visual field tests are routinely done on a yearly basis, and, in some cases, every six months.
Because many medical conditions can affect the health of your eyes. The information in your medical history may be vital to an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
We recommend periodic baseline eye exams during childhood and adulthood and more frequent check-ups if there is a family history of eye disease.
Because prescribed medicines can affect your eye health. Also, they indicate to your doctor what you’re being treated for, which may be relevant to a vision problem.
If you have any other questions about eye health or the conditions we treat, ask your Southwest Eye Consultants doctor. Schedule your next appointment by calling us at (970) 828-2200 or use our online request form.