Many diseases of the eye may have no symptoms, so your eyes feel and function normally. Unfortunately, certain diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration can develop gradually so you don't even realize there's a problem. If detected early, these diseases can often be successfully treated to prevent further deterioration. Early detection is the key.
Why do I need drops that make my eyes blurry and stop me from driving home?
A thorough eye examination always includes the use of drops to dilate the pupils. This opens the door into the back of the eye and allows me to look carefully for signs of disease. In addition to diseases of the eye like cataracts and macular degeneration, I can sometimes discover signs of other diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, in this manner. Dilating the pupils also allows me to carefully check the retina for irregularities such as macular degeneration and retinal tears.
How long do the drops take to wear off?
Most people can see clearly again within 2-4 hours (although times can vary among patients).
Is it hard to get an appointment?
I schedule the day carefully to allow for new appointments at the top of each hour, so there is usually not a long wait. I reserve other times of the day for brief follow-up appointments and emergency
Are eye examinations painful?
No, although some of the drops I use can sting the eyes for about 5 seconds.
Where can I get more information about glaucoma or other ocular diseases?
The National Institutes of Health has an excellent website with clear, comprehensive information that is updated frequently.
Do you use a "puff of air" in your examination?
No. That test is used to measure the pressure in the eye to be sure there is no glaucoma, but I have a different, painless way to test the eye.
I am not a regular patient. Can I see you if I have an emergency?
Absolutely! I have always made it a priority to see emergencies the same day whether the patient belongs to my practice or not. That is why so many area physicians refer emergency patients to me on a daily basis.
If my child gets regular vision tests at school, why does he or she need a full eye examination?
Vision exams at school, although good screening devices, are no substitute for a thorough eye examination. Many eye diseases can be missed during a screening exam, including eye strain, which can be the cause of poor school performance. I recommend that every child receive a thorough eye exam by the age of 5 to be sure there are no hidden diseases or conditions, such as lazy eye. If everything looks normal, then I might recommend a reexamination in 3 years.