Q: How does the eye work?


A: When you take a picture, the lens in the front of the camera allows light through and focuses that light on the film that covers the back inside wall of the camera. When the light hits the film, a picture is taken. The eye works in much the same way. The front parts of the eye (the cornea, pupil and lens) are clear and allow light to pass through. The light also passes through the large space in the center of the eye called the vitreous cavity. The vitreous cavity is filled with a clear, jelly-like substance called the vitreous or vitreous gel. The light is focused by the cornea and the lens onto a thin layer of tissue called the retina, which covers the back inside wall of the eye. The retina is like the film in a camera. It is the seeing tissue of the eye. When the focused light hits the retina, a picture is taken. Messages about the picture are sent to the brain through the optic nerve. This is how we see.


For further information on this topic, visit anatomy of the eye.


Q: What is visual acuity?


A: Acuity is the measure of the eye’s ability to distinguish the smallest identifiable letter or symbol, its details and shape, usually at a distance of 20 feet. This measurement is usually given in a fraction. The top number refers to the testing distance measured in feet and the bottom number is the distance from which a normal eye should see the letter or shape. So, perfect vision is 20/20. If your vision is 20/60, that means what you can see at a distance of 20 feet, someone with perfect vision can see at a distance of 60 feet.


Q: What is legal blindness?


A: You are legally blind when the best corrected central acuity is less than 20/200 (perfect vision is 20/20) in your better eye, or your side vision is narrowed to 20 degrees or less in your better eye. Even if you are legally blind, you may still have some useful vision. If you are legally blind, you may qualify for certain government benefits.


Q: Is a vision screening and an eye exam the same thing?


A: Vision screenings can be administered by a doctor, but are often done by lay people. Screenings will produce both over-referrals and under-referrals. Parents should be aware that screenings have limitations. Vision screenings do not take the place of eye examinations, and will not detect all potential eye problems or diseases that a comprehensive eye exam can.


Q: What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?


A: An optometrist is an independent primary health care provider who examines, diagnoses, treats and manages diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures.

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes.


Q: Why do my eyes have to be dilated?


A: It is highly recommended to have the pupils dilated at the comprehensive eye exam. Dilation allows for the evaluation and detection of diseases on the retina that may not be seen when pupils are in their normal state. Eye drops that enlarge the pupils will be placed in the eyes. You will be sensitive to light and may experience blurry vision, especially up close, for up to 6 hours. It will be difficult to read and drive during this time. To reduce problems with light sensitivity and glare following dilation, please bring a pair of sunglasses to your appointment.


Q: What are symptoms that may indicate my child is having a vision problem?


A: There are many symptoms that require attention. They include rubbing eyes, squinting, turning or tilting head, losing their place or using a finger to follow along when reading, moving head or mouthing words while reading, headaches, red eyes, wandering eyes, complaints of blurred vision. Many disorders have no symptoms. ALL children need eye examinations at age 3.


Q: Will my eyes get worse by wearing my glasses too much?


A: Your optometrist will explain the purpose of your prescription and when they should be worn. In most cases, glasses will not cause any deterioration that would not otherwise occur. However, wearing glasses for activities different than recommended (i.e. distance glasses worn to read up close) may make the eyes work harder than they need to.


Q: Will working at a computer screen hurt my eyes?


A: No, there is no evidence that working at a computer damages the eyes. However, long hours of work can be fatiguing to the eyes, neck and back. Monitor glare from various light sources can also be a problem. It is often helpful to take periodic breaks, looking off in the distance and adjusting your work station (angle of the monitor, height of the chair, changing the lighting, etc.).


Q: Will reading in dim light hurt my eye?


A: No, but most people are more comfortable reading with proper lighting, which is bright enough to provide good illumination but not so bright as to cause glare.


Q: How often should I have my eye examined?


A: Eyes should be examined annually. Your prescription may not have changed, but the health checks of the eye must be completed. Some children and patients with systemic or ocular conditions must be evaluated more often.


Q: Why does my eye twitch?


A: Mild twitching of the eyelid is a common phenomenon. Although these involuntary contractions of muscles are annoying, they are almost always temporary and completely harmless. The medical name for this kind of twitching is ocular myokymia. It is quite common and most often associated with fatigue. When your eyelid is twitching, it is not visible to anyone else. Lack of sleep, too much caffeine or increased stress seem to be root causes. Often gently massaging your eye will relieve the symptoms. Usually, the twitch will disappear after catching up on your sleep.


Q: What is the expiration on a contact lens prescription? On a spectacle prescription?


A: The Ohio State Board of Optometry has established that contact lens prescriptions expire one year from the date of your last contact lens exam, but spectacle prescriptions can legally be filled up to two years.


Q: Why do I need to have a contact lens fitting when I already wear contact lenses?


A: Contact lenses are medical devices and your eyes need to be evaluated annually to make sure it is safe to continue wearing contact lenses. Also, new products are constantly being introduced to the market, and we want you to be in the best lenses for your eyes.


Q: How often should disposable contact lenses be replaced?


A: Replacement time varies depending on eye health and tear chemistry, lifestyle and environmental exposure, time worn per day and days worn per week. Disposable lens replacement options can vary from daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and even quarterly. Your doctor will assess your eye health and vision status with your contacts lenses to ensure you are following an appropriate wearing schedule.


Q: Does laser eye surgery correct all vision problems?


A: Laser eye surgery is used to correct many case of myopia (blurred far vision) and astigmatism safely and predictably. Laser correction of hyperopia (farsightedness) is in its advanced testing stages. Results are not as predictable, nor as successful. Presbyopia, which causes the need to wear reading glasses or bifocals, cannot be corrected by laser surgery. As a result, individuals over 45 years will require reading glasses in most cases following surgery. Amblyopia (lazy eye) or other existing conditions that have caused damage to the eye or loss of vision, cannot be repaired by laser surgery.


Q: Why do you need my medical insurance card in addition to my vision insurance plan information?


A: Vision plans are used for routine and/or refractive care while medical insurance is used when the doctor finds medical issues relative to the health of you eye or your entire body.


Q: I am a diabetic. Can Horvath Vision Care perform the comprehensive exam that my primary care doctor recommends?


A: Absolutely. We provide dilated fundus exams with retinal photographs that can be used for future reference or sent to your primary care doctor. Also upon request, we can send a report to your doctor as well. If surgical intervention is required, we will refer you to the proper specialist.