Eyeglasses

Why do some frames cause a reaction on my skin?
If metal frames cause a reaction, nickel is the culprit. Most metal frames are made of a nickel alloy. Other metals used include aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, zinc, copper, beryllium, gold and silver. Stainless, titanium, gold and silver are usually hypoallergenic.
I see fine, why do I need to see an eye doctor?
Regular eye exams are the only way to catch "silent" diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma and other conditions in their early stages, when they're more easily managed or treated. Many conditions can be discovered in a carefully planned eye exam. Those who consider mass-produced, over the counter reading glasses are truly doing themselves a disservice.

One-size-fits-all reading glasses not only do not work well for most people who have a different prescription in each eye, and/or astigmatism, or whose lens and frame parameters are not measured correctly, they bypass the opportunity to have their eyes checked for early detection of many manageable diseases or conditions. For those insisting on selecting glasses not measured specifically for their eyes, headaches and eye fatigue are common symptoms.

How do I know if I need bifocals?
The most common use of bifocals is for the treatment of presbyopia in individuals aged 40 and over. Whether or not a person has needed vision correction when younger, by the early to mid-forties, the ability to accommodate or focus the eyes has diminished.

Bifocals allow the wearer to see clearly both at distance and near despite the reduced focusing ability. Bifocals may also be used to help align the eyes if a person tends to over-cross his or her eyes at near. If you are over 40 or have any difficulty performing tasks at near, ask us whether bifocals or progressive lenses could be right for you.

How can I stop glare at night or at a computer?
There can be many causes for this condition. However, many times this problem can be alleviated, or even dismissed, with the use of "AR" (Anti Reflective) lenses. First and foremost, however, annual or semi annual eye exams are the ONLY avenue to your eye health and the ONLY resource to ascertain the correct reason or cause for any eye ailment! That being said and once any medical or physical condition is removed as a possibility of cause, then the perfect solution for glare on computer screens, or glare from night driving would be AR (Anti Reflective) lenses.
What's the secret to getting glasses that look great on me?
With all modesty aside, we are. We are fortunate to be staffed with fashion experts. They not only will assist you in your desire to get the "look" that is most flattering to your features and taste, but they will ensure that your new fashionable eyewear will function nicely with your needs and lifestyle as well. This is easier said than done. That is why we have a very knowledgeable staff dedicated specifically with you in mind.
How often should I get a new pair of glasses?
This is a personal concern that can address many issues. You should change your eyeglasses when you feel that your existing eyeglasses no longer are supporting your needs, lifestyle, or taste.

In any case, a visit to your doctor should not be only considered when you feel it is time for new glasses. You should visit your eye doctor at least once every two years, unless otherwise instructed.

Are the lenses that change colors OK for sunglasses?
A popular lens in plastics are called Transitions® lenses. When they're exposed to ultraviolet light, they become darker or change to a different color. However most brands are not as effective in a car or in any vehicle with the "blue or gray stripe" on a windshield. Because of the ultraviolet blocking nature of the windshields, lenses will remain pretty light when you're driving. The ultimate sunglass experience can be enjoyed with "Polarized" lenses as these lenses offer the most protection and comfort to the eye so strain and fatigue can become a thing of the past.
Do sunglasses really help to keep my eyes healthy?
We cannot stress this enough...YES! You know how the sun's UV rays can harm your skin. Wrinkles, premature aging and skin cancer are some of the dangers of unprotected sun exposure. The same rays that age and damage your skin can and will hurt your eyes as well. Strong sunlight, and artificial light from sources like welding arcs or tanning lamps can burn the surface of the eye, much like sunburn on the skin.

Reflected sunlight (from the water, for example) is particularly dangerous. There is also evidence that exposure to UV light can contribute to the development of eye diseases that commonly occur as we age, such as cataract and macular degeneration.

Why are my lenses so thick?
Your prescription, your personal measurements, and the size of your frame are the three key factors that will determine final lens thickness. If you are farsighted your lenses will be thicker at their center, in contrast, if you are nearsighted your lenses will be thicker at their edges. New innovative technology in lens designs, and materials, have allowed us to reduce overall lens thickness by as much as 60% in many cases. Our staff will guide you toward the best possible results in helping you choose the best frame-lens combination for your ocular and fashion needs.
Can the thick lenses be made thinner?
Absolutely! Newer, thinner lens materials are being developed all the time, and we pride ourselves in constantly being up-to-date with the latest developments and materials in the optical community. This, along with the proper grinding and appropriate frame selection could make your new fashion eyeglasses distinctly thinner.
Can I use no-line bifocals with fashionably smaller frames?
Yes. Progressive lenses will allow you to use smaller frames while maintaining terrific vision at all distances. The visual channel that progresses from distance vision to near vision is wider, and more accurate for that 'Tween' vision necessary for clarity in the area too far for close, and too close for far. It is a wonderful lens for desktop and computer use as well. Please note, that in a few of the especially small frames, not all frames can be a successful candidate for a progressive lens. With this in mind, our opticians will help you with a proper fit.
Do I need an optometrist and or an ophthalmologist?
Both are eye doctors that diagnose and treat many of the same eye conditions. The American Optometric Association defines Doctors of Optometry as: primary health care professionals who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions. They prescribe glasses, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy and medications as well as perform certain surgical procedures.

The main difference between the two, is that ophthalmologists perform surgery, where an optometrist would not, preferring to specialize in eye examinations, as well as eyeglass and contact lens related services.

Optometrists would be involved in all of the pre- and post-operative care of these patients; collecting accurate data, educating the patient, and insuring proper healing after the procedure. An ophthalmologist is more of a medical related specialist, who would need only to be involved if some kind of surgery were being considered. An optometrist can treat most any eye condition, including the use of topical or oral medications if needed. This might include the treatment of glaucoma, eye infections, allergic eye conditions and others, to name just a few.

Contact Lenses
Can I wear contact lenses?
With the newest contact lens designs and materials available today, we are able to fit patients who may not have had success wearing contact lenses in the past. Whether due to poor vision, astigmatism, comfort issues, or dry eyes, there are many more choices in contact lens materials to meet those challenges.
What types of contacts lenses are right for me?
There are several types of contact lenses but only a thorough examination of your eyes AND your lifestyle will reveal the answer.
What’s involved in a Contact Lens Exam?
In an initial exam, the eye doctor will examine your eyes to determine if you can wear contact lenses. Your prescription and the curvature of your eye are measured and the doctor will discuss any special needs you may have. The doctor will then determine the type of contact lenses that best fit your eyes and provide you with the most accurate vision while ensuring that your eyes remain healthy with the lenses. If trial lenses are available in the office, you may be able to go home with lenses the same day. However, if your prescription or curvature warrant, contact lenses may need to be ordered and a contact lens fitting appointment scheduled when the lenses arrive.
What’s involved in a Contact Lens Fitting?
When the lenses are ready, a fitting examination is scheduled as a practice session for you to try your new lenses and to become adept at lens insertion and removal. The doctor will also look at the lenses on your eyes and determine if any changes need to be made. If the lenses fit well and you are seeing well with them, a checkup exam is scheduled one week after the practice session. If new lenses are ordered, we will schedule a dispensing appointment when those lenses arrive.
Why is a yearly contact lens exam important?
Seeing 20/20 isn’t the only reason for a contact lens exam. Since the eye is a sensitive organ, it is susceptible to irritations that may be caused by contact lens wear. Problems that are undetectable to you can develop into more serious conditions. It is vital to your eye health to make sure that your contact lenses fit properly and are allowing enough oxygen to reach the cells of the cornea. During the annual contact lens exam, the doctor evaluates the condition of the lenses and can tell if any changes are warranted in the lenses’ fitting.
Can I swim or shower with contact lenses on?
There are two main reasons why you should not swim or shower with your contact lenses – possible loss of the lenses and, most importantly, contamination of the lenses. Underwater, contact lenses may be washed out of your eye, or above water a small wave or splash may take the lens with it. Contact lenses, especially the soft variety, will absorb any chemicals or germs in the water. They will then stay in or on the lens for several hours, irritating the eyes and possibly causing infection.
Can children wear contact lenses?
The deciding factor for whether a child should wear contact lenses should be that child’s maturity level. Children of all ages can tolerate contact lenses well, but they must be responsible for the care of the lenses. Parents should make that judgment based on the child’s personal hygiene habits and their ability to perform household chores.
Why shouldn't I wear my two-week disposable lenses longer?
In order to maintain optimal eye health and comfort, it is important to adhere to the wearing schedule prescribed by your doctor.
What if I don't wear my disposable contacts every day?
The two-weeks timeframe refers to 14 days of wear. If you are wearing lenses only two to three days per week, the lenses may last longer then two weeks.
Can I safely wear extended wear contact lenses overnight?
Extended lens wearers may have an increased risk for corneal infections and corneal ulcers, primarily due to poor care and cleaning of the lenses, tear film instability, and bacterial stagnation. Corneal neovascularization has historically been a common complication of extended lens wear, though this does not appear to be a problem with silicone hydrogel extended wear. The most common complication of extended lens use is conjunctivitis, usually allergic or giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC), sometimes associated with a poorly fitting contact lens.
LASIK
Am I a good candidate for laser vision correction?
By having a consultation and eye examination at our office, our doctor will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for laser vision correction. Patients who are at least 18 years of age, have healthy eyes that are free from retinal problems, corneal scars, and any eye diseases are generally suitable.

Many patients who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism are potential candidates. We will also discuss your lifestyle needs to help you decide if LASIK is the best alternative for you.

How long does the surgery take?
The entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes for both eyes, and about 5 to 7 minutes per eye.
After LASIK how soon can I return to work?
Most patients are back to work the day after surgery, depending on the work environment. We do ask that you try to relax for a couple of days if possible.
Will I need reading glasses after my surgery?
Generally, patients under the age of 40 still read well without the use of glasses following the surgery. Patients over the age of 40 may need reading glasses for small print. Presbyopia is a term that refers to the natural weakening of the muscles that occurs in our early to mid 40s, causing us to need reading glasses. LASIK does not correct or prevent presbyopia.
How soon can I drive after the surgery?
You may drive when you feel comfortable enough to drive safely. Possibly the next day.
What type of anesthesia is used during the surgery?
Topical numbing eye drops are used during your procedure. Sometimes an oral medication is offered to help you relax.
Will I be able to have both eyes treated at the same time?
Surgery can be performed on both eyes on the same day if your doctor feels you are a good candidate.
Will I still need glasses or contact lenses?
The goal of refractive surgery is to reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. An occasional patient may need to wear a low-power pair of prescription glasses for driving at night.
©2010 Dr. Steven N. Monroe, O.D.