Contact Lenses

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

Depending on your eye sensitivity it may take only a day or it could take two weeks or more for your eyes to adjust to the lenses. Some people's eyes never adjust, but that's not typical.

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. We can always help you locate and remove the lens.

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

That depends on how responsible and motivated the child is, although the typical answer is 13. If they need to wear lenses full time and already have worn glasses for years, they tend to be more motivated. This decision is best made jointly between you, your child and your eye doctor.

What are soft contact lenses made of?

Pliable "water loving" plastics. Some of the most successful designs are manufactured right here in the South. Acuvue lenses are made in Jacksonville, and many Ciba lenses are made in metro Atlanta.

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.

Can I wear contacts if I have bifocal eyeglasses?

Yes, although there are pros and cons. Multifocal (bifocal) contact lenses try to strike a balance between clear vision far and near. Some eyes are better suited for theses lenses than others. Monovision is using one eye for distance vision and the other for near. This can take several months to adapt to, but many patients are very successful. Another approach is to focus both eyes for distance vision and use reading glasses.
Advice for New Contact Lenses Wearers
Congratulations and welcome to contact lens wear. When cared for properly, soft contact lenses provide healthy, comfortable, and convenient vision correction. The following guidelines are intended to help you avoid problems and enjoy the benefits of soft contact lenses.

Wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly each time you handle your lenses

• Good hygiene helps to eliminate germs that can cause eye infection
•This is especially important for smokers

Lenses removed from your eyes must be cleaned, rinsed and disinfected after each wearing period if they are reused

• Cleaning loosens and removes accumulations of film, deposits and debris that can cause irritation, and prepares lenses for disinfection
• Disinfecting helps kill germs that can cause eye infection
• Carefully read and follow the instructions that come with your lens care products
Important - saline solutions are used to rinse, not clean or disinfect
• Never rinse your lenses with tap water, and never lubricate them in your mouth!
• Always let your lens case air dry, never re-use multipurpose solution

Remove your lenses immediately if they become uncomfortable

• Discomfort can be an early sign of a problem
• Early treatment can avoid complications
• If the discomfort continues after lens removal, contact our office

Consult our office before wearing your lenses overnight or while sleeping

• Not all lenses are designed to be worn overnight or while sleeping
• Not all people can wear lenses overnight or while sleeping
• You are ten times more likely to experience complications when you sleep in lenses

Replace your lenses with a new pair as often as recommended

• Old lenses can cause discomfort, deceased vision and may adversely affect your eye health
• Replacement schedules are designed to provide a new lens before you experience symptoms

Slowly increase your wearing time over the first week

• We recommend beginning with 6 hours the first day, then increasing wearing time by two hours each subsequent day. For example: 6, 8, 10, 12, then 14 hours
Children's Vision

My child got new glasses 6 months ago and did great in the classroom, but now says he can't see the board. Could his vision change that fast?

Yes. Typically evaluating vision once a year works well, but sometimes during these high growth years the eyes change quickly.

My child's teacher thinks she has a convergence insufficiency. What is that, and what can I do about it?

When someone has trouble turning their eyes in, aiming their eyes at a near target, it is called convergence insufficiency. This typically leads to fatigue, poor reading skills and poor reading comprehension. In many cases, vision therapy (physical therapy for the eyes) can restore normal function.

My child is 4 and a vision screening found that he has 20/40 vision in each eye. Is this OK? Will it get better over time?

Maybe. We need to know why the vision is 20/40. Depending on the cause, it may get better naturally or it may require treatment. A full evaluation from an eye doctor will give you the full answer.

Can my child have LASIK?

No. It is best to wait until full physical maturity, around 25.

My daughter's best friend just got glasses and now my child says she can't see. Could she fake her way into glasses?

No. We will know and will tell her how lucky she is to have good vision.

My baby has one pupil that is bigger than the other. Should I worry?

Probably not, although it would be wise to bring this to the attention of your pediatrician or eye doctor. One out of 10 healthy people have pupils with different sizes. Both pupils should constrict with light. If one pupil does not constrict, it could be a sign of a problem.
Eye Health

Why does my eye twitch?

Mild eyelid twitching is very common and usually the result of fatigue, stress and caffeine. While annoying, these involuntary contractions of the eyelid muscles are harmless, temporary and not as visible to others as they are to you. The best advice is to get some sleep, cut back on the coffee and give it some time.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause optic nerve damage. The optic nerve lets the eye communicate with the brain. If enough nerve fibers are lost, we lose vision. Early detection really helps. Medicines to lower eye pressure can help prevent or slow the loss of nerve fibers.

Can glaucoma be cured?

Once nerve fibers are lost, they are lost. The goal of treatment is to keep all the the existing nerve fibers and preserve the vision we have.

What is a cataract?

When the eye's natural lens becomes cloudy, it's called cataract. This can happen early in life, however, most cataracts develop in eyes 60 and older. The natural lens is built by layers, much like rings on a tree. Over time, the layers can start to separate and scatter light more and become less clear and more cloudy. If the lens becomes so cloudy that vision is reduced even with the best glasses, cataract surgery can help. The cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a new synthetic lens.

Can a cataract be treated with a laser?

The cloudy natural lens must be physically removed and replaced with a clear synthetic lens. If the new synthetic lens becomes cloudy, it can be polished with a laser.

How common is cataract?

Very. In the United States, 20% of eyes in our 60's require cataract surgery and 80% of eyes in our 80's need surgery. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the U.S.

What is macular degeneration?

Wherever we aim our eye, most of the light focuses on the macula. If our eye was a camera, the macula would be the center of the film. In macular degeneration, the macula begins to breakdown and becomes wrinkled.

Does macular degeneration cause total blindness?

In severe cases, central vision can become very distorted; however, side vision remains normal. These patients learn to maximize their peripheral vision. Magnifying what needs to be seen with lenses and electronic screens can help as well.

What are floaters?

Shadows cast by dense areas in the fluid that fills the eye. This fluid is thick, like a jelly, and in childhood is completely uniform. As time goes by, parts of the jelly liquify, become watery, and other parts condense and become thicker. These thicker parts throw shadows that we see as floaters. We are more likely to see them against a bright background like the blue sky or a computer screen.
Eye Infections

What is pink eye?

A term generally used when the white part of the eye looks more red from a bacterial or viral infection. Some types are very contagious while others are not.

If I have pink eye, can I still go to work?

Maybe. Your eye doctor can tell if the type of infection you have is contagious. You will want to wash your hands every time after touching the eye to help prevent the infection from spreading to others. Children are much less likely to be good about washing their hands and are often asked to stay home from school with an eye infection.

Can I wear my contacts if I have pink eye?

It is best to leave your contact lenses out until the eye is completely healed.

What can I do about a stye?

If there is recent infection of the eyelid, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory eyedrops can help. Warm compresses 4 times a day can also help. If a lump in the lid has been there for weeks or months, heat can still help, but surgical removal is often the only complete remedy.

Is it OK to wear drugstore reading glasses?

Many people have success with mass produced reading glasses. They work best in the lower powers, when the two eyes have exactly the same prescription, and when the eyes are spaced apart the average distance. In the higher powers, when one eye sees differently than the other, for people with astigmatism, or when the distance between the eyes is not average, custom reading glasses will give the best performance.

What is a polarized lens?

These sunglass lenses reduce glare reflected from surfaces like water and pavement. They are especially helpful around water. Fisherman love them.

Do Transitions lenses work?

A photochromic lens changes with sunlight. They do work very well adapting indoors and outdoors. In the car, we are really in the shade, and they only partially change tint. Someone who is happy with a medium tint in the car will typically be happy with this lens. Someone who likes a full tint in the car will usually be disappointed.

I don’t like reflections on my glasses. What options are there?

Antireflective “no glare” coatings work very very well. They are easier to look through, and others see your eyes better.

How often should I get a new pair?

When your prescription changes, if the lenses become damaged, or when you are ready for a new look. Some people keep glasses for years, others like multiple pairs every year.

What can be done to make my lenses thinner?

Smaller frames keep the lenses thinner. Also, lenses with a higher index of refraction can be significanlty thinner than standard lenses. Depending on your prescription, polycarbonate, Trivex, and high index plastics are good choices.
Polycarbonate: Recommended for high impact protection, sports and for children
Trivex: The most lightweight lens and has excellent clarity.
High Index: Recommended for the highest prescriptions.

Are eyeglasses FSA and HSA eligible?

Yes. Prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses qualify.

Can you put new lenses in my existing frame?

Yes. Once your lenses are ready, our in house lab can mount them in your frame in about 30 minutes.

What is the difference between steel and titanium?

Both work very well for eyeglasses. Titanium is lighter.

What is the difference between plastic and acetate?

Acetate is a plastic that has a more natural feel and is more durable than standard plastic.

How long does it take to get my glasses?

Some prescriptions are ready the same day; others can take up to 10 business days. Most are completed in 4-5 days.

What is the best way to clean and care for my glasses?

It is best to use both hands to put them on and take them off. Store them in their case. Clean them daily with the free cleaning solution we give you and dry them with a microfiber cloth. Don’t use paper products or your shirt! Always apply hair spray with your glasses off.

How much does LASIK cost?

$2,395 per eye without any insurance discounts.

Does insurance cover LASIK?

No, most insurance companies consider LASIK an “elective procedure”.

How long do I have to be out of my contact lenses before surgery?

Typically, one week for soft contacts. For rigid RGP lenses, one month plus an additional month for each decade of wear. (Although this can often be shortened).

How long does the surgery take?

Plan on being at the surgery center for 2-3 hours. The surgery itself is very quick.

Can I drive to my procedure?

No, you need a driver for the day of surgery.

How much down time should I plan on?

Most patients take two days off.

What is required after the surgery?

All of your post op care is provided in our office. Typical follow up visits are one day, one week, one month and three months.