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EyeSearch is a Guide to Vision and the Eye, including information on glasses, contact lenses, eye diseases, eye surgery, laser surgery, including laser vision correction, and directories of eye specialists nationwide, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians and low vision services

Questions are answered by:
Certified Ophthalmic Technician (*)
a Licensed Dispensing Optician
and a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (***).

Answers are published on EyeSearch or emailed directly to the individual.

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Question from Ohio
I am a 36 year old white male with albinism.  My vision corrected with disposable contacts (b/l acuvue)is 20/140 somewhere around there.......   Are there newer contacts on the market that would be more suitable for my astigmatism? Does laser surgery help?  What are some possibilities I might consider....I know I will never have 20/20 vision but I would like to improve correct my vision through corrective measures as much as possible..  Any advice is greatly appreciated.....  Thank You....

In patients with albinism, 20/20 vision is usually not attainable. However, if your vision is not as good with contact lenses as it is with glasses, due to astigmatism, you could consider astigmatic or toric contact lenses. Disposable lenses are comfortable and easy to use; most toric lenses are either "semi-disposable" or standard daily wear contact lenses. Your local eye doctor should be able to recommend particular brands and whether he or she feels they are appropriate for correcting your visual needs. Good luck with your search.

Question from Chengdu, China
My viewpoint decrease is accelerating, help me please!!!  I am 27.  I am a student.  I major in medicine.  My will is that I will be a surgeon in the future but, at moment my viewpoint is becoming worse.  I had .8/.4(2.0)(r/l) and slight scatter when I was 14.  I have no bad habit in eye-using.   I like sports, especially in football and basketball.  I had experienced bad head injury.  Why so and how change???  Tell me please!  Thanks!  

Frequently eyesight may worsen as one gets older due to genetic factors.   It may be that your change in vision is solely due to something that was "built into" your genes. If this is primarily your near-sightedness decreasing, it is unlikely that there is anything that can be done to prevent or avoid this process.   However, appropriate glasses or contact lenses should correct your vision to a normal level.  If there are other problems preventing normal vision they should be evaluated as soon as possible by an ophthalmologist.

Question from California
I live in Santa Cruz,Ca.  My wife Karen is afflicted with keratoconus...We need the help in finding a qualified physician to help in this area.   Please can you give us a referral?

Keratoconus is a familiar condition to most ophthalmologists, but is usually treated by specialists in corneal disease, particularly when there is a question of surgical treatment.  The best way to find a qualified corneal specialist, would be to consult your local university or your State Ophthalmology Society.  Most universities have specialists on the faculty of their eye center and the State Ophthalmology Society can give you the names of ophthalmologists who specialize in corneal disease.  Please contact us if you have further questions.

Question from Florida
I am a 37 year old young man in West Palm Beach Florida.  I want to know what is the term for the condition that I see on the white part of my eye.   There is a brown spot on the white part of my eye.  I have seen this same condition in other blacks in the area.  How can I eliminate or treat this condition?

A brown spot on the white part of the eye usually results from melanin pigment in the membrane covering the white of the eye. The medical term for this is melanosis. In black people this is usually a normal finding and merely indicates the presence of melanin pigment at certain areas in that membrane. It is often normal in Caucasians as well, but in some cases these spots can turn into a type of skin cancer and must be observed carefully. This virtually never happens in blacks.

Unfortunately there is no easy way to eliminate the melanosis. In some cases surgical removal is possible, but if you are considering this, you should have your eyes carefully evaluated by an eye surgeon. Good luck with your evaluation and please contact us if you have any questions.

Question from Texas
A blow to my left eye (my master eye) has permanently dilated the iris.  Is there any corrective surgery to at least decrease the size of the iris?

When the pupil becomes dilated as a result of an injury, it generally means that there has been damage to the muscle of the iris.  Occasionally eye drops will help this muscle to contract despite its damage.  However, the eye drops may be uncomfortable to use and in some people may interfere with focusing.  Surgery can, indeed, make the pupil smaller, but the procedure is a complicated one that can result in worsened vision or other damage to the eye in some cases.  Occasionally the use of an opaque contact lens can help either with the appearance of the eye or with the light sensitivity that sometimes results.  Depending on the things that bother you most about your dilated pupil, you may want to consider some of these options.  An eye surgeon can give you further advice about the benefits of each of these courses of action.   Please contact us if you have further questions.

Question from Tennessee

Your contact lens problem sounds challenging.  If you are wearing a contact lens in only one eye, it may be that your focusing is significantly different between your two eyes.  However, if glasses of 1.5 diopters are helpful, usually a contact lens of a similar strength will be equally helpful.

It might be worth consulting your eye doctor again with regard to the best contact lens prescription and mentioning that you had found that a certain strength of reading glasses worked quite well for you.  Please contact us if you have further questions.

Question from Tennessee
In October of 95 I was involved in a car accident in which I was hit on the drivers side.  A lasting effect of the accident is a problem with my vision.   When I look at something at eye level, particularly text, I have to tilt my head slightly to the right or left in order to see it properly.  If I don't tilt my head then it's as if my right eye is focused where it should be and my left eye sees what is at the top of the page.  I would like to know if there is any sort of corrective surgery that could be performed or possibly a contact lens I could wear.  I went to an optometrist in 96 and he said he could make me glasses with a sort of prism in the lens but I have just opted to deal with this problem.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  If you need more details please contact me at my email address.

The most likely cause of your symptoms is an imbalance in the muscles moving your two eyes, which may have been caused by damage to one of the nerves in your car accident. If this is still present after three years, it may well be permanent. A prism correction in your glasses can be helpful but it is frequently true that the problem differs depending on the direction in which you look while the prism is the same in all directions. There are surgical procedures, which can help to rebalance the eye muscles, though frequently they are not able to alleviate the problem completely. A specialist in eye muscle surgery (strabismus) would be able to give you advice on the type of surgery that may be beneficial and the likely degree of improvement.

Question from the USA
A very close friend of mine is looking for a very competent doctor who would be able to explain his eye' nerves inflammation, that seems so unknown.  If any of you can help me with links, or information of any kind, names, addresses latest diseases discoveries related to nerves inflammations that cause partial and sometime total
blindness, but not, at least for now, permanent.  Thanks  in advance for any eventual help.

It sounds like your friend's optic nerve problem could be best evaluated by a neuro-ophthalmologist.  Usually a specialist in this area can be found at your local University Eye Center or by consulting your local or State Ophthalmology Society. Please contact us if you have further questions.

Question from London
Can you help?  My brother was  hit in the Eye by a stick in September of this year.  They have been trying to control the pressure in the eye since then, and subsequent he has been loosing vision.  Can you help or can you please point me in the right direction?  I look forward to your comments.

Elevated intraocular pressure caused by an injury can be very difficult to control.  This form of glaucoma may respond to eye drops or oral medication, but frequently requires surgery.  It appears that your brother's doctors have been working diligently on this problem.  If he is interested in additional information, a glaucoma specialist in your area should be able to give you some advice.  Your local Ophthalmology Society could refer you to some specialists in the area.  Good luck with your brother's treatment.

Question from New Jersey
I wake up every morning with puffy eyes and it doesn't seem to get any better throughout the day. What can the problem be?

Puffy eyelids usually result from inflammation in the lid.  This can be the result of allergies, although it is usually accompanied by itching when that is the case.  It can also be the result of swelling in the oil glands in the eyelid.   Frequently a hot compress on the eye used at night before bed and in the morning on arising may be beneficial if done regularly over a period of time.  If this does not help, a comprehensive evaluation by an eye doctor would be indicated to determine whether any other cause is present.

Question from New Jersey
I am 60, with relatively "normal" vision and have required glasses for about 15 years.
About 6 months ago I had a routine eye exam (after 2 yr.).  My new prescription glasses were less satisfactory than my old prescription glasses.  I went back, had a second eye exam, with the same results on the eye exam.  However, because of my dissatisfaction, the doctor modified the Rx, and I, subsequently tried a 2nd set of "new"glasses.  Eventually I went on to try a 3rd set of glasses.   (Each eye exam yielded the same theoretical lens prescription; this was modified by the doctor in an attempt to reach a compromise correction which would be satisfactory to me.  Now, after 3 attempts and 6 months later, I have re-installed my 2.5 yr. "old" lens, which appears to offer me better overall distance and close-up vision, and are less tiring, even though they are not quite as strong.  Is there a possible explanation as to why the doctor's routine eye exam consistently yielded unsatisfactory results for normal, everyday use?

Unfortunately prescribing glasses is often not as scientific as all of us would like.  The devices used to measure the prescription in an examination room may be somewhat misleading when the results are applied to a pair of glasses used in normal every day activities.  Fortunately this does not happen very often, but there are certain situations in which it can occur commonly.  While I do not know for sure what the source was in your case, many people find changes in their astigmatism correction to be uncomfortable even if they appear to make them see better on an eye examination.   Similarly, far-sighted people may find that a newer or "stronger" prescription is not comfortable, even though it seemed to improve vision when the eyes were tested.  If your older lenses are comfortable, certainly the most expeditious and wise course is to continue with them.  If you wish to know more specifics about your situation, you may wish to ask your eye doctor.

Question from Tennessee
My son has a shunt which became disconnected when he was 7 years old resulting in a damaged optic nerve.  He is now 21 years old.  Do you know of any research that is being done in this area, or if there have been any successful surgeries to correct this type of problem?  Thanks

Unfortunately damage to the optic nerve is generally irreversible at our present level of knowledge.  While research is being done with nerve regeneration, as yet, there have not been any practical applications to optic nerve damage, of which I am aware.  However, this research is ongoing and there may be new developments in the relatively new future.  Similarly, however, I do not know of any surgery that can help with optic nerve damage.  A neuro-ophthalmologist could give you additional information about your son's specific situation and any treatment that might be possible.

Question from Arizona
I saw recently on the news that a doctor was in the clinical trial phase of development on a new laser and camera to aid in the surgery of retinas.  My question is if you have heard of any such developments and if so would this possibly work on the removal of scar tissues around the retina.  If you could please let me know what you have heard of regarding this subject and who I might contact to find out more information I would greatly appreciate it.

Removal of scar tissue in the retina has advanced greatly in the recent past.   However, there are certain types of scar tissue that cannot be successfully removed or may be much more difficult to treat surgically. In order to evaluate a specific situation of retinal scarring, a consultation with a retinal specialist would be the most appropriate course of action. Usually your local university will have specialists in retinal surgery on the faculty and you might be able to get specific information about your case from them.

Question from the United States
I have a blocked tear duct that causes periodic infections/conjunctivitis.  Am currently trying TobraDex w/erythromycin to no avail.   Is there an oral antibiotic to clear up infection?  Is there an alternative to a tube implant??  I suspect a connection to sinuses.

Oral antibiotics can clear up active infection in the tear duct quite effectively.  However, many of the episodes of conjunctivitis result from back-up of bacteria that are unable to drain through the tear duct.  This type of infection is somewhat less susceptible to oral antibiotics.  In general, surgical treatment begins with probing or irrigation of the tear duct.  If this is ineffective, a silicone tube can be implanted for some time in an effort to maintain the flow through the tear duct.   Finally, if that is unsuccessful or the passageway has closed completely, it may be necessary to open a new passage in a procedure caused a dacryocystorhinostomy.   Please contact us if you have further questions.

Question from New Jersey
Is it possible to get welders flash from looking at infrared heaters on a 20' ceiling?  These heaters are big. Thanks

A typical flash-burn cannot occur from an infrared light.  Flash-burns always occur from the ultraviolet rays associated with certain types of welding processes.   However, infrared heaters can create dryness and irritation on the surface of the eye, which may give milder, but similar symptoms.  Often this can be prevented by avoiding contact with the heater, or using additional lubricating eye drops, generally, even if there is discomfort from such exposure, there is no damage to the eye that results from such a heater.

Question from Maryland
What condition would be indicated by having crimped blood vessels mentioned during an eye examination?

"Crimped blood vessels" does not be itself indicate any damage or disease in the eye. Changes in the configuration of the blood vessels can occur in many diseases, but the pattern of the blood vessels in the eye varies greatly among individuals.  This may have been a comment describing the appearance, but not to indicate any cause for concern.  However, in order to know for sure, it would be wise to consult the doctor specifically.

Question from Ohio
Could you tell me more about petal flower that is associated with uveitis.  I am very curious as to your answer because I am considering a second opinion. Thanks!

The "petal flower" you refer to is most likely cystoid macular edema.   This is a swelling in the center of the retina, which can result from a number of causes.  However, it is common that in patients with intraocular inflammation, the retina may become swollen, leading to blurry vision.  The pattern of the swelling can look like a flower when an angiogram is performed, and the medical term, cystoid macular edema, describes the cysts that are present in the retina.

If this is indeed the condition you have, it is most likely due to your uveitis and the treatment recommended is the best course of action.  If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Question from Connecticut
Hi, is being in front of the computer for long periods of time or on a daily basis for long periods of time bad for the eye? Please tell me if it is and what can it do to ones' eyes.

Long hours of use of your computer can be fatiguing for the eye, but does not cause any permanent damage to the eye.  Generally eyes get tired because of the focusing effort required when looking at a screen for extended periods.  Sometimes these symptoms can be alleviated by taking breaks, staring in a different direction, and avoiding glare off the screen and awkward positions of gaze.  However, there is no need for concern about permanent harm to the eye.

Question from Florida
Please refer me to a reference that would discuss the issue of predicting eye color in unborn children.  I 'm specifically interested in predicting the eye color of children born to a blue-eyed mother and a brown-eyed father.  Thank you.

The inheritance of eye color is a complicated and difficult to predict phenomenon. Most experts believe it is "multifactorial", meaning that it cannot be completely explained on the basis solely of dominant and recessive genes.   However, the best current information and predictive statistics can be gained from most genetics textbooks.

Question from Missouri
Night before last I was watching TV and suddenly the skin around my eye starting swelling and my eye felt as though something was in it.  My eye throbbed, itched and became red.  It looked as though there was some thick fluid around my eye.  I used eye drops and then an eye wash.  It has gotten better but still feels funny.  Is this just dry eyes from the winter air or should I see my eye doctor?   I just had a checkup and he discovered some macular degeneration.

The condition you describe is almost certainly unrelated to macular degeneration. Most likely your eye responded to something irritating and developed an allergic type of reaction.  The swelling and itching, as well as the redness and fluid are consistent with this situation.  If the problem has resolved and you have no further symptoms there is likely no need for further evaluation or treatment.   However, if this recurs or has not completely resolved, it should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist.

Question from Virginia
What would cause or look like small clear looking blisters just inside bottom part of the eyelid?

Clear fluid filled "blisters" or cysts inside the eyelid are not a cause for concern, as long as no other eye symptoms occur.  Usually they are cysts in the mucous membrane, which may result from allergies or irritants or may occur for no reason at all.  Frequently they disappear on their own and sometimes eye drops can be used to help eliminate them.  If there is no blurred vision, itching, eye pain or redness, generally no treatment is necessary.  Please contact us if you have further questions.

Question from Alabama
My correction factor is appx. 2600 (both eyes), corrected to appx. 20/25 in my "good" right eye, and appx. 20/50 in my left eye.  I have oblique astigmatism in my L eye, - don't recall the exact measurement, but believe it is appx. -4.5 diopters; I have more astigmatism in my right eye, but don't recall if it is oblique as well, or not.  I also have Nstagnis (sp?) in my left eye.  My primary eye care physician (don't recall exactly his degreed, or subspecialty status), refers to me as a "one-eyed" patient, and strongly suggests that the potential risk of injury to my "good" right eye outweighs any potential benefit of corrective surgery.  Is the information I've provided sufficient for you to attempt to volunteer any comment as to whether or not I should investigate corrective surgery in any form, or is there further information I could provide that might make the picture a little clearer so that I might obtain any info from you to help me in my quest for the truth as to whether or not corrective surgery is a reasonably safe option for me to consider.   Thank you for your time and consideration, even if, for whatever reason, you are able to offer me any assistance or comment regarding my situation. 

Vision correction surgery has improved greatly, but there are still situations in which the visual outcome is not as good as the patient and the surgeon would like. Furthermore the occasional incidence of complications such as scarring or unpredictable healing can interfere with ideal results from surgery.  While your odds of getting excellent vision after laser corrective surgery are very, very good, a person who relies primarily on one eye would be well advised to consider the issue very carefully before embarking on surgery.  I believe this is the advice your eye doctor has given you.

Please consider consulting the information offered on EyeSearch., as well as some surgeons in your area who perform laser corrective surgery.  Balancing the chance of a surgical outcome that is not ideal vs. is the potential benefits of surgery in your case is difficult, but should rest largely on the degree to which you feel that elimination of glasses or contact lenses is a strong motivating factor for you.  Good luck.

Question from Florida
Lear Vision Inc., until recently marketed lightweight lenses attached to ear pieces by monofilament lines, which can be adjusted for fit.  I have worn their products for about 8 years, but last year they went out of business.  The design was inspired by aviation usage ( a helmet or earphones could more comfortable be worn).  I much prefer their product to any wire frame eyeglasses I have used, and request information on similar products, if any.  Thank you.

**This company may have what you are looking for:  Suspension Eyewear - [email protected]

Question from the United Kingdom
Which companies make goggle type or other types of sports eyewear for contact sports such as martial arts and also swimming? Thank you.

**Thank you for your question regarding sports eyewear.  There are several companies that provide what you are looking for - Liberty Optical has "Sports &Swim"
                    Creative Optics - NBA Sportswear
                    Fronel - Swim
                    Silhouette - Adidas
I hope this helps, if EyeSearch. can be of further assistants, please let us know.
Best Regards.

Question from New York
I have a very high prescription.  I wear contacts, but also have a pair of glasses that are almost seven years old.  I do not like them because they are very thick.  I have heard that they now make very thin lenses for people with high prescriptions, and I would like to find out more.  If it helps, I am a -9.50.  I would also like to know if I would be able to wear the thin metal frames I see many people with low prescriptions wear.  I hate wearing my glasses so much that I avoid it at all costs, but if I could look "normal", I wouldn't mind so much.   Thank you for your time.

**Thank you for your question.  There have been vast improvements in lens materials.  Yes, it is possible for you to wear thin frames using these new materials.  However, with your prescription, you should go with a smaller eye size to reduce thickness even more. Eye size refers to the width of the frame on one side measured in millimeters.  A frame consists of 3 measurements- the eye size, the bridge size and the temple length.  You should look for a eye size of 50mm or smaller.  Regarding the lenses, 1.60 high index lenses with anti-reflection coating will give you the best appearance. Just make sure your eye is in the center of the frame and rimless frames are not recommended. Please let us know how you like your new glasses.  Best Regards.

Question from Illinois
How do you read a eye glass prescriptions what do the numbers stand for?
For example what would be a prescription for a person with 20-200 vision and
what does the prescription mean?

**Thank you for your question regarding what the numbers mean on an eyeglass prescription.  You can find the information you are looking for on EyeSearch.  http://www.eyesearch.com/eyeglasses.htm
Read the info on understanding your prescription.  If you still have questions regarding the numbers please contact us again.  A person with 20/200 vision sees at 20 feet what a person with 20/20 vision sees at 200 feet.  Most people who have 20/200 vision are nearsighted but there are lots of prescriptions for individuals who see 20/200 - for instance a person could have astigmatism, or nearsightedness and astigmatism or the person could be extremely farsighted, so much so that it affects their distance vision.  Most people with 20/200 vision are fully correctable to 20/ 20 vision with the prescription for glasses.  I hope this helps.  Thanks for using EyeSearch.   Best Regards.

Question regarding eyeglasses
What chemicals that can be used on glasses and other glassware that effects their performance?

**For glass lenses, hair spray & oven cleaner can have adverse effects.   For plastic lenses, acetone can be destructive.

Question from Tennessee
I have taken your interactive eye exam and I have discovered I cannot recognize red and green colors.  Is there any books or related help and information you could provide to overcome this problem?

As mentioned on EyeSearch., about 7% of males are red/green colorblind. Unfortunately there is no known treatment for this condition. However, it is common, as mentioned, and any book on genetic conditions or on color blindness specifically should give you more information. There may also be additional information on the web under color blindness. I hope you can find what you seek. Please contact us if you have further questions.

Question from Donna
Why are images on the retina upside down?

In the eye the light rays are focused much like they are by the lens of a camera. This means that the curvature of the cornea and the lens bends light rays from the top of an image toward the bottom of the retina and light rays from the bottom of an image toward the top of the retina. This makes the image in the retina upside down. However, because of the way in which these retinal nerve cells are connected to the brain, there is no confusion in interpreting the image.

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