Most common questions about vision, eye disease and surgery in children and adults.
Although reading in dim light can make your eyes feel tired, it is not harmful.
Using a computer, or video display terminal (VDT), is harmful to the eyes.
Although using a VDT is associated with eyestrain or fatigue, it is not harmful to the eyes.
If you use your eyes too much, you wear them out.
You can use your eyes as much as you wish-they do not wear out.
All eye care providers are the same.
- An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.), uniquely trained to diagnose and treat all disorders of the eye. An ophthalmologist is qualified to perform surgery, prescribe and adjust eyeglasses and contact lenses, and prescribe medication.
- An optometrist (O.D.) is not a medical doctor, but is specially trained to diagnose eye abnormalities, and prescribe, supply and adjust eyeglasses and contact lenses. In most states, optometrists are qualified to treat certain eye disorders.
- An optician fits, supplies, and adjusts eyeglasses and contact lenses. An optician cannot examine the eyes or prescribe eyeglasses or medication.
Eye exercises help with learning or reading problems and cure most forms of strabismus.
Eye exercises and tinted lenses do not help with learning or reading problems. In addition, eye exercises may help in only a few instances of eye alignment problems.
Wearing poorly fit glasses damages your eyes.
Although a good glasses fit is required for good vision, a poor fit does not damage your eyes.
Wearing poorly fit contacts does not harm your eyes.
Poorly fit contact lenses can be harmful to your cornea (the window at the front of your eye). Make certain your ophthalmologist checks your eyes regularly if you wear contact lenses.
You do not need to have your eyes checked until you are in your 40s or 50s.
There are several asymptomatic, yet treatable, eye diseases (most notably glaucoma) that can begin prior to your 40s.
Safety goggles are more trouble than they're worth.
Safety goggles prevent many potentially blinding injuries every year. Keep goggles handy and use them!
It's okay to swim while wearing soft contact lenses.
Potentially blinding eye infections can result from swimming or using a hot tub while wearing contact lenses.
Children outgrow crossed eyes.
Children do not outgrow truly crossed eyes. A child whose eyes are misaligned has strabismus and can develop poor vision in one eye (a condition known as amblyopia) because the brain turns off the misaligned or "lazy" eye. The sooner crossed or misaligned eyes are treated, the less likely the child will have permanently impaired vision.
A cataract must be ripe before it can be removed.
With modern cataract surgery, a cataract does not have to ripen before it is removed. When a cataract keeps you from doing the things you like or need to do, consider having it removed.
Cataracts can be removed with lasers.
Cataracts cannot be removed with a laser. The cloudy lens must be removed through a surgical incision. However, after cataract surgery, behind the artificial lens may become cloudy. This membrane can be easily opened with laser surgery.
Eyes can be transplanted.
The eye cannot be transplanted. It is connected to the brain by the optic nerve, which cannot be reconnected once it has been severed. The cornea can be transplanted. Surgeons often use plastic intraocular lens implants (IOL’s) to replace natural lenses removed during cataract surgery.
All children with small amounts of farsightedness, astigmatism, and nearsightedness need glasses.
Eyeglasses are necessary only when the vision of the eye(s) is significantly reduced or, in some cases, when the eyes cross due to excessive farsightedness.
Adults with strabismus can’t be helped.
Adults with strabismus have multiple options to improve or correct the alignment of their eyes. An ophthalmologist trained in Pediatric Ophthalmology in many cases will treat adults with strabismus.