We want to make sure that you receive all of the information that you need to make educated decisions about your eye health. Our optometrist, Dr. Timothy Kenkel, is always available to answer your questions. Please feel free to send us your eye care questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Can I use rebates if I purchase contacts online?
A: The contact lens manufacturers offer rebates of $60 - $200. These great rebates which the contact lens manufacturers offer are only valid if patients purchase a year’s supply of contacts from the doctor’s office, not online.
Q: My vision is blurred. Do I need to get a new prescription?
Dr. Kenkel: Dr. Kenkel: There are many people that think they need a change in their prescription because their vision is blurred, but really their vision is blurred because they have Dry Eye syndrome. Classic symptoms of dry eyes would be fluctuating vision when using a computer, because your blink rate slows when looking for extended periods of time at the screen and your not re-wetting your eye (cornea). The remedy would be to increase your blink rate by consciously remembering to blink your eyes when looking at a monitor and if need be, add a lubricant such as Systane or Blink. If your condition doesn’t improve, you should come into our office for a consultation.
Q: Why do I have to be re-evaluated for contact lenses when I've had a prescription for a long time?
Dr. Kenkel: Contacts Lenses are medical devices that fit on your cornea, if the lenses don't get enough oxygen thru them to your eyes you will have swelling in the front of the eye which can lead to eye infections. If the infection is deep enough it can scar the cornea and lead to permanent vision loss. Wearing the same brand of lens without problems in the past does not guarantee you won't have problems in the future. Subtle lack of oxygen problems can be caught by the Doctor by using a slit lamp, which might not be noticed by the patient, thereby saving the patient a major eye infection.
Q: Why should I take a picture of the back of my eye during my eye exam?
Dr. Kenkel: Retinal photography is always recommended for anyone who hasn't had pictures taken before at that eye doctor's office. It is always best to have documentation of what the back of the eye looks like for future eye exams to compare to. If a patient has medical conditions like diabetes or hypertension it can appear as a leak in the retinal blood vessels, if you have a family history of macular degeneration or glaucoma or you are suspect of these or other eye health problems, you should have the retinal photography taken.
Q: At what age should we watch out for glaucoma?
A: Glaucoma can start at any age. Generally speaking, the age group of most concern is 60 years and older, but anyone can get glaucoma.
Q: Is there something I can do to prevent getting glaucoma?
A: Glaucoma is not preventable, as far as we know. There really aren't any precautions to take or things to avoid to prevent it. It’s a matter of genetics.
Q: Why do I need routine eye exams for glaucoma if I don’t have it?
A: Usually when people are in the early stages of glaucoma they start to lose their peripheral vision but it’s not noticed by the person because when one eye loses peripheral vision, the other eye (which does not have glaucoma) will compensate for this, and the person doesn't even feel or see that they are missing any peripheral vision. Exactly for this reason, glaucoma is considered the "silent thief of sight".
People just don't feel or notice anything until they are already past mid-stage glaucoma. Only in mid-stage glaucoma people start to notice changes. There are no symptoms until mid-stage, when they may notice they have more tunnel vision. The early stages of glaucoma can only be detected by your optometrist or ophthalmologist during an eye exams.