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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent my vision from getting worse?
Take frequent eye breaks, look up and away from extended near or computer work, spend time outdoors, don’t hold reading material too close to your face, practice eye-focus skills as recommended by your doctor, and ensure you are wearing a current lens prescription.

When should a child have his/her first eye exam?
A child should have their first vision evaluation as early as 6 months old and annually thereafter unless a visual problem is suspected earlier.

How can you test my child’s eyes if he/she is not able to read letters or speak yet?
The doctor will use symbols instead of letters. Much of the testing that is done by the doctor requires little input from the child. The child’s eye exam is focused on assessment of the strength of the eyes, eye muscle status, and eye health to ensure proper vision development. Critical information can be obtained about your child’s eyes without them needing to say a word!

What are symptoms that may indicate my child is having a vision problem?
There are many symptoms that require attention. They include rubbing eyes, squinting, turning or tilting head, losing their place or using a finger to follow along when reading, moving head or mouthing words while reading, headaches, red eyes, wandering eyes, complaints of blurred vision. Many disorders have no symptoms. ALL children need eye examinations at age 3.

How often should disposable contact lenses be replaced?
Replacement time varies depending on eye health and tear chemistry, lifestyle and environmental exposure, time worn per day and days worn per week. Disposable lens replacement options can vary from daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and even quarterly. Your doctor will assess your eye health and vision status with your contact lenses to ensure you are following an appropriate wearing schedule.

Will my eyes get worse by wearing my glasses too much?
Drs. Garbus, Hovasapian, and Babaian will explain the purpose of your prescription and when they should be worn. In most cases, glasses will not cause any deterioration that would not otherwise occur. However, wearing glasses for activities different than recommended (i.e. distance glasses worn to read up close) may make the eyes work harder than they need to.

What causes cataracts?
Cataracts are largely an age-related condition, but many factors can enhance earlier onset. Ultraviolet Light exposure has a cumulative effect, as does smoking.

Does laser eye surgery correct all vision problems?
Laser eye surgery is used to correct many cases of myopia (blurred distance vision) and astigmatism safely and predictably. Laser correction of hyperopia (farsightedness) is in its advanced testing stages. Results are not as predictable, nor as successful. Presbyopia, which causes the need to wear reading glasses or bifocals, cannot be corrected by laser surgery. As a result, individuals over 45 years will require reading glasses in most cases following surgery. Amblyopia (lazy eye) or other existing conditions that have caused damage to the eye or loss of vision, cannot be repaired by laser surgery.

Can laser eye surgery correct my need to wear reading glasses?
If you have good distance vision without glasses, but need reading correction only, laser refractive surgery is not an option for you. If you wear bifocals to correct both distance and near vision, you may be a candidate to have the distance vision corrected, but still have to wear reading glasses after.

How do I know if I or my child needs an eye exam?

If any of the items on the following checklist apply to you, a comprehensive vision examination is recommended:

You observe the following behavior in yourself or your child: 

1. One eye drifts or aims in a different direction than the other (look carefully — this can be subtle). This is significant even if it only occurs when the child is tired, stressed or ill.
2. Turns or tilts head to see
3. Head is frequently tilted to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher
4. Frequent squinting or closing of one eye
5. Excessive blinking or squinting
6. Poor visual/motor skills (often called, “hand-eye coordination”)
7. Problems moving in space, frequently bumps into things or drops things
8. Appears to favor the use of one eye

While reading or doing close work you or your child: 

1. Frequently loses one’s place when reading or copying from the board or paper
2. Frequently skips words and/or has to re-read
3. Repeatedly omits small words
4. Uses finger to read
5. Rubs eyes during or after short periods of reading
6. Holds the book or object unusually close
7. Closes one eye or covers eye with hand
8. Twists or tilts head toward book or papers, etc.
9. Struggles with handwriting

You or your child frequently complain of: 

1. Only being able to read for short periods of time
2. Headaches or eyestrain
3. Nausea or dizziness
4. Motion sickness
5. Double vision