FAQs

What should I bring to my first appointment?

Please bring any pre-completed forms, your eye doctor’s referral form, an HMO pre-authorization (if applicable) and your insurance card. A list of your current medications and dosages, as well as any relevant medical records, is also requested. Finally, you may find it helpful to prepare a list of questions you have for the doctor. 

Can I get contact lenses without a prescription?

No. Contact lenses that are ill fitted or not suited to your eye prescription can worsen your vision and lead to complications such as infection and inflammation.

If I work on a computer all day, is there anything I can do to help my eyes?

It’s good to take frequent breaks from computer work during the day, even if they’re only 10-15 minutes long. Additionally, apps and extensions are available to help filter out blue light, which can harm your eyes in large amounts and disturb your sleep cycles.

Will my eyes get worse if I constantly wear glasses/contacts?

No, wearing glasses or contacts does not contribute to any deterioration in vision.

How often should I get an eye exam?

Most eye care experts recommend that you have a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years, depending on your age, risk factors and whether you currently wear corrective lenses. Children need regular eye exams to detect vision problems that may interfere with learning.

Is there a high risk of eye infection if I wear contact lenses?

While not common, contact lenses do carry a risk of infection that glasses do not. Factors that contribute to a contact lens-related infection include:

  • Use of extended-wear lenses
  • Sleeping in your contact lenses
  • Reduced tear exchange under the lens
  • Environmental factors
  • Poor hygiene

I'm diabetic but my vision hasn't changed. Why do I need an eye test every year?

Chronically high blood sugar from diabetes is associated with damage to the tiny blood vessels in the retina, leading to diabetic retinopathy. The retina detects light and converts it to signals sent through the optic nerve to the brain. Diabetic retinopathy can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak fluid or hemorrhage (bleed), distorting vision. In its most advanced stage, new abnormal blood vessels proliferate (increase in number) on the surface of the retina, which can lead to scarring and cell loss in the retina.

What does 20/20 Vision Mean?

By looking at lots of people, eye doctors have decided what a "normal" human being should be able to see when standing 20 feet away from an eye chart. If you have 20/20 vision, it means that when you stand 20 feet away from the chart you can see what the "normal" human being can see.

What’s the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist?

1. Education

An optometrist has been trained to manage eye disease, prescribe contacts, and remove foreign bodies from the eye. Typically, an optometrist has completed four years of undergraduate education and four years in an optometry program, which focuses on improving a patient’s eyesight through the use of contacts and glasses. Courses in detecting eye disease are also a focus.

Conversely, an ophthalmologist is a trained medical doctor who has earned either an MD or a DO. Typically, they’ve spent four years in medical school, four years in undergrad, and another three years studying surgery and ways of treating diseases of the eye.

2. Focus with Patients

The overlap between the two professions can be confusing. While ophthalmologists are able to prescribe glasses and contact lenses, this is not their typical role. The focus of the ophthalmologist is to diagnose, treat, and manage ocular diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration, often through surgical means. An optometrist’s main focus is on improving the eyesight of the patient. While an optometrist may detect diseases in their patient, they will then often refer their patient to an ophthalmologist as the next step of treatment.

What languages are spoken in the offices?

Language barriers aren’t an issue. We pride ourselves on the multilingual nature of our specialists. Our doctors don’t only speak English, but we staff with fluency in Arabic, Cantonese, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi, Spanish, Taiwanese, Vietnamese and many other languages as well. You can see a list of languages spoken at each clinic as you explore our locations.

What Is A Retina Specialist?

Retina specialists are specialized eye doctors who treat only diseases of the retina. We are medical doctors that are board certified in Ophthalmology, a specialty of medicine/surgery dealing with the diseases of the eye and the surrounding tissues, including the eyelids, eye muscles, eye orbit/socket, optic nerve and the optic tracts as they run from the back of the eye to their final destination in the occipital lobe, in the back of the brain. Because of the many different aspects necessary for the proper function of the eye, ophthalmology has been divided into a number of subspecialties. One of these is the specialty of retina. To become a retina specialist requires a 2 yrs fellowship beyond the standard ophthalmology residency.

The retina specialist focuses his work on the retina, which is the sensory portion of the eye, the vasculature that supports the retina, and out of necessity, the vitreous which is the jelly material that fills the central cavity of the eye. The Retina specialist is most often called upon when vision can no longer be improved after appropriate glasses have been prescribed and/or cataract surgery to determine the cause of the persistent decreased vision, or if there is any abnormality noted in the back of the eye on routine eye examination.

Any condition in which there is decreased vision, which cannot be explained by a condition involving the eyelids, cornea, and/or lens, could involve a consultation with a retina specialist. Conditions resulting in the clouding of the vitreous can include vitreous degeneration, bleeding, inflammation/infection, and cancer. If the center of the back of the eye (the macula) is involved, the most common major problem is macular degeneration. Other macular problems include hereditary conditions, or the result of a number inflammatory conditions or infections, such as Histoplasmosis, Toxoplasmosis, AIDS, etc. These conditions may also affect the peripheral retina. Other conditions which can affect the macula include vitreomacular traction syndrome, pseudophakic macular edema, macular pucker and macular hole. Peripheral retinal conditions which would involve a retinal specialist include retinal tears and/or retinal detachments, diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, and tumors (both primary and metastatic), to mention just a few. Vascular lesions include both arterial and venous occlusive disease, which may be either central or branch, and vascular anomalies. Ocular trauma often falls into the realm of the retina specialist because there is usually bleeding into the eye with retinal damage. This type of retinal damage may include giant retinal tears, retinal dialysis, macular swelling, and retinal hemorrhage. Also when eye trauma occurs there may be a rupture of the globe and/or a foreign body within the eye.