Ask the Optometrist Q & A (2001)

Question 11/3/2001: Is there anything you can do about floaters? Sometimes I get a blurry spot when I look a certain way at the monitor or even reading a book. Can anything be done or do I just live with it
Answer: Floaters are an annoying phenomenon. Fortunately they are not pathological in nature. Most floaters can be minimized with changes in illumination. Floaters occur when there is a slight break or change in the vitreous.

Question 10/5/2001: I have been having a lot of headaches, even waking up with them, and if I go out into the sun I get an instant headache. Is this an eye problem? We have 7 kids and no insurance and not a lot of money, and if I need to get my eyes checked how much would that cost. I am getting tired of all these headaches.
Answer: With the headaches you describe you should have your eyes checked immediately. In my office a routine examination ranges from 47.00 to 83.00 depending on the diagnosis and the tests that need to be done. Do you have a history of high blood pressure? Blood pressure variations can cause the type of headache that awakens you. If finances are a problem, I can refer you to the Lion's club. They have some routine questions for approval; they help a lot of folks.

Question 9/30/2001: I’m over 40 and I can't see to read. Tried contacts-several times and they all bother me. Either too tight, or too loose, but worse than that, I can't read my computer screen at work with them on. I read "computer printouts" all day, then work on the computer; I hate taking my reading glasses off and on. Is there any hope to find the right contact? I've tried for 5 years.
Answer: Contact lenses must fit correctly on the cornea to be comfortable. Some prescriptions are harder to fit than others. Vistakon has a new bifocal contact lens that is working well for many. Don't give up on being fitted for contacts.

Question 9/28/2001: I took my 9 year old daughter to a local optometrist. He said there was nothing wrong health wise or sight wise, yet her eyes burn and she has blurred vision at school when reading! What should I do?
Answer: I suspect your daughter is hyperopic, or farsighted. If she is having problems with burning eyes after reading she may be focusing too hard. Is she having other reading problems, or difficulty in school?

Question 9/28/2001: I have an astigmatism and my current optometrist says that contacts will be hard for me to get because of this condition. I know of many other people who have this condition who have contacts. Why can't I get them?
Answer: Contact lenses can be fitted for patients who have astigmatism. They are more expensive than other contact lenses, but they are available in rigid gas permeable, soft daily wear, extended wear and disposable lenses. Contact lenses are an important investment of time and money. You should find a doctor that you communicate well with, and who is willing to meet your needs.

Question 9/11/2001: My daughter, received damage to her left optic nerve about 7 years ago. At that time the Doctors told us there was nothing they could do to repair the damage. She has lost most of her vision in that left eye. Are there any new technologies that would repair this damage? Her eye was damaged in a 4-wheeler accident. Her left eye has optic nerve damage and glasses will not help her eyesight.
Answer: Optic nerve damage is usually permanent. Does she have total vision loss or just a portion of her visual field? Presently no new treatments are available, since the optic nerve does not regenerate.