FAQ

  1. What does 20/20 vision actually mean?
  2. What is legal blindness?
  3. I have 20/20 vision. Do I still need to have regular eye exams?
  4. How often should my child have an eye exam?
  5. How often should I have an eye exam?
  6. What is astigmatism?
  7. What is nearsightedness?
  8. What is farsightedness?
  9. What are cataracts?
  10. Is poor vision hereditary?
  11. Do I need a referral?
  12. What is the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist?
  13. Will reading in dim light hurt my eyes?
  14. Will sitting too close to the TV hurt my child’s eyes?
  15. Are sunglasses good for my eyes?
  16. What does an eye doctor do during an eye exam?
  17. Will carrots help maintain good vision?
  18. What do I do if I injure my eye?
  19. What materials are available for glasses?
  20. What alternatives are available if I do not want to wear contact lenses or glasses?

1. What does 20/20 vision actually mean?

Someone with 20/20 vision is able to see what the “normal” human eye can see from 20 feet away. This is normal vision and does not require a person to use contact lenses or glasses to improve their vision.

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2. What is legal blindness?

Perfect vision is 20/20. A person is legally blind when their better eye’s best corrected visual acuity is less than 20/200. A person can also be legally blind if their side vision in their better eye is narrowed to 20 degrees or less. Although someone may be legally blind, some vision still may be useful and helpful for everyday life. Legally blind people may qualify for certain government benefits.

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3. I have 20/20 vision. Do I still need to have regular eye exams?

Even if you have perfect 20/20 vision, it is important to regularly have your eyes checked to make sure your visual acuity and eye health is as good as can be. There are several factors that can contribute to various sight problems or eye conditions, so by visiting your optometrist regularly for an eye exam will allow us to detect potential problems early and correct them, if needed, before they become more serious.

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4. How often should my child have an eye exam?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that the first vision screening be conducted for a newborn prior to being discharged from the hospital. Visual function will be monitored by your child’s pediatrician during well-child exams (usually at two, four and six months of age). If there are any signs of an eye condition, your child may be referred to an ophthalmologist. Beginning at three years of age (and yearly after five years of age), amblyopia (poor vision in an otherwise normal appearing eye), refractive and alignment screenings should take place. If you notice any signs of decreased vision or misalignment of the eye, please contact your ophthalmologist for a complete eye examination.

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5. How often should I have an eye exam?

We recommend adult examinations of the eyes be performed on a regular basis. Below is a chart with a recommended time line of how often an adult should receive an eye examination.

Ages 20-39
Ages 40-65
Ages 65 and older

Every three to five years.
Every two to four years.
Every one to two years.

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6. What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error that is a result of an irregular curve on the cornea, or the front part of the eye. This uneven curvature can cause your vision to appear blurred up close and afar.
Blurred vision due to astigmatism can be corrected with corrective lenses or contact lenses.

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7. What is nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is blurred distant vision. This hereditary condition is usually discovered in childhood and can progress as one ages, thus requiring a stronger prescription.

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8. What is farsightedness?

Farsightedness is also referred to as hyperopia. This eye condition causes up-close objects to appear blurry. This is most common among children and may improve as a person ages.

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9. What are cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye causing blurred vision. Research shows that 50 percent of all Americans will develop cataracts by age 80. We will work in conjunction with an ophthalmologist to have the cataract surgically removed and restore your vision using intraocular lenses.

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10. Is poor vision hereditary?

Yes, poor vision can be directly related to your family’s history of eye health. It is important to see an ophthalmologist at the first sign of poor vision.

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11. Do I need a referral?

No. You do not need a referral from a medical doctor to see an optometrist. Simply contact us to schedule your appointment.

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12. What is the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist?

Optometrists are specifically educated in an accredited optometry college for four years, but they do not attend medical school. Optometrists may diagnose eye conditions; however, they are usually not licensed to perform surgical eye treatment procedures.

Ophthalmologists are different than optometrists. Ophthalmologists provide comprehensive eye care, including medical, surgical and optical care. They must complete four years of premedical college, four years of medical school, one year of internship and three years of medical and surgical training in eye care.

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13. Will reading in dim light hurt my eyes?

No, there is no evidence that low light can harm the eye.

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14. Will sitting too close to the TV hurt my child’s eyes?

No, there is no evidence that television sets produce rays that are harmful to the eyes.

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15. Are sunglasses good for my eyes?

Wearing UV protective lenses can be beneficial in protecting your eyes from cataract formation. Surprisingly, clear UV coated lenses may offer more protection than darker lenses because they allow the eyes to be exposed to more light causing the pupil to constrict more, which ultimately prevents more light from entering into the eye.

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16. What does an eye doctor do during an eye exam?

We use a number of different tests and procedures to thoroughly examine your eyes. Some of these tests and procedures may include:

  • Reading an eye chart
  • Visual acuity test to measure the sharpness of your vision
  • Color blindness test to check your color vision
  • Retinoscopy to determine an approximate eyeglass prescription
  • Refraction to determine an exact eyeglass prescription
  • Slit lamp exam to evaluate the health of your eyes
  • Visual field test to check for potential blind spots in your peripheral vision

Learn more about what to expect during visit on our Eye Exams page .

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17. Will carrots help maintain good vision?

Research has shown that eating carrots will provide you with a small amount of vitamin A, which is beneficial for good vision. Vitamin A is also in other food items including milk, cheese, egg yolk and broccoli.

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18. What do I do if I injure my eye?

It is important to seek immediate medical assistance from either an ophthalmologist or primary care physician if you receive an injury to the eye. This will help reduce the risk of any permanent damage. To view some general guidelines for properly treating eye injuries, visit our
Common Problems page.

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19. What materials are available for glasses?

With the advancement in today’s technology, there are many new materials available for glasses that have helped make them virtually indestructible. Titanium frames and polycarbonate frames are two of the newest materials used. Polycarbonate materials, glass and various types of lightweight plastics are used to make the lenses. There are several types of coatings available for lenses, including UV protection (which is highly recommended for all types of lenses), polarization, anti-glare and scratch-resistant just to name a few.

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20. What alternatives are available if I do not want to wear contact lenses or glasses?

There are some procedures available to help restore your vision and eliminate your dependence on glasses and contacts. Some of these procedures include:

  • LASIK
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
  • Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK)
  • Radial Keratotomy

We can refer you to an ophthalmologist or LASIK specialist to determine which procedure would be right for you.

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