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. Yoongie Min, is always available to answer your questions. Please feel free to send us your eye care questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I just turned 44 years old but I’m starting to notice that I can’t see up close like I used to. What is happening to me and can I cure this?
Dr. Min:This is a condition called presbyopia which means that the human lens within your eye is starting to lose its ability to focus on both distance and near objects as quickly. This happens to most individuals in their early to mid forties but can be earlier or later depending on genetics and other factors. It is generally treated by using reading glasses or multifocal glasses and there are also contact lens alternatives as well. Researchers are studying different implants and medications that my help treat this condition in the future, but as of now, there is no known cure.
Q: I’m having trouble reading with my contacts. What can I do to fix this?
Dr. Sims: There are several options that we have. Today, there are many great multi-focal contact lenses that provide excellent distance and near vision. We can also prescribe mono vision which enables one eye to see for distance and the other eye can see up close objects. We recommend these solutions for anyone who currently wears contacts or someone who is interested in trying contacts but wears multi-focal glasses.
Q. My mother has developed cataracts and has been told she needs surgery. What exactly are cataracts?
Dr. Min: Cataracts are a cloudiness that develops within the human lens of our eye over time. The primary cause is aging of the eye but there are many other factors that affect cataract development such as sun exposure, diabetes, smoking, diet, trauma, and medications. Cataracts usually develop after the age of 60 but can occur at any time, infants can even be born with congenital cataracts. Cataracts are treated surgically and in this day and age, the surgery is a fast, non-painful outpatient procedure.
Q. How do I know if I have dry eyes, or my eyes are just tired?
Dr. Min: The symptoms of dry eye syndrome can include tearing, burning, and a feeling of scratching in your eye, in addition to feeling that your eyes are dry. Dry eyes can be caused by some medications, certain disases, allergies, hormones and aging, as well as other factors. There are various treatments for dry eyes, depending on the severity, and of course the underlying cause. Dry eye syndrome can be very uncomfortable, however there are treatments available that provide symptom relief almost immediately.
Q. Are there any natural treatments available for dry eyes?
Dr. Min: Diet is very important for eye health in general. Make sure you eat plenty of vegetables, including green, red and orange, and fish, especially wild salmon. Most people do not get enough Omega 3 healthy oil in their diet, so we recommend taking an Omega 3 fish oil supplement. Omega 3 has been shown to relieve dry eye symptoms, and is also important for heart and general health.
Q: My eyes are always burning and tired, what is causing this and what can I do about it?
A: These are often signs of dry eye syndrome, a very common condition that affects many people over time. Women are generally more prone to developing these symptoms and aging is often a cause as well. Dryness of our eyes is often due to a decrease in the oil production in our eyelid glands which causes the surface of the eye to become irritated. Certain medications and health issues can also contribute to dryness. There is no true cure for dryness but many treatments are available such as the use of artificial tears, nutritional supplements incorporating Omega 3, prescription medications such as Restasis, and eyelid hygiene. No single treatment works for every individual so we customize treatments for each person and their specific condition.