We want to make sure that you receive all of the information that you need to make educated decisions about your eye health. Our eye doctors are always available to answer your questions. Please feel free to send us your eye care questions to our Tupelo, MI office.
Q: What are your office hours?
Our office is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Hours on Thursday are from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Q: What is difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?
Both are eye care professionals with doctorate training. Optometrists perform routine primary eye care, treat eye injuries and disease, as well as fit glasses and contact lenses just as ophthalmologists do. However, ophthalmologists perform both laser and non-laser eye surgeries for various eye conditions, whereas an optometrist does not. Both optometrists and ophthalmologists in Mississippi prescribe topical and oral pharmaceutical agents for the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases, infections and injuries.
Q: What is a multifocal lens implant?
Dr. Mothershed: A multifocal lens implant is a type of lens implant that a patient may choose to have during cataract surgery. This type of implant greatly reduces the need for reading glasses or bifocals after cataract surgery along with correcting distance vision as opposed to the traditional single focus implant. There are several types of multifocal implants in the market today and are not usually covered fully by medical insurance. While insurance will often cover a portion of this implant cost, there is usually a financial part that the patient is responsible for. These lens implants are optional, and not everyone is an ideal candidate for this. Your eye doctor can evaluate your pre-operative prescription and health of your eyes to help determine if a multifocal implant is right for you.
Q: What are the treatments for Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dr. Eckard: Depending on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, corneal and tear findings, there are many treatments for those with dry eyes. Among these treatments are over-the-counter lubricating artificial tears and tear gel/ointments. Also, there are studies that show nutritional supplements such as omega 3’s (fish oil) are beneficial in helping treat dry eyes. In addition to this, there are prescription treatments available to aid in dry eye discomfort such as short term use of steroid drops to reduce the inflammation associated with dryness and Restasis for long term use. Restasis helps reduce inflammation along with eventually allowing the eye to produce more tears with better tear quality. Punctal Occlusion (know as tear duct plugs) is often beneficial in dry eye patients without inflammation by partially blocking the drainage of the patient’s natural tears allowing them to remain on the surface longer to reduce the burning and redness that comes with dry eye syndrome. Two more recent dry eye treatments involve expression of the oily glands in the lids known as Lipiflow and the use of amniotic membranes to allow regenerative tissue to be placed on the corneal surface to reduce the scarring from dryness and promote healing. Your eye doctor can discuss which treatment plan or combination of plans would be most appropriate for you.
Q: What are multifocal lens implants?
Dr. Wesson: Multifocal lens implants are often used in cataract surgery to reduce the dependency upon glasses for both distance and near vision after the surgery is completed. As with other medical technology, not everyone will be a good candidate for this type of surgical implant. Patients with conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration, etc. may not receive the full benefit of these lenses. Also, some patients with corneal scarring or those with significant astigmatism are not always the best candidates for these lens implants either. Your eye care professional can help determine if this lens implant option is right for you.
Q: What is LASIK?
Dr. Eckard: LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis or laser vision correction surgery. It is a corneal surgery that is used to correct varying amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. A blade called a microkeratome or a laser (blade-free LASIK) is used to make a flap in the top layers of the cornea and then the underlying corneal lasers are re-shaped with a laser to correct the patient’s refractive error or prescription. LASIK offers patients an alternative to glasses or contact lenses.
Q: What is Glaucoma?
Dr. Mothershed: Glaucoma is a disease process of the optic nerve in the eye that causes progressive, painless and irreversible vision loss. There are various types of glaucoma and in general, it is one of the leading causes of adult blindness. Glaucoma is often, but not always, associated with increased eye pressure and reduced blood flow to the optic nerve. This condition can usually be treated with topical drops, surgery or a combination of these methods.
Q: Can I wear contact lenses if I have astigmatism?
Dr. Eckard: With today’s advances in contact lens technology, many patients with varying degrees of astigmatism can now comfortably wear contact lenses. There are many disposable types of astigmatism (toric) contact lenses available that range from daily disposable to monthly wear schedules. Even hard to fit corneas, such as post cornea transplant and keratoconus patients, have more contact lens options available to them today.
Q: Are glasses always necessary after cataract surgery?
Most patients will still require glasses for optimal vision after traditional cataract surgery, especially for near or reading vision. Some will need them for distance activities as well. However, there are different lens implants today for cataract surgery which are optional that can correct both distance and near vision prescriptions and can dramatically reduce a patient’s dependence on glasses. These are known as multifocal lens implants.
Q: Can I wear contact lenses if I have astigmatism?
With improvements in today’s soft and rigid contact lens technology, many patients can now successfully correct their astigmatism prescriptions with the use of contact lenses instead of glasses. The overall success of the patient in astigmatism contact lenses depends greatly on the type of astigmatism the patient has along with the overall health of the eye.
Q: How do I know if I am a good candidate for laser vision correction surgery (LASIK)?
Potential candidates need a thorough pre-operative examination with dilation along with various refractive and corneal measurements taken to correctly determine the desired surgical outcome. Also, the patients age, career, hobbies and lifestyle need to be evaluated in order to be a “good” candidate for vision correction surgery. Of further importance in determining one’s potential success is the overall health of the patient’s eyes. Finally, LASIK surgery can correct small to moderate amounts of hyperopia (far-sightedness) and astigmatism along with small, moderate and sometimes large amounts of myopia (near-sightedness).
Q: How quickly are glasses ready at your facility?
Many prescriptions can be processed from start to finish and ready to be dispensed on the same day as the patient visit. Other special order prescription lenses and/or those with anti-reflective (non-glare) coatings can take up to 10 days to process.
Q: What type of contact lenses do you carry “in-stock”?
Our contact lens department keeps an “in-stock” supply of Acuvue, Acuvue Oasys and Vision Care contact lenses. We also have a variety of diagnostic contact lenses in other brands for both disposable and extended wear along with those for astigmatism. Among these are Air Optics Night and Day, Pure Vision, Proclear, and Acuvue Advance. Our contact lens department also carries a variety of bifocal/multifocal soft contact lenses including Acuvue Oasys for Presbyopia and Bausch and Lomb Multifocal lenses. Other specialty fit and custom order contact lenses are available through our contact lens department.
Q: Does a routine eye examination also check for diseases of the eye?
Yes, a comprehensive eye exam checks not only the prescription of the eyes for both distance and near, but also provides a thorough evaluation of both the external and internal segments of the eye. Conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, hypertensive and diabetic retinal complications, and others are routinely checked for with this type of examination.
Q: If I have a question concerning insurance coverage for an eye examination or emergency treatment, who do I need to speak with?
Both our business/insurance department as well as the front desk reception area can answer most questions on the insurance plans that we participate in. These departments are readily available during our normal business hours each week.
Q: Am I a candidate for gentle corneal molding (EZM)?
A comprehensive eye examination is necessary to determine if a patient has the appropriate prescription and corneal health for gentle molding. This procedure uses specially designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses to re-shape the patient’s cornea according to their prescription during sleep. This is a non-invasive, continual process that can correct small to moderate amounts of myopia (near-sightedness) and small amounts of astigmatism. Many patients finds this a unique alternative to laser vision correction.
Q: Can diabetes or hypertension affect my eyes?
Yes, these conditions can cause adverse retinal problems such as hemorrhaging, ischemia (lack of oxygen) and metabolic “leakages” that can damage the retina in the back of the eye. Even with good visual acuity, patients with diabetes and/or hypertension should have their eyes examined at least once per year.
Q: What is a cataract?
A cataract is the thickening and clouding of the natural lens of the eye usually resulting in blurred or dimmed vision. The decrease in vision due to a cataract may be worse in different lighting. Sometimes a cataract can cause a decrease in color vision as well as depth perception.
Q: Why is it necessary to have my eyes checked yearly if I am a diabetic?
Yearly comprehensive eye exams with a retinal evaluation are important to detect areas of blood and lipid leakage (hemorrhages and exudates) from the retinal blood vessels. This is called diabetic retinopathy and without proper treatment, it could lead to severe vision loss.
Q: What are floaters?
Floaters are the visual perception of “dots, spots, strings and cobwebs, etc.” that seem to drift or swim in a patient’s vision. They often move more when the patient shifts their gaze in different positions and are more noticeable around bright backgrounds. While most floaters are normal and not harmful, they can be associated with more serious retinal conditions such as tears or detachments. A patient experiencing new floaters should have a thorough retinal evaluation to make sure there are no other complications affecting the eyes.
Q: What can be done about droopy eyelids?
Droopy eyelids known as dermatochalasis or blepharochalasis can often be treated surgically. This condition produces a “baggy appearance” to the upper and sometimes lower lid tissue. Chronic lid inflammation, rubbing and genetic makeup can lead to the excess folds in the lid skin resulting in the droopy appearance. With surgery, most patients will notice an improvement in their superior peripheral vision as well as improved cosmesis.
Q: What is a “Stye”?
A stye, or hordeolum as it is called, is an infection of the oily or sweat glands of the eyelid. Some of these glands are at the edge of the lid at the base of the lashes and some are in the deeper areas of the lid. External hordeolums are usually small, tender red lesions that often have a pustular component. Internal hordeolums are also tender, larger and are found in the deeper glands of the eyelid. Styes are usually caused by Staphylococcus Aureus and are treated with topical and oral antibiotics. Drainage may be needed in more severe cases.
Q: What are the signs of a retinal detachment?
A detachment of the retina may be preceded by flashes of light, increased “floater” spots in the vision or areas of “wavy, distorted vision”, etc. Most retina detachments are painless. They can happen as a result of recent or past trauma such as falls, automobile accidents or other types of head injury. In some instances, people may be at risk for retina detachments based on family history and increased nearsightedness. If you experience any of the above symptoms, consult your eye care professional as soon as possible.
Q: Why do I have difficulty with my bifocal glasses while working on my computer?
On a desk top computer monitor, many people have difficulty using their bifocals because they are looking through the top or distance portion of their glasses with the monitor being usually at eye level. To compensate, patients often have to tilt their head upwards to bring the bifocal into view and sometimes move closer. Most computer monitors are positioned outward at a greater distance than the everyday reading distances for other activities. One solution for this is to have a separate bifocal computer prescription. In this case, the top part of the glasses has the appropriate power for the monitor at whatever specific distance it is from the eye. The bottom portion of the glasses is the traditional bifocal power for regular near viewing. Also, anti-reflective coatings help reduce eye fatigue and glare from prolonged computer use.
Q: Why Do eye vitamins help stop macular degeneration?
While there is no definitive cure for macular generation, only treatments to halt or slow the progression, eye vitamins are shown in some studies to help strengthen the macula and aid in keeping this central area of the retina stable. Vitamins for this condition need to be rich in Lutein, Zeaxanthine, and Omega 3’s such as fish oil. Most vitamins for the eye can be found over the counter without a prescription.
Q: What are the latest trends in Contact Lenses?
Many contact lens manufacturers are now producing “daily” disposable contact lenses. These are lenses that are inserted in the morning and thrown away at night. This style of contact lens wear is both convenient and healthy. With these lenses, patients buy less solutions and don’t have to keep up with how old their lenses are and when to change them. Daily disposables are also beneficial in causing less allergy and dryness while reducing the risks of infection. Daily lenses are now offered in all types of prescriptions from distance vision to astigmatism and multifocal/bifocal prescriptions.
Q: Why do most people need reading glasses or bifocals beginning some time in their 40’s?
Depending As the eye changes with the natural aging process, the crystalline lens of the eye that we are born with along with the muscle fibers that are attached to it lose their ability to contract and focus the lens on near tasks such as reading, sewing, computer and cell phone work, etc. While this is frustrating to many patients, it is completely natural and occurs slowly for most over a period of years. The use of reading glasses, bifocal glasses and contact lenses are beneficial to many to help with these changing daily activities.
Q: If I have had cataract surgery, can I get another cataract later?
Once a person has had cataract surgery in either eye, another cataract cannot develop. The natural lens that has become cloudy and thicker (cataract) is removed and replaced with a clear lens implant. After this procedure, the natural membrane that is left in place behind the lens implant can become hazy, filmy or blurry and is often referred to as a “secondary cataract” or “after cataract”, but a repeat cataract surgery is not required. This cloudiness to the membrane/lens implant is a normal process and can be remedied simply with an in-office laser procedure without the hassle of having having to take any post-operative medications. The laser procedure, called a Yag capsulotomy is covered by medical insurances in most cases and only takes several minutes to perform.
Q: If one of my parents has glaucoma, does that mean I will develop it as well at some point?
Dr. Sonya Miles: Having a parent with glaucoma does not mean that the child will automatically develop the condition too. However, those people with an immediate family history (parents, siblings) of glaucoma are at more risk to develop this disease. Patients should have a comprehensive eye examination each year to evaluate the health of the eyes and to look for signs of glaucoma. Some of these signs can be an increase in the pressure of the eyes as well as changes to the appearance of the optic nerve. Many times there are no symptoms noticed by the patient. If there is suspicion of glaucoma, more frequent visits to the eye doctor along with additional nerve testing are often required.
Q: What does the Dry Eyes examination consist of?
Our eye care professionals use varying methods of determining if a patient has dry eyes and to what level their dryness is at. This may be simply looking at the patient at the microscope (slit lamp) or using gentle dyes such as sodium fluorescein, rose bengal and lissamine green dyes (for ocular surface staining) that determine the location and severity of the dryness. Other dry testing includes the use of Tear Lab Osmolarity and Schirmer tear strip evaluation.
Q: Are some people more prone to having Dry Eyes than others?
Yes. Women tend to present with more dry eye symptoms along with contact lens wearers. People in dry, dusty outdoor environments are also more likely to present with these symptoms. Many patients who use chronic blood pressure medications, anti-depressants and allergy medications are at more risk for dry eye too. Dry eye is often seen more often in sleep apnea patients with the use of CPAP devices.
Q: What are the negative effects of Blue Light?
Blue light causes increase eye fatigue and strain after prolonged exposure to cell phone screens and computer monitors. Studies have shown that blue light exposure can disrupt circadian rhythms of the body causing poor sleep patterns. The circadian rhythms are affected due to lower levels of melatonin secretion following prolonged blue light. This has been linked to changes or spikes in blood sugar at night as well as increased cancer risks due to lower levels of melatonin.
Q: What is meant by the term low vision?
Low vision is when a patient’s vision is not correctable with traditional glasses or contact lenses to usually 20/40 or better. Most low vision patients have vision much worse than this though. Often this is from conditions such as corneal scarring, macular degeneration, glaucoma and other conditions affecting the retina and/or optic nerve.