Eye Conditions FAQ

What exactly is amblyopia, or 'lazy eye'?
Frequently termed ‘lazy eye’, this condition is responsible for loss of vision in more children and young adults than all other ocular diseases combined. A report by the Preschool Children’s Vision Study concludes that “amblyopia, in principle at least, is completely preventable” if risk factors are detected in infancy or early childhood. These risk factors may include undetected refractive errors or muscle weaknesses causing eye turn.
I am noticing spots, or “floaters”, in my vision. What causes this, and is it something I should be concerned with?
First and foremost, the appearance of spots or “floaters” in one’s vision necessitates a dilated eye examination. Visual symptoms such as these are considered a true ocular emergency. In many cases, spots or “floaters” are ultimately diagnosed as a Posterior Vitreous Detachment.

The eye is composed of a clear, jelly-like substance called vitreous. The vitreous composes 80% of the inner space of the eye. This substance is tightly attached to the retina. In some cases, the vitreous separates from the retinal tissue of the eye. This may happen secondary to trauma or surgery. Additionally, the vitreous of the eye becomes thinner and more watery as we age. Thus, the separation of the vitreous from the retina may be a normal occurrence with aging. When the vitreous separates, patients often notice “squiggly lines”, “circles”, or “bugs” floating in their line of sight. As time passes, these symptoms often dissipate. However, in some cases, when the vitreous separates from the retina, it may trigger a pulling sensation or a traction on the retina. This may cause a retinal detachment, which is truly an ocular emergency. Because of this, it is imperative that any patient noticing spots or “floaters” in their vision must contact the doctor immediately.

Am I a good candidate for Lasik refractive surgery?
This question may only be answered completely with a comprehensive eye examination. However, with advances in technology over the past decade, patients with even the most complex refractive prescriptions are now candidates for Laser vision correction. Hundreds of our patients have undergone Lasik surgery over the past fifteen years, with wonderful success. Dr. Reto and Dr. Halscheid offer complimentary consultations for patients wishing to discuss the option of refractive surgery.
At what age should my child have his/her eyes examined?
The American Optometric Association recommends that all children have a comprehensive eye examination during the first year of life. We proudly participate in the InfantSEE program, a nationwide initiative that provides complimentary eye examinations for all children during the first year of life.

Vision disorders are the most prevalent handicapping condition of childhood. Because of this, we strongly recommend yearly eye examinations for all school-age children.

What is Glaucoma, and am I at risk?
Glaucoma is actually a family of ocular diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve tissue. In many cases, an increase in the internal fluid pressure of the eye is the first sign of the disease. Glaucoma is a hereditary disease, and the risks for developing this condition increase after the age of 35. Other risk factors include smoking, hypertension, diabetes, high myopic correction, history of trauma to the eye and use of systemic medications containing steroids.
What is a good age to begin wearing contact lenses?
For young children, the most important factor in determining when to begin use of contact lenses is the maturity or responsibility level of the child. Patients as young as 8 or 9 years old who are properly motivated and responsible may wear contact lenses successfully. In order to ensure that our younger patients develop the proper techniques to wear contact lenses in a healthy manner, we schedule multiple Contact Lens Teaching & Evaluation visits initially. When handled in a responsible manner, contact lenses offer a great alternative for children who are active in sports or other recreational activities.