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  • Doug Cook

Top 10 Eye and Vision Myths

Scratches on Lenses can be Polished Out No – well not practically. Most prescription ophthalmic lenses are required to maintain a 2mm center thickness. Polishing after its initial fabrication results in a decreased thickness yielding a higher risk of shattering. In addition, the front surface of plastic lenses is custom molded on multifocals and can not be resurfaced. Even if polishing was attempted the cost would be more than a new set of lenses due to the increased labor costs. Polishing is usually reserved for large telescopic lenses or special expensive optical systems.  Another special exception may be superficial scratches on antireflective coatings.  It may be possible to remove the coating and thus the scratch if the scratch did not penetrate the lens.  The antireflective coating however disappears.

Cataract Surgery is Done with Lasers Never – almost. Yes, experimental research but nothing practical yet developed. Nearly 100% of cataract surgeries are still performed with traditional microsurgical techniques. Lasers can be used after cataract surgery to clear up cloudy membranes. This is where the confusion may often lie.

All Red Eyes are Infections It has been our experience in our office that most red eyes are due to allergies or dry eye.We see more viral than bacterial etiological causes. This is why your eye doctor can’t just call in some antibiotic. Antibiotics fight bacteria and do not kill viri or decrease allergies.

Refractive Surgery Forever Removes the Need for Eyeglasses People may assume no more visits are required to the eye doctor after refractive surgery. In fact people need MORE FREQUENT eye care after eye surgery. Refractive surgery today has a better than ever chance of eliminating your refractive error. One condition it can not cure however is Presbyopia. Presbyopia is the natural loss of focusing ability which first shows symptoms past the age of 40. Increasing working distance, eyestrain, blurred near vision are its symptoms. Presbyopia is not treatable except for corrective lenses.

Contact Lenses can be Welded to the Eye if you Weld with Them In Nope. Contact lenses actually have been found to protect the eye from severe injury. Less trauma has been observed following foreign bodies and chemical splash/burns to the eye. A contact lens has been found to act as a protective shield for the cornea often taking the brunt of damage.

Stronger Glasses can Fix Every Vision Problem “All I need is a pair of glasses that will work.” is a complaint often heard by eye doctors from patients seeking second opinions due to eye and vision conditions which have deteriorated their ability to see. Neurological problems can interfere with vision. Post-concussion syndrome frequently complicates vision problems. Cataracts interfere with a person’s ability to see. Retinal diseases like macular degeneration often cause a desire for a patient to ask the doctor for stronger glasses. Sometimes they are prescribed, but often special low vision magnifiers, electronic magnification aids and other special aids are needed.

Poor Night Vision is Infrequent This is actually our most common complaint that we hear of. Small refractive errors is #1 cause. At night the pupil dilates which causes the eye to become more sensitive to changes in an eyewear prescription. Cataracts, macular degeneration, optic nerve disease and contact lens overwear can decrease night vision as well. Nicotine has been shown to decrease the ability to dark adapt. Dirty car windshields can create a phenonema known as the Mandelbaum effect. The focusing system draws inward creating an artificial form of near-sightedness. Night myopia is a similar phenonema which can occur as well despite perfectly clear windshields. Rainy weather decreases your ability to see to drive at night. Wet roads decrease the amount of light reflected back to you from your headlights and increase the amount of light from oncoming cars. Often no detectable problems are found. Aging is a frequent cause of night vision problems. The retina takes longer to recharge its photoreceptor chemicals as we mature. Retintitis Pigmentosa, a traditional cause of night blindness is another retinal disorder which has classically been associated with poor night vision is actually very uncommon.

Eyeballs are Removed During Surgery Rarely, surgeons usually work around them. The muscles and the optic nerve are of a fixed length. Removing the eye risks avulsing (tearing) of the optic nerve.

“I’m Legally Blind Without my Glasses” By it’s definition legal blindness is 20/200 in the better eye with correction (glasses or contact lenses) or less than a 20 degree visual field in the better eye. To say you are legally blind without glasses is not in keeping with the true definition.

These Lenses are Scratch-Proof No lens yet developed is truly scratch-proof. There is always some material which can scratch a lens. A diamond can be scratched by another diamond. Lenses instead should be termed scratch-resistant. A plastic lens with a scratch-resistant lens is more durable than a lens without the coating. Glass to this date remains the most scratch-resistant material – more durable than plastic with a scratch-resistant coating.

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