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EyeSearch is a Guide to Vision and the Eye, including information on glasses, contact lenses, eye diseases, eye surgery, laser surgery, including laser vision correction, and directories of eye specialists nationwide, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians and low vision services

Questions are answered by:
Certified Ophthalmic Technician (*)
a Licensed Dispensing Optician
and a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (***).

Answers are published on EyeSearch or emailed directly to the individual.

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Question from Nashville, TN
*I noticed yesterday evening (close-up, inserting contacts)that since Friday of last week, my eye color has changed noticeably. (From very brown to almost completely very green--one small patch of brown remains on upper left pupil)I am not taking any medications or had any significant changes in my diet in several months. Is this an indication of an unforeseen eye malady or just incredible luck with no harmful side-effects??? Please advise. Thank you

You should make an appointment to see an ophthalmologist to make sure that everything with your eyes are okay. It is odd that it has occurred so rapidly. See an eye doctor to make sure everything is okay.

Question from Middletown
*I have written to you before and you answered my question very thoroughly.  But I really need to know the answer to this question.  Do you have any idea why I keep seeing these white lights on both sides of my eyes occasionally?   I see this pretty often.  If it's dark, then I see them more seems like.   I just got glasses this month.  He checked my retina and for glaucoma and all that stuff, and everything was okay.  I just am a little near-sighted and have overly stressed out eyes he said.  But, I forgot to ask him about these white lights I keep seeing.  Thanks for your help!!

What you are experiencing could be an ocular migraine. It is hard to tell from your description if that is what is happening. Ocular migraines typically can last 20-30 minutes and are sometimes followed by a slight headache, although some people never experience the headache. You usually can’t tell which eye the aura is coming from even though it might be off to the right or the left. If your eye exam was normal, try calling your eye doctor with more specifics and see what he/she recommends.

Question from Poway, CA, USA
*When I apply medicated eyedrops to my eyes, I can taste the medication in the back of my throat. Is there an anatomical connection between the eye and the throat? What else could explain this phenomena?

There certainly is a connection between our eyes, nose and throat. That is why when we cry our nose runs. It is very common for people to taste eye drops. The drop enters your tear duct and into your nose and then the back of your throat.

Question from Alta Loma, CA USA
*My 3 1/2 Year old son has seen a pediatric opthamologist about reaccuring lumps on his eye lids and under the lower lashes.  Large, red, ugly things that sometimes turn pussy. He likened it to a build up of "Crisco". His only suggestion was hot compresses or removal using a needle, not recommended for a toddler.   Any other suggestions?  I can't recall the medical name for these lumps, your guess? Thank you for your time.

The lump is called a chalazion, which is an occluded oil gland. Hot compresses are used to try and help the oil gland open up and drain. Sometimes medication can be prescribed in addition to the hot compresses. Call your son’s eye doctor to see if additional medication could be used.

Question about Light Sensitivity
*I am very sensitive to bright lights I get an instant headache, this can be headlights, camera flashes, fluorescent light I had my eyes dilated, he said everything was okay, any suggestions?

What color are your eyes? People with lighter color eyes are prone to more light sensitivity and this can worsen with age. Also, your pupils might not constrict as much in the dark causing more light to enter the eye. This is not a problem other than it makes us more sensitive to light. It is good that you had an eye exam and your eyes are healthy.

Question from New York City
*I am 46 years old, am nearsighted, and my reading vision is changing.  My eyesight has recently become noticeably worse (lack of precision, blurring) and, an opthalmologist I went to thinks my lenses (natural ones within my eyes) are clouding, i.e., that I am beginning cataracts.  #1Does she need to rule out other eye conditions?  #2 Is microincision surgery a general or specific procedure?   #3  Is there a procedure of choice, if, in fact, cataracts are my problem?   #4 She told me to come back in four months; should I wait that long? I do not want to risk further deterioration!  Thank You for your reply.

Please read the information on EyeSearch regarding cataracts and cataract surgery at http://www.eyesearch.com/cataract.htm and http://www.eyesearch.com/cataract.surgery.htm .
If you have any additional questions please feel free to email us again.

Question from Follansbee, WV, USA
*I have a tumor on the scalara of my left eye.  I went to a specialist and expected him to take a biopsy but he said he didn't feel it was necessary at this time.  I didn't feel this was right since if it is cancer every day counts what do you think?

You could always get a second opinion.  Certain tumors have characteristics and look a certain way.  Maybe your doctor would like to watch it for changes but feels at this time it looks benign.  If you are worried try calling your eye doctor and voicing your concerns.

Question about Laser Surgery
*I am exploring suitability of laser surgery to correct my vision. In the course of my search for specialists I reached your site.  I am giving below relevant details which you might need for any prognosis. I am a 29 years old man.
Height : 5' 7"   Weight : 80 Kgs.
Vision : Right  :     - 1.5 D       corrected to 6 / 6
             Left     :     -  9.0 D      corrected to 4 / 60
Both the lenses are spherical only.
Doctors tell me that my left eye is passive / lazy and does not respond to any stimulus. They advise me to use contact lenses to arrest any further deterioration. In case of laser surgery ( lasik / excimer ) while they suggest me to go for it, the reasons appear to be more cosmetics and none of them are able to commit any improved vision in my left eye.   I seek your advice on the issue. In case you need any more information, please do let me know.

When an eye is lazy or amblyopic, having vision correction surgery will not change the vision. It would eliminate the need for a strong prescription on the left eye but you probably will not see any better than you do with your glasses or contacts now. Please read the information on EyeSearch about amblyopia by typing it in on our search engine.

Question from Nashville, TN, USA

The person very much needs to see an ophthalmologist.  At age 78 it could be many things including a neurological disorder, or glaucoma.   Please try and talk her into seeing a doctor.

Question from Bainville, MT, USA
*Hi.  I've asked you 2 previous questions and you have gotten back to me quickly, thank you.  But I have a few more questions.  I'm 16 and have had trouble with my soft contact lenses (in just my right eye) for 2 months.   The doctor said I had a stye and treated and then said I had some more little bumps.  He gave me Patanol and I used all of that.  The doctor said I should get a second opinion and the other doctor I went to said I had dry eye and that I should put eye drops in atleast 6 times a day.  I have to put them in atleast 3 times an hour.   My eye has slowly gotten better, but it still doesn't feel right.  In my right eye, it feels like there's something in the top of my eye lid whenever I look up.   I've been using hot packs and I'm not really sure if that's helping.  They put yellow drops in my eyes to check if I had any scratches and I had none.  Please help me.  What should I ask the doctor to do?

Please call your doctor and ask if you have any scar tissue that could be affecting your eye comfort. Also ask if any other type of contact lenses would be more comfortable.

Question from Ruwi, Muscat, Oman
*I am a 36 year old woman.  My left eye is getting tired sometimes.  A sort of tightness feeling happens frequently.  If I concentrate somewhere for some time, I feel tired too. Can you please answer my issue?

It is hard to say from your description but you could be experiencing eye dryness, especially if it occurs when you eyes are tired or you have been reading. You might try over the counter lubricating drops and see if your eye feels better. If that doesn’t help you should see an eye doctor.

Question from Canada
*My eyesight is very poor (-5.25 on the left eye, and -5.50 on the right eye).  I was wondering if the lazer surgery can be performed successfully on my eyes.  If so, would I be able to see 20/20 vision?  Thanks!

Yes, a person with your prescription would be a good candidate for vision correction surgery.  Please read the information on Eyesearch on http://www.eyesearch.com/vision.surgery.htm

Baring any other eye diseases or conditions you could have excellent results.  Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions.

Question from Rochester, NY, USA
*I was just wondering what the names of the instruments were that an ophthalmologist uses, like the one that checks eye pressure, the one with which the doctor can look at the back of the retina, the one which can determine the prescription of glasses, etc.  Thanks so much.

The instrument most ophthalmologist use to check eye pressure is call a tonometer.  The instrument used to determine a prescription for glasses is a phoropter or refractometer.

Two different instruments are used to exam the retina. The first is a direct ophthalmoscope. This instrument is also used by primary care physicians to look in the eye on a general health physical. The second is called an indirect ophthalmoscope and requires a wide-angle lens to view the retina.

Question from San Pedro, CA, USA
*I have been diabetic for 19 years and under control. In 1996 I had the laser surgery for retinopathy in both of my eyes. Since the last two surgeries on my left eye, the eye has become lazy and the dimensions are smaller and darker than the right. It is as if I were looking at a letter with my left eye and it appears to ben in 6 font while the right views it in 12 font. This is all complicated by the fact that I am now very sensitive to light and darkness. Can this be corrected with medicine or another type of surgery?

Please make an appointment to see your eye doctor to discuss your symptoms. Do you currently wear glasses if so it might be that your prescription needs updating? Sensitivity to light could indicate inflammation in the eye. Your eye doctor will be able to tell you what type of treatment would be best for your eyes.

Question from Indiana, USA
*I have been wearing eye contacts for about a week now  I just started wearing  them.  My problem is, when I first put them in that first day at the eye doctors, both eyes were perfect, my eyes adjusted to the contacts right away and I couldn't feel the contacts at all.  But through the week, I have been having trouble with my left eye.  I can feel the contact in the eye, it isn't a pain or anything like that, I just feel the edge of it or something when I look up or turn my eye or blink, but my right eye has remained perfect, I can't feel it at all.  It isn't a pain that I feel in the left eye, its just a feeling of awareness, I feel the edge, it doesnt hurt but is quite annoying.  I have spoken to a few friends and they said they had that problem in the beggining too, one eye being very sensitive while the other eye was perfect.  They said that the doctor just said that they would get used to it and they wouldn't feel it after awhile.  But if I had to just get used to it why did it feel perfect that first day, but now, days later that I should have even been MORE used to it than I was that first day, do I feel it now? Is this true?  Or do I need a bigger sized contact because I have noticed that you cannot see the edge of it around the colored part of the eye very much as you can with other peoples contacts when I look at my eyes in the mirror.  My doctor even said that first day I put them in that these were the least expensive kind, and that they only came in one size and he would try them on me, but I might have to get a different pair if they gave me trouble. My question is am I in fact having trouble or is it just a common thing and I will just have to get used to it? The irritation gets less as the day go on, it is pretty bad in the morning, but late in the afternoon it finally becomes not so bad, but still a little annoying.  What should I do? Thanks

I just sent a question, but I remembered another question.  Okay, when I wear my contacts I often start to see whiteness and blurryness, meaning my contacts are coming of my eye or just moving away a little bit or something, and I have to blink several times to get my eyes to see normal again.  It happens quite repeatedly, is this normal??  I don't remember the contacts doing this at first, they are the soft 2 weeks  disposable kind.  Have I stretched the contacts out or something while I was cleaning them or something?  Thanks

Please contact the eye doctor and make an appointment for a contact lens check. Most the time this is a no charge visit if you purchased the lenses there. Sometimes the more you wear your contacts the more you know about how they are going to fit. It is similar to buying a pair of shoes. They might feel great in the store but after you walk around in them all day you find out they are not as comfortable as they were at first. It is true that sometimes it just takes getting used to wearing contact lenses but it sounds like the lens is moving around too much. Make sure you are not wearing the contact lenses inside out. Sometimes with disposable lenses it is hard to tell whether the lens is inside out or not.
Please see your eye doctor. Contact us if you have additional questions. Good luck with your contact lenses.

Question from Payson, UTAH
*My father, a 79 year old, recently had catarct surgery.  He was in a great deal of pain for the first three days and was unable to see at all.   It's now week 5 and we found out the lens had slipped.  Now he has to see another doctor to have the lens removed from behind his eye.  We are very leery now of any further surgery on him.  Because of his age.  Is there any possibility he will be able to see again out of that eye?  ( The doctors are telling us there should be sight.  But after this, again we are very leery.  Should we be seeing other specialists or what?

It certainly never hurts to get a second opinion. The ophthalmologist that would be removing the lens should be very helpful in answering any questions you might have regarding your dad's vision. Best wishes to your father.

Question from Aloha, OR, USA
*I was diagnosed with KC and my eye doctor recommended going back to hard contact lenses.  She is also recommending punctal plugs to help keep my eyes from drying out so much.  Is this a common procedure?

You might want to take it one step at a time and try the contacts she suggested first and if that doesn’t help then you could consider punctal plugs. There are silicone punctal plugs that are temporary, which could be inserted to see if your eyes feel better. I would consider this first before doing permanent punctal occlusion. Punctal occlusion can be common for individuals with extremely dry eyes. You could also try not wearing any contact lenses for awhile and see if things get better.

Question from Hollywood, California  USA
*I have a friend who was attacked over a year ago, and as a result was blinded in his right eye.  He has seen may board certified eye surgeons in the area, who have all given him a thumbs-down on every regaining sight in that eye.  All have encourged him to have it removed, in that it is slowly rotting in the socket.   He has also complained of pain and sensitivity to sun light.  Just recently he has entertained the idea of having it removed and getting a prosthetic eye ball.

Currently the blinded eye does still move in tandum with the healthy eye.  And it also blinks and has working tear ducts.

I'm interested in knowing the following about the likely changes in his eye functions, once he goes through with the surgery.
Will a prosthetic move in tandum with the healthy eye?
Will he likely be able to maintain his ability to blink?
Is the eye likely to still tear?
Can one sleep with a prosthetic in?
Are they heavy?
And finally, what anchors them in?  Thank You in advance for your help.

Sometimes an eye that becomes blind due to trauma can become painful and has to be removed. It is only the eye that has to be removed. The lids and tear ducts stay intact. He will be able to blink just as he does now. The prosthesis can stay in all the time, except for occasional polishing if necessary. Many advances have been made in prosthetics which has helped with movement, also the color is matched almost identical to his other eye making it very hard to tell when someone wears a prosthesis. Your friend’s surgeon will be able to recommend someone when the time comes. Best regards to your friend.

Question from Baxter, MN, USA
*My right eye frequently feels like I have something in it on the bottom. The doctor said I have small bumps (everybody does), but mine are harder so they irritate my eye (daily). He said surgery may be necessary. I have had this for over 6 months. Does this info sound accurate?  What is the condition called? What is the surgery like? Thank you

It sounds like what you are describing is call a chalazion. A chalazion is an occluded oil gland and can occur on the upper or lower eyelids. The surgery is called a chalazion excision, which involves making a small incision on the inside of the eyelid and removing the bump. It typically is done in the doctor’s office and does not take very long. The area is first made numb by injecting the same numbing medication used in a dentist office. Once the area is numb you should not feel the procedure.

Question from Pensacola, FL, USA
*I am quite concerned with my right eye.  I am a 37 year old male.  About 6 months ago, I noticed a blurring in my right eye vision.   I wear contacts.  My eye doctor has done all the standard tests, ruling out glaucoma, cataracts, etc.  The problem is I have double vision in my right eye.   I can see okay in bright sunshine, but the dimmer it gets the more noticeable the double vision (a ghost-like image that goes diagonally downward left).  He has no clue, except for possible neurological damage.  Do you have any ideas?  Thanks

Monocular diplopia or double vision out of one eye is usually caused from uncorrected astigmatism or a cataract. Most people who experience diplopia usually notice it with both eyes open. If you close your left eye and still see double, maybe you have a slight correction for astigmatism that your current contact lenses do not correct for. If your current doctor feels it could be neurological, you could make an appointment to see a neuro-ophthalmologist.

Question from Honolulu, Hawaii
*My twelve year old son injured his eyes (UV Keratitis) when he failed to use the proper eye protection while welding.  Should I be concerned about any long term damage?

This probably has not caused any long-term damage, but repeated flash burns from welding can. Hopefully, he realizes the importance of proper eye protection now.

Question from New York
*Do your eyes grow?

Yes, our eyes grow as we grow and usually stop in our late teens. That is why many people find out they are nearsighted around 3rd grade or so. As they grow, their eyes grow making them myopic.

Question from Tucson, AZ

It sounds like you could have had a vitreous detachment. This is not a problem as long as the vitreous doesn’t cause a tear in the retinal, when it separates. The eye doctor you visited did not find a retinal tear but did find a separation. It also sounds like you could have macular degeneration, although from the information provided it is hard to say. You can read all the information on EyeSearch at http://www.eyesearch.com/macular.degeneration.htm and regarding cataracts at http://www.eyesearch.com/cataract.htm . It is always helpful to get a second opinion. I am sure your eye doctor or your regular medical doctor can recommend an ophthalmologist in your area.

Question from Durango, CO
*I am experiencing swelling over my left eye lid.  I have visited an ENT, allergist, infectious disease specialist, two opthamoligists, a dermtologist and an internal medicine specialist. No one can explain this swelling.   I am a 56 year old male living in SW Colorado with many known environmental, contact (animals such as cats and dogs) and food allergies.  A left orbital/skull MRI to rule out sinus or bone disorder resulted in the following: "there is no intracranial masses or shift in midline structures and no extra axial fluid collections are identified.

Incidental note is made of mucous retention cyst or polyp within the anteromedial aspect of the left maxillary sinus."  Vision in both eyes is normal.  I have had no discomfort from the swelling.  Recently we vacationed to Albuquerque, NM and stayed in a Holiday Inn with indoor pool. After considerable underwater swimming with eyes open, the eye was swollen considerably more than usual with swelling extended below my left eye.  Swelling is most notable upon waking and seems to swell portionately with the amount of time spent lying down.  This less sleep I get, the less swelling takes place.  The swelling appears to be increasing very slightly over time. First noticed this occurring about eight months ago.  Anything you can tell me would be greatly appreciated.

I am scheduled for plastic surgery to take a piece of the tissue and fluid for biopsy and analysis. Would rather not have surgery that is non-specific. I don't mind surgery that is going after a specific disorder, but with the possibility that "it might get worse" after the surgery, I am not at all comfortable with this plan of action.  
Right now it is all I have to go on. Surgery is scheduled for the second week of April. Incidentally, lab work was done with (spelled phonetically) eocynophil and basil cynophil levels returned normal.

If you haven’t already you might try getting another opinion from an oculoplastic ophthalmologist.  Good luck to you.

Question from Arlington, TX, USA
*With my right eye looking at a white background I see a pear shaped grey
object. As I move my focus this object follows. Looking at a light such as
an l-e-d clock my left eye sees it as bright and my right eye see it as half
as bright. Is this something that will go away or should I have it checked
into? Thanks.

Please make an appointment with an ophthalmologist if you haven’t already. Please explain the symptoms you are having when you call to make the appointment. It sounds like you are having a vitreous floater, which should be examined.

Question from San Mateo, CA, USA
*For a long time I have had floating spots in my vision. I am 39 and they seem to be getting worse. They are very annoying when I am outside. What causes this and is there anything I can do to reduce them?  Thank You

If your floaters seem to be getting worse you should have them checked by an ophthalmologist. Also, please read the information on EyeSearch on floaters at http://www.eyesearch.com/disorders.diseases.questions.htm.   If you have any additional questions do not hesitate to contact us again.

Question from Amarillo, TX
*When surgically removing a chalazion on lower eye lid and a week after you still have it does it mean the doctor did not remove it properly?

No, it does not mean it wasn’t removed properly but you should have the surgeon take another look at it. I am sure if you call the office and tell them you think it is still there, your doctor will want to see you. In the mean time you might try to use hot compresses on the area. 

Question from California
**I'm 47 and when I read the print is too small.  So I bought some 1/2 glasses at the store at 1.50 strength and they work great.  How long can I do this, or do I have to get REAL glasses?  I know my eyes are changing with age, but can you clarify for me. I seem to be able to see the print better with alot of light too.   I do a lot of close up work, I'm an artist and work on the computer.  Thank you for your feedback.

You can continue with the drug store half eyes until you feel you need stronger glasses or you can see your eye doctor.  He can test your eyes and prescribe the glasses that will not only give you near vision but will also correct for any astigmatism that you may have.  This is especially important for you in your art.  What you are experiencing is just the natural aging process of the eyes.

Question from Florida
**I have an astigmatism and a lazy eye.  I have worn glasses since I was very young. I have worn contacts for about 12 years.  My question is, is it okay to regularly switch back between wearing contacts and glasses?  Or is that bad for your vision?  Can it alter your prescription?

You can switch between eyeglasses and contacts as much as you want.  This does not harm your eyes any way.  Sometimes people find it is not comfortable to switch between the two but it doesn't harm your eyes.

Question from Minnesota
**I am doing a report for school on who wears glasses more boys or girls.  I was wondering if you had information on this topic.  Like the actual percentage of boys and girls that do wear glasses or if you know of any other sites that I could look at for this information. Thanks

I am sorry I do not know what the percentage of glasses worn by girls vs. boys and I do not know where you can get those figures.  In my practice it is about 50/50.

Question from Nebraska
**I am the NCOIC of our Police Bike Patrol and I wanted to purchase safety and sun glasses for our section.  I want sunglasses for the day and safety glasses for at night in case if someone should fall from their bike it would protect against something getting in their eyes.  Do you have or know where I could get samples to show at a presentation so they can see how it will look in uniform?

There are a couple of ways you can get samples.  You can try a local safety equipment store for your needs or your local optician can help you.  If all else fails call me at 206-215-2017 and I will get you the samples that you need. 

Question from California
**Do you have any suggestions on activities that can be used in the classroom that center on wearing glasses?  Many children fear wearing their glasses because of the stereo-types of wearing glasses.  Any information will be grateful.  Thank you.

I have been unable to obtain the visuals that your requested.  You could try a E-Mail to [email protected] or stop by a local optical shop to see if they have any ABC eyes posters.

Question from Texas
*Hi, I have a problem with my right eye, it will turn red and hurt real bad it throbs and twitches and I get these very sharp pains in my even whenever it's not red.  It even makes me get these sharp pains next to my eye and down the back of my head.  Back in 1985 I had the real bad reddness hurting in my right eye so I went to an opthalmologist and he said I had Iritis and treated me with dialating drops for two weeks and eye drops pred G. He treated me for several years.  Well anyway everytime I would have a flair up I would just use my drops and even went for about 2 years without any symtems and and now I'm having all these problems.  My eyes are very sensitive to the cold and light outside. So I went to another doctor here because we have since moved to another city. Anyway the doctor said that he couldn't find anything wrong with my eyes except that they were dry and told me to put Bion drops in them.  He said I didn't have iritis.   What could this be the pains in my eye happen just whenever and just all of a sudden I was driving my car and had 3 sharp pain in my eye the other day and nearly had a wreck .  If you have any ideas or information that would help me please do tell me.

If you do not feel comfortable with the diagnosis of dry eyes, then please get a second opinion especially given your past medical history. Sharp stabbing pains can be symptoms of dry eyes. Are the Bion Tears helping? Most likely if you have iritis and are just using Bion Tears, you would probably continue to get worse. If you notice soreness or sensitivity to light please see an ophthalmologist again.

Question from Montana
*I'm 16 years old.  I've had problems with my soft contact lenses for about 2 months.  The doctors found a stye in my right eye and treated it.   Ever since then, I can't wear my right contact because it makes my eye feel bruised.  He checked my right eye (there's nothing wrong with my left eye) and found some more little bumps under my eyelid.  He gave me some drops called Patanol and have used them for a week.  I haven't worn my contacts for about 2 weeks.  But every my right eye hurts.  And it can't be because of the contacts because I haven't been wearing them.  I have no clue what could be wrong.  Please help.

Little bumps under the eyelid can be GPC or Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis.   Usually, this is similar to an allergic response to contact lenses.  Not wearing the contact lenses and using the Patanol should help if it is GPC.  Sometimes it may take longer than 1 week. You should not sleep in the contact lenses when you try to wear them again.  A disposable contact lens that you change more often could help.   If you are still having discomfort without any contact lenses you should contact your eye doctor again.  You may have some scar tissue from the stye.

Question from Louisiana
*The shape of my cornea has suddenly changed.  My eye doctor told me to keep my contacts out for a few days to see if that was the problem.  The shape has not gone back so now he thinks I have Keratoconus Disease.  Is there anything else that could cause my cornea to change shape and my vision to get so much worse within a month's time?

What type of contact lenses are you wearing? Contact lenses that are not fitting properly can change the shape of the cornea, especially a gas permeable contact lens. It often takes longer than a few days for the cornea to change if you have been in a poor fitting or warped contact lens for a long period of time. Changes in the shape of the cornea will change the prescription of the eye. Please consider a second opinion by a corneal specialist. Your current doctor can probably give you the name of an ophthalmologist in your area that specializes in corneal diseases.

Question from Wisconsin
*What is cause and treatment for arcus senilus?  Will this progress and affect vision?  How does metabolism affect the disease?

Typically, age is the cause for arcus senilus. There is usually no treatment for arcus because it rarely interferes with vision. There are cosmetic, colored contact lenses that have a darker outside ring that helps hide arcus. I will forward your question regarding metabolism on, as I am not aware that metabolism would have any affect on arcus senilus.

Question from Colorado
*I have developed a dark spot in the vision of my right eye this week.  The spot moves as I move my eye although it does not directly block my vision.   In addition, I noticed last night as I was outside in the dirk that, if I caught a reflection of light in a certain position, that a flash of light would occur in my peripheral vision.  I have scheduled an appointment with my doctor although I just had an exam on March 1 with no problems noted.  Is this a retinal problem?  I am a 45 year old male in good shape and health.

It is wise to have your eye doctor do a dilated exam on your right eye. What you describe is a vitreous floater. When you see a floater along with a flash of light it could indicate a retinal tear. Make sure your eye doctor knows you are seeing the flash of light also. Many people have floaters and flashes without having a retinal tear but it should always be checked to make sure. As we age our vitreous shrinks and sometimes it can pull away from the retina (a vitreous detachment), which requires no treatment. Occasionally when the vitreous detaches it can take a piece of the retina with it, which creates the tear. Laser treatment can be performed if a retinal tear is diagnosed. Hopefully you have an appointment soon.

Question about Keratoconus
*Will computer usage worsen moderate keratoconus and will this combination make a person with keratoconus at risk for developing cataracts?

Computer usage should not affect moderate keratoconus. Although, if you wear contact lenses and use a computer very often your eyes can be drier than normal. Over the counter lubricating drops can be used to keep the eyes moist and more comfortable. Keratoconus and computer usage should not be a risk factor for developing cataracts.

Question from Illinois
*My mother has just had laser surgery for macular degeneration.   What are the odds of this coming back or affecting the other eye?  Is there any prevention?

Your mom’s ophthalmologist would be the most appropriate person to answer your questions.  There are different types of macular degeneration.  Your mom is fortunate that her eye could be treated with the laser.  Many people have macular degeneration that can not be treated.  Many studies show that zinc can help slow the progression of macular degeneration.  There are different brands of vitamins that you can buy at drugstores, such as Icaps, and Ocuvite.  I am sure your mother’s doctor would be happy to answer any questions you have regarding the prognosis of your mom’s sight.  Please read http://www.eyesearch.com/macular.degeneration.htm for more information on macular degeneration.

Question from England
*Hello, a friend of mine says her husband has slightly blurred vision in one eye and part of his sight is blanked out. He has been to see his doctor an optition and eye specialist but after dilating the eye and doing eye tests could find nothing wrong. Is it possible he has a condition which is not visiably detectable on his eye. I would value any imformation , advice or possible diagnosis you could pin point. Thank you for your help.

Please have your friend’s husband contact his regular physician to make sure his general health is okay. Are the symptoms constant or do they come and go? There are certain conditions such as ocular migraines that cause visual symptoms but are not caused by the eye, but the part of the brain responsible for processing vision. His regular physician can recommend what to do next.

Question from New York
*My new eye doctor just said I had 3 eye freckles that had not been noted from previous exams by other doctors.  He asked that I return in 6 months to see if they have changed.  What are eye freckles?  How concerned should I be?

Eye freckles are changes in the pigment just like freckles on our skin. It could be that these were seen on previous eye exams but not mentioned to you because they posed no threat to your eyes or vision. Please see your new eye doctor in 6 months for a follow up to see if there have been any changes. Eye freckles are typically benign so try not to worry.

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