While there is no substitute for regular eye exams, knowing how to properly care for your eyes between optometrist visits is critical for optimizing eye health. Here are answers from OptiExpress to a few of the most frequently asked questions about eye health and eye care. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.
Most people share concerns about eye health, and quite a few patients ask the same or similar questions about their vision. Here are some of the most common questions about eye health we’ve received at our practice.
Is working in front of a computer screen harmful?
Digital eye strain after hours of staring at a computer screen is very common, and it likely won’t lead to long-term vision issues, though persistent dry eyes — a prominent symptom of digital eye fatigue — can make your eyes susceptible to infections.
Unfortunately, digital eye strain can be very uncomfortable, and result in lasting symptoms, like headaches, and shoulder and back pain. To avoid digital eye strain, the most effective measure you can take is to follow the 20-20-20 rule. This involves taking a break every 20 minutes to focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This helps your eyes relax and also reduces the facial tension that can accumulate while frowning at a monitor for extended periods.
I occasionally see string-like objects floating in my line of vision. What does that mean?
These are “floaters,” and they are a quite common phenomenon. As we age, collagen protein fibers in the retinas begin to accumulate and gather together, making them appear in our line of vision. A few occasionally appearing is perfectly normal, but if you notice a lot of floaters suddenly, seek medical attention ASAP — it may be an indication of retinal detachment, which can be serious.
Do corrective lenses make vision weaker over time?
No. This is a highly common misconception because people who require corrective lenses typically need stronger prescriptions as they age. However, this isn’t a reaction to the vision correction — it’s how our eyes age naturally.
If your vision isn’t as clear as it used to be, don’t hesitate to have your eyes checked and wear corrective lenses if necessary. Wearing glasses or contacts not only helps us enjoy clear, sharp vision, it also reduces the headaches and discomfort that frequently accompany blurred vision.
How frequently should I see an eye doctor?
Regular eye exams are essential for identifying vision problems and even health concerns that most people don’t immediately associate with eyes, like high blood pressure. If you don’t require vision correction (prescription glasses or contacts) every other year before the age of 50 is typically acceptable if you are in overall good health. After the age of 50, every year is the recommended timeframe.
If you do wear corrective lenses, it’s a good idea to have yearly eye exams to make sure your prescription is up to date and your vision is clear.
If it’s about time for your next eye exam — or if you think it’s about time for your first — the team at OptiExress offers comprehensive eye care services. These include full eye exams, a gallery of designer frames, contact lens fittings, a one-hour onsite lab, and much more. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!
OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington is among Ft. Myers’s most trusted and respected optometrists and has practiced in South Florida for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.