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Basic Terms

Q. What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?
A disease that affects the retina, most often in the macular region, resulting in a loss of central vision. It is the leading cause of vision loss in people over age 65 in the United States.

Q. What is astigmatism?
A. Astigmatism is a vision problem caused by unequal curvature of one or more surfaces of the eye, usually the cornea, which results in blurred vision.

Q. What are cataracts?
A. A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, resulting in a decrease in vision.

Q. There are so many kinds of contact lenses. What's the difference?
A. Your eye doctor will recommend the right contacts for you and your lifestyle. Here's a comparison of them:
  • Daily-Wear Lenses are both hard and soft contact lenses that can be worn for fewer than 24 consecutive hours while awake.

  • Disposable Lenses are soft contact lenses designed for either daily or extended wear and disposal after one day to one month.

  • Extended-Wear Lenses are soft contact lenses that are approved for overnight wear for up to seven days.

  • Rigid Gas-Permeable (RGP) Lenses are hard contact lenses that permit oxygen to flow through the lens.

  • Soft Lenses are flexible contact lenses that permit oxygen to flow through the lens.
Q. I'm diabetic and am concerned I may get glaucoma. What is this?
A. Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve is damaged by loss of oxygen typically due to elevated pressure in eyes. This results in vision loss.

If you are a diabetic, you should be having comprehensive eye examinations on a regular basis. Your doctor will examine you for any signs of diabetic changes in the eye, including any signs of glaucoma.

Q. What is the difference between LASIK and Radial Keratotomy?
A. LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is a type of laser vision correction that can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Radial Keratotomy, also referred to as RK, is a type of eye surgery in which incisions are made to flatten the cornea to reduce nearsightedness.

Q. Will you explain the credentials of the different kinds of eye care professionals?
A. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and medical as well as surgical treatment of vision problems and diseases of the eye.

An optometrist is a primary eye care professional who examines, diagnoses, treats, and manages visual diseases and disorders and eyes and their structures as well as diagnosing related systemic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

An optician is trained to dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses from the prescription of an ophthalmologist or optometrist.


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