Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Do I Have to Wear Bifocals?

Wouldn't you be thrilled to know you do NOT have to wear bifocals?  Bifocals, or more accurately now - progressive lenses, were  created to improve how a patient functions in the real world. Presbyopia is the condition where we lose focusing muscle strength that occurs for most people in their early 40's. No one can avoid it.  For some people who are nearsighted, they just need glasses for distance. For other people, it begins with a difficulty seeing close objects but eventually expands to include some blurriness when looking at far-away objects.

The fix for many people is to have a pair of glasses for far away, if needed, and a pair for up close. As an eye doctor, I very seldom tell a patient they have to go to bifocals. However, we do listen closely and respond to our patients who say, "I want one pair of glasses that allows me to see far away, up close, and the computer without having to take them off." Then, the best option is a progressive bifocal pair of glasses. Ninety-seven percent of our patients adapt to progressive lenses and use them with success. For some, a progressive lens just doesn't meet their needs or provide adequate and comfortable vision.  For those people we still have the option of one pair for distance and one pair for near. Do you have to wear bifocals? The answer is no. Yet, from experience, most people at some point choose to wear bifocals (progressives) because it makes their life easier. And that's what we're all about - trying to provide you the best vision and solutions to make your life easier.

Posted on 02/18/2015 5:26 PM by Dr. Jeff Kegarise
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Role of Visual Fields in Glaucoma

In our last blog, we discussed the loss of small wires or nerves that support the optic nerve can cause small blind spots in a person's vision. Many of these are imperceptible in everyday life.  As with all glaucoma diagnostic approaches, we want to catch issues before they actually become real life problems. Therefore, we perform a visual field or side vision test on all of our glaucoma suspects and glaucoma patients.

Most of you know the visual field test as one with a clicker and a big bowl. In this test we flash a series of small spots at different intensities in your side vision and ask you to press the button when you see them. This is not a painful test but it can be frustrating.  Because we are trying to determine very mild losses in your side vision, sometimes the lights will appear very bright or very dim and you might be asking yourself, "Did I just see that or not?"  I always reassure people that the visual field test which now takes approximately 5 minutes per eye is important and that if you miss it once, it does not necessarily mean you messed up.  Because hundreds of thousands of people have performed visual field tests, we have age-matched results for comparison.  In glaucoma, vision is generally not lost straight ahead but rather in small islands around the middle periphery of your vision.  We look for some of these islands in a visual field test. Our doctors feel that an average of the first three side vision tests is enough. We don't overreact to one  test. We know patients improve with each visual field test that is performed.  For this reason, we monitor side vision annually at a minimum for our existing glaucoma patients and every two years for our glaucoma suspect patients. 


Posted on 02/03/2015 4:42 PM by Dr. Jeff Kegarise
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