At TSO San Marcos, we want to make sure that you receive all of the information that you need to make educated decisions about your eye health. We are always available to answer your questions.
Dr. Stephen Stanfield answers frequently asked questions:
Q: At what age should my child have his or her eyes examined?
A: I like to start seeing patients at age 5. Children will not tell you they cannot see and the parent is not trained to know if a child can see or not so an early exam is important..
Q: What is color blindness?
A: Color blindness is when we do not see color as most people. Rarely is it where a person sees no colors. Rather we mix up certain shades of colors. So we are really color deficient. Some diseases also distorts colors so it is important to know if we have color problems in advance.
Q: Why is my vision going bad once I turned 50?
A: Your vision is good as long as you can see 20/20. That means you have a healthy eye and eye system. We loose the ability to focus however past 40. that is because we have a lens in the eye. It grows as long as we are alive and we want to stay alive. The lens is like an onion that lays down layers of cells always getting thicker. At some point we can not make the lens thicker to focus which is how we focus. Thus we loose the ability to focus and need bifocals or reading glasses.
Q: Should I wear sunglasses during the winter?
A: Sunglasses are always good outdoors, even if it is cloudy. UV light is blocked by the sunglasses and UV light can damage the front and back of the eyes. It is also more comfortable to see through sunwear as long as it quality sunglasses. I wear my sunglasses every day.
Q: What are the common symptoms of Dry Eye and when would you recommend that a patient come into the practice for these symptoms for an exam?
A: Common symptoms include gritty, burning, sometimes itching eyes. You will often have redness too. I always advise to make an appointment when the symptoms affect your lifestyle.
Q: Why should a patient come into the office as opposed to treating themselves by purchasing over the counter artificial drops?
A: If you try to self-treat you may end up with a low quality artificial tears, some of which can do more harm than good. These drops relieve you for only minutes and the preservatives can cause the situation to worsen. The better quality products that patients may not have access to or know about can provide true relief. Also, if you try to self-treat you may be treating yourself for a problem that may not even be dry eyes.
Q: What treatments are available and most commonly used to treat Dry Eye?
a) Do you recommend fish oil to patients?
b) Do you use punctal plugs and if so, in what scenarios?
A: There are several treatments for dry eyes. Artificial tears is the easiest. Nutritional supplements include fish oil. Restasis is a product used often to help rejuvenate the tear gland. If the dry eye is bad enough a steroid drop is used. Punctal plugs are used in conjunction with the above-mentioned products if more relief is needed.
Q: Are there certain people, whether it be because of profession or gender, that are more prone to have Dry Eye issues?
A: Middle-aged women are most affected by dry eyes. Also those under a fan at work are common sufferers. Allergies exacerbate the situation. Also, people with jobs that require them to stare can be affected, such as drivers and computer users.
Q: Can kids wear contact lenses?
A: Kids are great Contact lens wearers. They need to be able to get the lenses on and off. Also the child needs to be able follow instructions and not over wear the contacts. If they do that then yes they are great.
Q. Should I wear sunglasses during the winter?
A. Sunglasses are great year round. Even on a cloudy day. The lenses filter out UV light which is important to block, But they also make it more comfortable to see. I wear my sunglasses year around.
Q: Why is my vision going bad since I turned 50?
A. In the early to mid 40's we begin to loose the ability to focus. This is because the lens in the eye is becoming to thick or loosing elasticity. This is normal and happens to everyone. As long as we are alive our lens grow and gets thicker therefor our eye will continue to change past 40.