Eye HealthOcular ConditionsOptician's Corner

Your Most Frequently Asked Vision Questions

Girl wondering about her vision

At Coastal Vision, we happily answer all kinds of questions about vision and eye health. We’ve found that some are asked more often than others, and thought we’d take a moment to go over our most frequently asked questions.

I see fine, why do I need to see an eye doctor?

Regular eye exams are the only way to catch “silent” diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma and other conditions in their early stages, when they’re more easily managed or treated. Many conditions can be discovered in a carefully planned eye exam. Those who consider mass-produced, over the counter reading glasses are truly doing themselves a disservice, both financially and medically.

One-size-fits-all reading glasses do not work well for most people who have a different prescription in each eye, and/or astigmatism; or whose lens and frame parameters are not measured correctly. This also bypasses the opportunity to have your eyes checked for early detection of many manageable diseases or conditions. For those insisting on selecting glasses not measured specifically for their eyes, headaches and eye fatigue are common symptoms.

How do I know if I need bifocals?

The most common use of bifocals is for the treatment of presbyopia in individuals aged 40 and over. Whether or not a person has needed vision correction when younger, by the early to mid-forties, the ability to accommodate or focus the eyes has diminished.

Bifocals allow the wearer to see clearly both at distance and near despite the reduced focusing ability. Bifocals may also be used to help align the eyes if a person tends to over-cross his or her eyes at near. If you are over 40 or have any difficulty performing tasks at near, ask us whether bifocals or progressive lenses could be right for you.

Can devices like my phone, computer, or tablet damage my eyesight?

The answer to this question is absolutely yes, and is a growing concern as these products become more commonplace. These devices emit harmful blue light. Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum, which comes from both the sun and artificial light sources like digital screens and fluorescent lights. This type of light gets absorbed deep in the eye, impacting long-term vision. Overexposure to blue-violet light or Harmful Blue Light, especially outside in the sun and through constant use of electronic devices and screens, is why protecting your vision has never been more important.

Extended exposure to screens can also cause eyestrain. Symptoms of eyestrain include sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing. We offer several lens solutions to protect against blue light and eyestrain. Click here to learn more.

How can I stop glare at night?

There can be many causes for this condition. However, many times this problem can be alleviated, or even dismissed, with the use of “AR” (Anti Reflective) Lenses. First and foremost, annual eye exams rule out any medical reason or cause for any eye ailment.  Once any medical or physical condition is removed as a possibility of cause, the perfect solution for glare from night driving would be AR (Anti Reflective) Lenses.

Why do some frames cause a reaction on my skin?

If metal frames cause a reaction, nickel is the culprit. Most metal frames are made of a nickel alloy. Other metals used include aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, zinc, copper, beryllium, gold and silver. Stainless, titanium, gold and silver are usually hypoallergenic.

Some people can also be allergic to the nose pads on metal frames. Most are made of silicone or acetate, but they can also be made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), nickel, titanium or rubber. Silicone is tricky. Certain silicones are hypoallergenic (such as medical silicone), but others can trigger allergic reactions. Both PVC and titanium are usually hypoallergenic. Most plastic eyeglass frames are made of Zyl (also called xylonite, acetate and cellulose acetate) or propionate. Other materials used in plastic frames include: polyamide, nylon, polycarbonate, carbon and Optyl (a brand of epoxy resin). Propionate, polyamide, nylon and Optyl frames are all considered hypoallergenic.

How often should I get a new pair of glasses?

This is a personal concern that can address many issues. You should change your eyeglasses when you feel that your existing eyeglasses no longer are supporting your needs, lifestyle, or taste.

In any case a visit to your doctor should not be only considered when you feel it is time for new glasses. You should visit your eye doctor at least once every year, unless otherwise instructed by your eyecare provider.

Do sunglasses really help to keep my eyes healthy?

Absolutely! The sun’s UV rays wrinkle and damage your skin over time; premature aging and skin cancer are some of the dangers of unprotected sun exposure. The same rays that age and damage your skin can and will hurt your eyes as well. Strong sunlight, and artificial light from sources like welding arcs or tanning lamps can burn the surface of the eye, much like sunburn on the skin.

Reflected sunlight (from the water, for example) is particularly dangerous. There is also evidence that exposure to UV light can contribute to the development of eye diseases that commonly occur as we age, such as cataract and macular degeneration. The best protection against this are Polarized lenses, as these lenses offer the most protection and comfort to the eye.