Q: What should I do if something gets in my eye?

A: The first step is to determine if the object can be easily removed. Look up, down, right and left; it may fall out. Pull the upper lid down and out over the lower lid and let it slide back. This may be enough to free the object. If the material is dirt or a dust particle, try blinking your eyes quickly.  Try to rinse thoroughly with water or saline fluid. If none of these approaches work, call your doctor. If chemical are the culprit rather than a foreign object, splash water in your eyes to flush it out and then immediately seek medical attention.

 

Q: When should I get reading glasses?

A: One of the biggest mistakes people make is getting reading glasses too soon, in their early 40s. Keep pushing yourself to read without them. If you get glasses too early, you weaken the eye, which will cause your vision to worsen at an accelerated rate. You can get two or three more years out of your own eyes than you think, and that will strengthen them and cause you less problems in the future.

 

Q: How can I reduce puffiness in my eyes?

A: The first and easiest thing you can do is apply an ice-pack to your eyes to restrict the blood flow and deflate the puff.

 

Q: What if I see “floaters” (dust-like particles or moving objects) in my eye?

A: Eye floaters are spots in your vision that may appear as black specks or strings that drift about. As you get older, your vitreous (a clear, jelly-like substance in your eyes) liquefies and collapses inside your eye. If you see 1-2 floaters, you may want to get checked; if you see 20-30 floaters, see your doctor immediately. A retinal tear may be the cause, and the blood from the capillary will get mixed in with the floaters, which is a sight-threatening emergency.

 

Q: What is causing redness in my eyes? How can I get rid of it?

A: Red eye is caused by dilated blood vessels on the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white of the eye. There are many causes for bloodshot eyes: infections (such as pink-eye, which needs to be treated with antibiotics), eye injuries, corneal scratches, dust particles, allergies, lack of sleep, swimming, pregnancy, sun exposure and use of drugs and alcohol. If you wear contact lenses, always remove them if you are experiencing bloodshot or irritated eyes. Red-eye remedies include rest, cool compresses over your eyes, over-the-counter eye drops, and sometimes antibiotic drops for infections. If red eyes are accompanied by eye pain, light sensitivity, swelling or blurry vision, see your eye doctor for urgent treatment.

 

Q: I read that it’s trendy to change your eye color. Do you perform that procedure?

A: No. The procedure involves implanting an iris lens, which is not FDA-approved in this country for good reason; it can cause iritis, corneal decomponsation, and glaucoma. Instead, opt for color-contact lenses, which I will happily prescribe.

 

Q: What are the up-and-coming techniques in ophthalmology?

A: Crystalens is gaining traction. It’s the only FDA-approved naturally focusing corrective lens replacement for adults with cataracts. The implant, which is inserted during cataract surgery, can flex to mimic the focus of a normal young eye, which eliminates the need for reading glasses. And I’m the only doctor in the area that is currently doing it. For patients with corneal decompensation, there is a minimized surgery that only requires the replacement the inner-lining of the cornea, rather than transplanting the full thickness of the cornea. The less-invasive procedure, called Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK), needs less sutures, which lessens the irregular astigmatism that results from transplants. The complications are greatly reduced, and the patient is seeing well within 2-3 weeks.

 

Q: What is the difference between ophthalmology and optometry?

A: The major difference is that ophthalmologists, like myself, are medical doctors. We went to medical school for four years, did four years of post-grauate work, and many of us do one or two more years of training after that. Optometrists go to school for four years, where they are trained to do refractions, and are able prescribe glasses and contact lenses. Even though they have not gone to medical school, optometrists may now prescribe drugs as well. Optometrists don’t have the skills to diagnose patients compared to ophthalmologists. If you have an eye problem, you should go to the person with the most training, which is the doctor with an M.D. after his or her name—an ophthalmologist.

  • Contact our office

    A.G. Portfolio, M.D., P.A.

    85 Harristown Rd.
    Suite 102
    Glen Rock, NJ 07452

    201 445 5161

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