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Can I Swim With Contact Lenses?

Contact Lens Eye Exams in San Diego, California

Contact Lens Eye Exams in San Diego, California

Though tempting, wearing contact lenses while swimming can leave your eyes vulnerable to contamination by harmful bacteria and chemicals present in the water. This can result in eye irritation, infections and sight-threatening conditions such as corneal ulcers. Moreover, swimming in contact lenses may alter their shape, causing blurred vision and discomfort.

If you absolutely must wear contact lenses to swim, opt for daily disposables and combine them with waterproof swimming goggles. Alternately, you can wear prescription goggles to see clearly underwater.

Why Should I Avoid Wearing Contact Lenses While Swimming?

Swimming pools, rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water (including tap water) are laden with bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms—many of which can harm your eyes. The soft contact lenses’ porous material easily absorbs chemicals and bacteria, increasing the risk of eye irritation and infection.

One of the more harmful organisms often found in water sites is Acanthamoeba, which, when in contact with your contact lenses can potentially lead to eye infections. This condition, called Acanthamoeba Keratitis, may cause permanent vision loss and even require a corneal transplant to recover lost vision if not treated early enough.

Moreover, contact lenses absorb water, causing their shape to change. This results in contact lens discomfort as well as blurred and distorted vision.

What if I must wear contact lenses to swim?

If, for whatever reason, you must wear contact lenses to swim, consider wearing daily disposables together with waterproof swimming goggles. Aside from protecting your vision, goggles reduce the risk of your contacts dislodging from your eyes.

Because water hosts many potentially harmful microorganisms, daily contact lenses allow you to swim in lenses without needing to sterilize them afterward. Just insert them prior to heading into the water and dispose of them immediately after.

If at any point during your swim, you feel eye discomfort, immediately remove the lenses.

For more advice on swimming with contact lenses, speak with Dr. Stephen Chinn at Dr. Chinn's Vision Care in San Diego, California today.

What are the Alternatives to Wearing Contact Lenses For Swimming?

Custom-made prescription swimming goggles are a worthwhile investment for regular swimmers.

Just like glasses, they correct refractive errors, such as myopia (shortsightedness or nearsightedness), hyperopia (longsightedness or farsightedness) and presbyopia. Moreover, prescription goggles are sealed so that water doesn’t come into contact with your eyes. This allows you to see clearly underwater without any risk of contamination.

Certain brands conveniently offer ready-made prescription swimming goggles. But prior to making the purchase, we advise that you check the goggles against your prescription to make sure they match.

Dr. Stephen Chinn at Dr. Chinn's Vision Care will be happy to advise you on your best eyewear options for swimming and other activities you enjoy.

What if Water Comes Into Contact With My Contact Lenses?

In the event that water comes into contact with your lenses, make sure to immediately remove, clean and disinfect your contact lenses. This will reduce your risk of eye irritation and other complications.

Contact Dr. Stephen Chinn immediately if you experience prolonged eye irritation or sensitivity to light after wearing your contact lenses in water.

Dr. Chinn's Vision Care serves patients from San Diego, throughout California.

We offer the best eye care services for you & your family. Most vision and medical insurances accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are disposable contact lenses good for my eyes?

  • A: They’re perfectly fine, but it all depends on your eyes. Each person has a different tolerance level to contact lenses. Speak with your eye doctor to determine whether contacts are a good option for you.

Q: What are the advantages of daily disposable contact lenses?

  • A: Daily disposable contact lenses are great for many reasons. The possibility of infection diminishes since a new sterile lens is inserted every day. In other words, there’s no need to clean the lens or case. Dailies are also a great option for patients that have allergies, contact lens solution sensitivities and dry eye, as it eliminates the build-up of contaminants on the lenses that can exacerbate those problems. Dailies make for a low-maintenance and comfortable option for any patient!

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Dr. Chinn's Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Discover the Right Lenses for Your Lifestyle

Eye Care and Eyeglasses in San Diego, California

Eye Care and Glasses in San Diego, California

So many of life’s moments are worth capturing. Whether it’s seeing a magnificent mountain during a hike, your favorite band in concert or the smiling faces of family and friends, a perfect pair of lenses can help you see your world with clarity, comfort, and enjoyment.

Do you love to run outdoors during the day? Do you spend most of your working hours in front of the computer? No matter your lifestyle, Dr. Chinn's Vision Care offers plenty of lens options to choose from to suit your every need.

Without further ado, let’s explore the different lens types below:

Single Vision

Single vision lenses are ideal for those with myopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism. Nowadays, lenses are digitally surfaced— meaning that the eye doctor, Dr. Stephen Chinn, will take specific measurements to optimize your lenses for your unique visual needs. Compare this to having your suit customized and tailored according to your measurements versus buying a suit off the rack. The obvious choice is clear!

Progressive

Goodbye bifocals and hello progressives! Progressive lenses are an amazing piece of engineering, as they allow multiple vision fields to be incorporated into a single lens. That is, you see clearly both near and far and seamlessly transition at distances in between. Unlike bifocals, these lenses don’t have a line separating near and distance prescriptions — progressive lenses blend the prescriptions. This increases comfort and is an obvious choice for those who switch from activity to activity— such as driving to reading something close up. Furthermore, these lenses provide a sleek, sharp and youthful appearance.

Computer Vision

We live in a digital world and extended screen time is rapidly becoming the norm. When working at your computer for any length of time, it’s not uncommon to experience blurred vision, eye strain, red eyes, and other symptoms. Many try to compensate for their blurred vision by leaning forward, or by tipping their head to look through the bottom portion of their glasses.

If you regularly work at your desktop or laptop, consider getting computer vision lenses. Computer glasses typically have 60% of the magnifying power of reading glasses. But the optimal magnification will depend on how far you’d like to sit from your computer screen and digital devices. These lenses reduce eye strain, blurred vision and unnatural posture that can result in neck and back pain.

Lens Enhancements

You can further customize your lenses with lens enhancements. These protect your lenses from scratches, reduce reflection and smudges, protect your eyes against UV rays, and diminish exposure to blue light.

Anti-reflective (AR) coating

Anti-reflective coating, also known as AR, or non-glare, is a coating that, when applied to the surface of the lens, reduces the amount of glare that reflects off your lenses.

It also allows more light to pass through your lenses to your eye, resulting in clearer and sharper vision.

Because of reduced glare, people will be able to actually see your eyes and not just your lenses, whether in person or in photos. Furthermore, because your vision will be sharper and clearer, you’ll be placing less strain on your eyes in order to see.

Light-reactive lenses

Many people find it a hassle to switch between prescription sunglasses and regular specs. Carrying a pair of each also means that you also have a higher chance of losing one of the pairs. Some may forget to bring their sunglasses along altogether!

The solution? Light-refractive lenses! Also known as photochromic lenses, these prescription lenses cleverly adapt to lighting conditions: when indoors, the lenses are clear, but as soon as you step outside into bright, natural light, they darken, providing you with 100% UV protection.

Photochromics are versatile and are perfect for practically any occasion. Whether for golf or tennis players, where good vision is as crucial as comfort and protection, or when switching between outdoor sports activities and the classroom.

Blue Light Reduction

Many of us have been staring at screens for a large part of our lives, especially in the last 10-15 years, as smartphones, computers, and laptops have become ever more prevalent. The average office worker spends almost 1,700 hours per year in front of a computer screen. And that’s just when we’re at the office— let’s add to that the amount of time we spend staring at our phones before, during, and after work hours.

All of this screen time can result in digital eye strain, a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged use of digital devices or computers. This can result in blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, neck and shoulder pain.

Blue light lens enhancements help alleviate any eye strain that results from exposure to the dangerous blue light emitted by sunlight or the display screens of computers, smartphones, and other digital devices. Blue light coating provides relief from sore, irritated, tired eyes so that you can keep working, cramming for exams, reading online, or binge-watching your favorite show in comfort.

If you are seeking a new pair of glasses or are deciding on new lenses, the staff at Dr. Chinn's Vision Care will work with you to find the perfect frames and lenses to match your personal style and lifestyle. Our team is dedicated to providing the vision care needs of our patients in the San Diego, California area, and fitting you for the right eyewear is an important part of our comprehensive eye care services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I borrow and use someone else’s glasses?

  • A: Most glasses are spefically customized for a particular patient. If you are wearing someone’s glasses, it could improve your vision some, but it will not give you the crisp clear vision that a personalized pair of glasses does.

Q: Are glasses better for my eyes than contact lenses?

  • A: Glasses are better because you do not have a foreign material resting on your eyes, however with advancements in technology contact lens material have become very healthy.

Quality Frames For Prescription Glasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Dr. Chinn's Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Is Your Teen Ready To Wear Contact Lenses?

Contact Lens Exam at Dr. Chinn's Vision Care

Contact Lens Exam at Dr. Chinn's Vision Care

Some parents may deny their teens’ requests for purchasing contact lenses, thinking they’re too young. So it may come as a surprise to hear that the FDA deems it safe for children as young as 8 to wear certain types of contact lenses. Caring for and inserting contacts requires some maturity, and each parent must decide if their child is prepared for that level of responsibility. If your child is interested in wearing contact lenses, Dr. Stephen Chinn can guide both you and your child down the path to achieving clear and comfortable ‘glasses-free’ vision.

What Makes a Teen Ready For Contact Lenses?

Before deciding whether your teen is ready to wear contacts, consider the following:

Hygiene

Maintaining proper hygiene is crucial for contact lens wearers of all ages. They must thoroughly wash their hands before they insert, remove or clean their lenses. Furthermore, contact lenses are in constant contact with protein molecules in the tears, which leads to protein buildup on the lens surface. This can cause the eyes to feel irritated and itchy, and even cause an infection. Examine your teen’s personal hygiene habits, and discuss the importance of caring for lenses properly and safely.

Adherence to Recommended Wear Time

One of the biggest causes of eye infection in those who wear contact lenses is overuse. Your teen must be able to understand and follow the recommended wearing schedule. If wearing a bi-weekly or monthly disposable lens, they would need to keep track of when to discard the current pair of lenses and open a new pair. Additionally, wearing contacts longer than recommended (such as overnight) can deprive the eyes of oxygen, which can lead to corneal damage.

Daily disposable contact lenses are a great choice for first-time contact lens wearers since users discard them daily, after each use, and don’t need to clean the lenses.

Pre-Existing Eye Conditions

If your child has allergies, dry eye, frequent bouts of pink eye or eye infections, speak with Dr. Stephen Chinn to determine whether contact lenses might increase their risk of these conditions.

Why Some Teens Prefer Contact Lenses

Contact lenses offer various benefits that your teen doesn’t experience with glasses. Someone who wears glasses may think twice before participating in some physical activities or sports for fear of losing or damaging their glasses. If your teen enjoys sports or outdoor activities, wearing contact lenses can relieve this fear.

Additionally, contact lenses provide clear peripheral vision, while glasses do not. In some cases of a teen or child with a very high prescription, contact lenses can offer clearer and more natural vision than standard glasses. Soft contact lenses are suitable for a wide range of prescriptions and astigmatisms and could be a great choice for your teen.

Moreover, eyewear — or lack thereof — is an essential part of a teen’s image and personal style. Most teens like the idea of having the option to wear either glasses or contacts.

If you think your teen is ready for contact lenses, we’d be happy to help them find the perfect pair for their individual lifestyle and visual needs. At Dr. Chinn's Vision Care, we offer a wide variety of frames and contact lenses, so that every teen who comes to us leaves with eyewear that makes them feel confident while offering them the clearest and most comfortable vision possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the latest trends in contact lenses?

  • A: Many contact lens manufacturers are now producing “daily” disposable contact lenses. These are lenses that are inserted in the morning and thrown away at night. This style of contact lens wear is both convenient and healthy. With these lenses, patients buy less solutions and don’t have to keep up with how old their lenses are and when to change them. Daily disposables are also beneficial in causing less allergy and dryness while reducing the risks of infection. Daily lenses are now offered in all types of prescriptions from distance vision to astigmatism and multifocal/bifocal prescriptions.

Q: Can I wear contacts while I sleep?

  • A: Generally, we do not recommend sleeping in contact lenses on a regular or prolonged basis. The eye is a dark, warm place while you are sleeping. Bacteria thrive in dark, warm places. There are contact lenses FDA approved to sleep in, but they should always be removed and thoroughly disinfected every week.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Dr. Chinn's Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


5 Reasons You Need Prescription Sports Sunglasses

Designer Sunglasses & Optical Frames at Dr. Chinn's Vision Care

Designer Sunglasses & Optical Frames at Dr. Chinn's Vision Care

Prescription sports sunglasses aren’t just for professional athletes. Anyone who enjoys playing sports outdoors should invest in a quality pair of prescription sports sunglasses. These specialized glasses are meant for anyone who wears glasses or contact lenses and engages in outdoor sports activities.

Below are our top 5 reasons prescription sports sunglasses protect your eyes and give you a competitive edge.

1. UV Protection

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful UV light can have damaging effects, potentially leading to cataracts, eye cancers, macular degeneration, photokeratitis (eye sunburn) and growths on the skin around the eyes.

Beyond the regular prescription sports sunglasses, you can find wraparounds that block out UV light from all directions, preventing the rays from entering your eye from the sides.

2. Polarized and Other Custom Features

When ordering a pair of prescription sports sunglasses, you can choose from a variety of frames and lenses. Many athletes and outdoor enthusiasts benefit from polarized lenses or anti-reflective coatings to reduce surface glare and increase clarity and contrast.

You can also select a color to tint the lenses based on the sport you play. For example, yellow or orange tinted lenses can help golfers see the ball against the green grass or blue sky.

Whether you’re fishing, running, cycling, rock-climbing or skiing, you can customize your prescription lenses to suit your specific sport or outdoor activity.

3. Eye Safety

Millions of children and adults sustain sports-related eye injuries each year. A whopping 90% of those accidents could have been prevented with the proper protective eyewear.

Prescription sports sunglasses are made with ultra-durable materials based on shatter-resistant technology to protect your eyes from injury. Playing sports that include balls, racquets, bats, sticks or pucks all pose potential danger to your eyes.

Speak to your optometrist about the risks involved in your individual sport, and how prescription sports sunglasses can help keep your eyes safe.

4. Heightened Comfort

Prescription sports sunglasses fit securely on your face and may be accompanied with a band, so you don’t have to worry about having them fall off or moving around. Furthermore, they shield your eyes from wind, dust and debris, so you can keep your eyes on the game—and not on your eyes.

5. Improved Performance

By wearing protective sports sunglasses, you can become a better athlete! And it’s not just a matter of opinion—research shows that athletes with the clearest, most comfortable vision often perform at a higher level. Moreover, feeling safe and confident further boosts an athlete’s performance.

Prescription sports sunglasses can help you see finer details, improve contrast and increase precision.

If you or your child participate in outdoor sports, we can help advise on the most suitable sports glasses, whether or not a prescription is needed. To schedule an appointment or learn more about what we offer, call Dr. Chinn's Vision Care in San Diego today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I choose the best prescription sports sunglasses?

  • A: When it comes to prescription sports eyewear, you may want to avoid the risks involved with online shopping. Instead, head over to your local optical practice and have the optometrist guide you through your options. Each sport has varying visual requirements, and Dr. Stephen Chinn will ensure your prescription is up to date.

Q: Do all children need protective sports sunglasses?

  • A: Yes! If your child plays outdoor sports, they should be wearing protective eyewear. Even children whose eyesight is perfect benefit from sports sunglasses that protect their eyes from sunlight exposure and injury. Speak to us about ways to keep your child’s eyes safe and healthy while playing sports.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Dr. Chinn's Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Eye Exams Can Reveal These 5 Health Issues!

Eye Care & Designer Frames in San Diego

Eye Care & Designer Frames in San Diego

Eye doctors are trained to detect a wide range of ocular problems during a comprehensive eye exam. But did you know that they can often diagnose general health conditions just by examining your eyes?

That’s yet another reason to go for regular eye exams, even if your eyesight is perfect.

Here are 5 health problems that your eye doctor may find while performing a thorough eye exam.

Diabetes

During an eye exam, your eye doctor may notice damaged blood vessels at the back of your eye. This is common among diabetic patients, in a condition called diabetic retinopathy.

In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy doesn’t usually cause noticeable symptoms, so you may not know you have it.

The earlier it’s diagnosed and managed, the better your chances of preserving your eyesight.

High Blood Pressure

Elevated blood pressure can cause the blood vessels at the back of your eye to change shape or leak. These changes tell your eye doctor that you may be suffering from high blood pressure. Once your blood pressure is under control, the risks of other eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are reduced.

High Cholesterol

Patients with high cholesterol sometimes develop a yellow or bluish ring around their cornea. High cholesterol levels may also be detected if deposits are found in the blood vessels in the retina.

In certain cases, an eye doctor may be able to tell whether a person is at high risk of having a stroke or other vascular incident caused by high cholesterol, simply by looking at their eyes.

Cancer

Some forms of cancer either originate in the eye or manifest in or near the eye.

  • Common skin cancers may be present on the outer surfaces of the eye or the eyelids.
  • Leukemia or lymphoma can cause changes to the interior of the eye.
  • Breast cancer and other bodily cancers can metastasize and spread to the eye.

Thyroid Disease

If your eyeballs are bulging or protruding from eyelids that seem to be retracting, your eye doctor will suspect an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), which is often caused by Grave’s Disease. This autoimmune condition affects the muscles and tissues around the eye, and symptoms may also include dry eyes, blurry vision or vision loss.

Several medical conditions, including those mentioned above, may begin with no discernible symptoms. Left undiagnosed or untreated, they can quickly become serious or even life-threatening. The earlier a condition is discovered, the better the outcome.

Make sure to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Chinn's Vision Care in San Diego, even if you’re not experiencing any obvious vision problems. Eye exams are a simple yet important way to protect your eye and general health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I have an eye exam?

  • A: It’s important to have regular eye exams every one or two years, or as recommended by your eye doctor. Children should also have regular eye exams so that any vision-related problems are detected early on.

Q: What does my eye doctor look for during an exam?

  • A: During an eye exam, your eye doctor can detect a refractive error like nearsightedness or farsightedness, and may also be able to identify possible signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, stroke, leukemia, and several other conditions.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Dr. Chinn's Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Should My Baby Wear Sunglasses Sometimes?

Eye Care & Optical | Dr. Chinn's Vision Care

Does A Baby Need Sunglasses?

Did you ever stop to think, “should my baby wear sunglasses?”

The answer is yes. While adults know the benefits of sunglasses, many parents aren’t aware that a baby’s eyes are especially vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

At Dr. Chinn's Vision Care we care about you and your family’s eyes. We help patients of all ages find sunglasses that protect their eyes while making them look and feel great.

Why Should My Baby Wear Sunglasses?

Sunglasses protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Ultraviolet light is linked to the development of macular degeneration, cataracts, benign growths on the sclera (the white of the eye), corneal sunburn, and even eyelid cancers.

But did you know that babies and children are even more vulnerable to UV light than adults? Because children’s eye lenses are clearer than in adults’, 70% more UV light penetrates the eye. Without protection, the damage done by UV rays accumulates over time, leading to an increased risk of permanent eye damage or disease in adulthood.

It’s no wonder that an estimated 80% of UV eye damage in our lifetime occurs by the age of 18!

What to Look for When Purchasing Sunglasses for Your Baby

When buying sunglasses, keep these tips in mind:

UVA and UVB protection – Look for sunglasses that filter at least 95% of UVA and UVB rays. 100% blockage is even better.

Polarization – Polarization leads objects to appear sharper and reduces glare. Keep in mind that that polarization isn’t the same as UV protection.

Wraparound – Sunglasses that wrap around a child’s head prevent light from entering the eye from the sides.

Color – Lenses should be gray-tinted so they don’t interfere with your child’s ability to recognize colors.

Safety and Security – Because babies and toddlers can be rough with sunglasses, make sure you choose ones that don’t break easily. For optimal safety, get polycarbonate lenses as they’re impact-resistant. You’ll also want the sunglasses to stay on your baby’s face, so make sure you select those that include a Velcro strap or a band that holds the two ends together.

Whenever you feel that you should be wearing sunglasses, your baby should be wearing them, too. Whether they’re in a stroller or baby carrier, their eyes need to be protected from potential UV damage.

We at Dr. Chinn's Vision Care care about your child’s eyes. Stop by Dr. Chinn's Vision Care in San Diego for help and advice on choosing the perfect pair of sunglasses for your baby.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When should my baby wear sunglasses?

  • A: Sunglasses aren’t just for the summer. Protect your baby’s eyes with sunglasses year-round.

Q: How do I get my baby to keep their sunglasses on?

  • A: The earlier your child is introduced to sunglasses, the more natural they’ll feel. Also, make sure the sunglasses fit well and don’t pinch. No one likes to wear a pair of sunglasses that aren’t comfortable, so why would your baby?

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Dr. Chinn's Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Macular Degeneration – What Is It?

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Dr. Chinn's Vision Care

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Dr. Chinn's Vision Care

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 60. An estimated 11 million people in the United States and 1.4 million Canadians have some form of macular degeneration.

The risk of suffering from AMD increases from 2% for ages 50-59, to nearly 30% for those over the age of 75.

Currently, there is no cure for macular degeneration. However, with lasers and injections, Dr. Chinn's Vision Care can help you manage the condition and occasionally even restore some lost vision.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the central part of the retina, called the macula. It’s responsible for central vision, making it an extremely important part of our eyes. A large part of our ability to see fine detail and color comes from our central vision. Clear central vision is vital to our quality of life as it allows us to drive a car, recognize faces, read, watch TV and so much more.

The retina is the back layer of the eye that consists of nerves to record images and send them back to the brain. When functioning properly, the macula collects extremely detailed images at the center of our vision. It then sends signals through the optic nerve to the brain. When the macula deteriorates, the retina sends distorted and blurred images to the brain.

One way to understand the impact of AMD: When you look at a loved one, the image of their face is focused onto your macula. The deterioration of the macula makes it difficult, sometimes impossible to see clearly, impacting our enjoyment of life.

Types of Macular Degeneration

There are two main types of macular degeneration: “wet” and “dry.” Between 85% to 90% of people with macular degeneration have dry form. The dry form can eventually lead to the wet form.

Stargardt disease is another form of macular degeneration, which occurs in young people. Caused by a defective gene, it affects 1 in 10,000 people.

Wet vs. Dry Macular Degeneration

  • Wet (exudative) macular degeneration – this occurs when very fragile new blood vessels form in the retina. These abnormal blood vessels leak fluid and blood into the retina, causing vision to become distorted, resulting in lines that appear wavy instead of straight, or black spots in your vision. As the blood vessels continue to bleed, they form a scar, potentially leading to full or partial loss of central vision.
  • Dry (atrophic) macular degeneration – this occurs when yellow deposits of proteins called drusen build up under the retina and cause retinal distortion. While a few small drusen may not change your vision, when they grow bigger they may start to distort or dim your vision, particularly while reading. As the condition worsens, light-sensitive cells in your macula can deteriorate and eventually die. In your central vision, you may also notice large blind spots.

Stages of Dry Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration happens in three stages.

  • Early AMD – At this point most people have no loss of vision. This is when medium-sized drusen deposits accumulate under the retina and there are no pigment changes or deterioration of vision.
  • Intermediate AMD – Most people don’t experience any problems with daily tasks; however, there may be mild vision loss. This is when large drusen deposits accumulate and/or pigment changes occur, indicating that macula cells are starting to die.
  • Late AMD – Noticeable vision loss has occurred due to extensive damage to the macula.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

You might not have any noticeable symptoms in the early stages of AMD. Irreversible damage may occur by the time significant symptoms reveal themselves. Wet AMD may cause the sudden appearance of these symptoms.

The first symptoms that you may experience of macular degeneration can include:

  • Blind or dark spots in the center of your vision
  • Decreased or blurry vision
  • Different color perception, in rare cases
  • Lines appearing wavy

What Eye Exams Can Help Detect AMD?

Your eye doctor will perform an eye exam to check for macular degeneration. This will include:

  • Dilated Eye Exam – Your eye doctor will need to dilate your pupils using eye drops. This will allow the doctor to see a magnified view of the drusen and macula, and detect any abnormal blood vessels.
  • Fluorescein Angiography – A dye is injected into the bloodstream to detect any leakage in the blood vessels in the retina.
  • Digital Retinal Image – This non-invasive, diagnostic tool produces high-resolution digital colored images of your retina, optic nerve, and blood vessels in the back of your eye, allowing your eye doctor to see more details of your eye.
  • Ophthalmoscopy – Your doctor will use a hand-held light to detect any changes or damage in the macula and retina.
  • Amsler Grid – This is used by a patient at home and allows for self-examination of your vision. It will help you notice any sudden appearance of blank or blurry spots in your field of vision. Immediately report any changes of vision to your eye doctor. This should not replace your yearly comprehensive eye exam.
  • Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) – This test allows eye doctors to see a cross-section of the retina and examine the blood vessels and layers beneath the surface of the retina. This includes the retina, optic nerve, macula, and choroid. The OCT provides 3D and full-color images.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma Related?

  • A: While macular degeneration does not affect glaucoma, it can contribute to decreased vision along with glaucoma. The vision loss that may occur in macular degeneration tends to affect central vision, whereas glaucoma usually affects side vision. If both conditions arise, they do not actively affect one another. However, the visual impairment that may result will affect a larger area of vision than glaucoma alone.

Q: Can my vision improve if I am treated for AMD?

  • A: While there is no cure, certain treatment options can help improve your vision. For those with advanced dry macular degeneration in both eyes, one option to improve vision may be surgery to implant a telescopic lens in one eye. A telescopic lens looks like a tiny plastic tube that has lenses that magnify your field of vision.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Dr. Chinn's Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


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