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Eye Checkup

Frequently Asked Questions


Below are some frequently asked questions about vision and eye health.

What exactly does "20/20 vision" mean?

"20/20 vision" is commonly accepted as the standard of normal distance vision for a human being. Basically it means "good visual acuity at 20 feet." So if your vision is 20/20, you can read certain sizes of letters on a Snellen chart clearly at 20 feet or closer. But if your friend has 20/15 vision, his visual acuity is better than yours: you would have to stand 15 feet away from the chart to read the smaller letters that he can read while standing 20 feet away. Conversely, someone with 20/30 vision has worse distance vision than you.

I work on a computer all day. Can this hurt my eyes?

People who look at computers frequently, (in particular those that look at a computer for more than three hours a day), may experience symptoms such as:

  • Eye discomfort

  • Headaches

  • Itchy eyes or Dry or watering eyes

  • Burning sensations

  • Changes in color perception

  • Blurred vision


There are several ways you can minimize the potential damage to your eyes caused by looking at computer screens.

  • Firstly, it is important to set up your computer screen so that it is in the correct position in relation to your eyes.

  • The top of the screen should be in line with your eye level. In addition, the screen should be placed approximately 18-30 inches from you.

  • Glare can also be avoided by placing blinds over nearby windows, or using a glare screen.

  • In addition to adjusting the position of your screen, you can also minimize eye problems by simply blinking more frequently.

What is the difference between an Ophthalmologist, an Optometrist, and an Optician?
  • An Ophthalmologist (MD) has a medical degree and is licensed to practice medicine and perform eye surgery. An Ophthalmologist has had at least 12 years of education and training beyond high school and is qualified to diagnose and treat all eye diseases; perform surgery; prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses.

  • An Optometrist (OD) has a degree in optometry and is licensed to practice optometry. An Optometrist has had at least six years of education and training beyond high school and is qualified to determine the need for glasses and contact lenses; prescribe optical correction; and screen for some eye conditions.

  • An Optician usually has a combination of college (or two years of opticianry school) and on-the-job training. An Optician is trained to fit and dispense eyeglasses or contact lenses based upon a prescription from a licensed Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.

When should an adult's eyes be examined?
  • Young adults (ages 20 - 39) should have their eyes examined every three-five years.

  • Adults ages (ages 40 - 64) should have their eyes examined every two-four years.

  • Seniors (over 65 years of age) should have their eyes examined every one-two years.

Is pinkeye contagious?

Yes, viral conjunctivitis (pink-eye) is very common and is extremely contagious. Avoid touching eyes with your hands, wash hands frequently, do not share towels, and avoid work, school or daycare activities for a least five days or as long as discharge is present.

What is legal blindness?

Perfect vision is 20/20. A person is legally blind when their better eye’s best corrected visual acuity is less than 20/200. A person can also be legally blind if their side vision in their better eye is narrowed to 20 degrees or less. Although someone may be legally blind, some vision still may be useful and helpful for everyday life. Legally blind people may qualify for certain government benefits.

What is low vision?

Low vision is not blindness, but is a level of vision below normal (20/70 or worse) that cannot be corrected with conventional glasses. Low vision can interfere with a person’s performance of daily activities, including reading or driving.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error that is a result of an irregular curve on the cornea, or the front part of the eye. This uneven curvature can cause your vision to appear blurred up close and afar. Blurred vision due to astigmatism can be corrected with corrective lenses or contact lenses.



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