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A: When the normally clear lens within your eye becomes cloudy and opaque, it is called a cataract. Cataracts vary from extremely small areas of cloudiness to large opaque areas that cause a noticeable loss of vision.

A: Cataracts are most often found in persons over the age of 55, but they are also occasionally found in younger people, including newborns.
A: No one knows exactly what causes cataracts. It is known that a chemical change occurs within your eye that causes the lens to become cloudy. This may be due to advancing age or it may be the result of heredity, an injury or a disease.
Excessive exposures to ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight, cigarette smoking or the use of certain medications are also risk factors for the development of cataracts. Cataracts usually develop in both eyes.

A: Currently, there is no proven method to prevent cataracts from forming.

A: Although cataracts usually develop without pain or redness, some indications that a cataract may be forming include blurred or hazy vision, the appearance of spots in front of the eyes, or the feeling of having a film over the eyes, but often at different rates.

A: Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of your eye loses its flexibility. This results in difficulty in focusing on close objects.

A: Your eye stops growing in your early teens. The lens, however, continues to grow and produces more and more cells. Eventually the lens loses some of its elasticity and therefore loses some focusing ability.

A: It varies from person to person. Although presbyopia may seem to develop suddenly, the actual decline takes place over the course of many years. Presbyopia usually becomes apparent to people in their early to mid-forties.

A: Some signs/symptoms of presbyopia include the tendency to hold reading materials at arm’s length, blurred vision at normal reading distance and eye fatigue along with headaches when attempting to do close work.

A: Unfortunately not. Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process.

A: A comprehensive eye examination by a doctor of optometry will include testing the quality of your near vision. This will determine the extent, if any, of presbyopia.

A: The tears your eyes normally produce are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Dry eye occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears or produce tears which do not have the proper chemical composition.

A: Dry eye symptoms can result from the normal aging process, exposure to environmental conditions, problems with normal blinking or from medications such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives or antidepressants. Dry eye can also be symptomatic of general health problems or other diseases or can result from chemical or thermal burns to the eye.

A: The most common signs/symptoms include stinging, itchy, scratchy, and uncomfortable eyes, and sometimes having a burning feeling or a feeling of something foreign within the eye. You may experience increased dry eye symptoms on awakening. Some people experience an overly wet eye. This is a natural reflex to comfort a dry eye.

A: During the examination, your doctor of optometry will ask you questions about your general health, your use of medications and your home and work environments to determine any factors which may be causing dry eye symptoms. This information will help your doctor decide whether to perform dry eye tests. These tests use diagnostic instruments, which allow a highly magnified view of your eyes and usually use special dyes. These tests allow your doctor to evaluate the quality, the amount, and the distribution of tears to detect signs of dry eyes.

A: 20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 100 feet.

A: No. 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance. There are other important vision skills, among them peripheral awareness or side vision, eye coordination, depth perception, focusing ability, and color vision that contribute to your overall vision ability.

A: No. 15/15 vision means normal sharpness of vision at 15 feet, just as 20/20 indicates normal acuity at 20 feet. For consistency, optometrists in the U.S. use 20 feet as the standard to express sharpness of vision. Other countries express visual acuity in their own way. In Britain, for example, an optometrist expresses visual acuity in meters (6/6 is considered normal).

A: Visual acuity is affected by many factors. Less than optimum clarity may result from vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, or from eye diseases.