FAQ

Does a cataract have to be “ripe” before surgery can be done?

No. The need for cataract surgery is indicated principally by the degree of functional impairment caused by the cataract, not by any criteria related to its duration.

Can a cataract sometimes grow back after cataract surgery?

No. Because a cataract is an opacity in the lens of the eye, the cataract cannot grow back when the entire lens is removed (intracapsular extraction). However, the posterior capsule of the lens opacity when the lens is not completely removed (extracapsular extraction). This latter technique is nevertheless currently preferred.

Is it true that children who have a problem learning to read may have an eye coordination problem and can be helped with special exercises?

No. The idea that reading problems are due to poor eye coordination is a misconception, as the results of many controlled studies have indicated.

Can contact lenses correct nearsightedness, so that eventually neither contact lenses nor eyeglasses will be needed?

No. Incorrectly fitted contact lenses can change the shape of the cornea, but do not thereby correct myopia. Intentionally fitting contact lenses incorrectly to change corneal shape can cause permanent harm to the eyes.

In time, will children usually outgrow crossed eyes?

Crossed eyes in children should always be considered serious; in fact, the condition requires referral to an ophthalmologist. Some children have apparent but not truly crossed eyes. In such cases, the apparent crossing is due to a broad bridge of the nose in young children. As the nose matures, this apparent crossing lessens and disappears. However, truly crossed eyes should never be ignored, as the condition will not improve with time.

Should people with weak eyes rest their eyes often to strengthen them?

Eyes that are “weak” for whatever reason did not become so from overuse, so they cannot be improved by rest.

Is it true that older people who may be having trouble seeing, shouldn't use their eyes too much because they can wear them out sooner?

No. The eyes are made for seeing. No evidence exists that using them for their purpose will wear them out.

If children sit too close to the television, will they damage their eyes?

No. Children with normal sight commonly want to sit close to the television set, just as they want to get close to reading material. This will not harm their eyes. All individuals will hold reading material or watch television at a distance that is comfortable for them.

Can wearing glasses that are too strong damage the eyes?

No. Because glasses are hung in front of the eyes (from the nose and ears), they affect light, not the eye. Looking through them cannot harm the eyes. However, an incorrect prescription may result in blurred vision, which is uncomfortable and may lead to headaches.

Should children be taught not to hold their books too close when reading because doing so can harm their eyes?

Holding books close to the eyes to read is common in children, and no harm can come of it. Their eyes can accommodate (focus on near objects) easily and can keep near objects in sharp focus. In rare cases, holding a book close could be a sign of severe nearsightedness, which should be investigated; however, the habit of close reading itself will not cause nearsightedness in children.

Will reading for prolonged periods in dim light harm the eyes?

No. Except in extreme circumstances, the way in which light enters the eye is not important. Reading in dim light does not harm the eyes any more than taking a photograph in dim light would harm a camera.

Do scratch coatings make the lenses scratch proof?

No, the coatings provide scratch resistance only. With careful cleaning of your lenses, they should remain scratch free.

What are Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses?

Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses are thin and lightweight. They are thinner than traditional plastic, but not as thin as Hi-Index. Polycarbonate and/or Trivex are the types of plastic used in safety glasses because they are impact resistant and shatter-proof. For this reason, we recommend these lenses for children, monocular (only one good eye) patients, and for people either seeking safety glasses or those who engage in dangerous activities, either work-related or recreational.

What is Hi-Index and how do I know if I need it?

Hi-Index refers to the thinnest and lightest eyeglass lenses. It is recommended that people with high prescriptions use Hi-Index so that their glasses are lightweight and the edge of the lenses look thin.

Are Transitions and Progressives the same thing?

No. Transitions are the brand of eyeglass lenses that darken when exposed to ultraviolet light and become clear indoors. Progressive lenses are multifocal lenses that offer clear vision for near, far, and intermediate distances without traditional bifocal or trifocal lines.

Can I have new lenses put into my current frame?

Absolutely yes. We have the latest equipment that can take an electronic tracing of your frame, so you can keep your glasses while the new lenses are being made.

My progressive lenses are good, but I find my computer range to be very small, and a slight movement of my head makes the screen go blurry. What can I do about this?

Computer-related complaints are becoming some of the most common problems for people these days. Not all progressive lenses are created equal. Some maximize near, some maximize far, and some maximize intermediate (or computer distance). Moreover, there are new superior designs and older, less sophisticated lenses on the market. Much time is spent during your eye exam to determine which styles or brands will be most suitable for you.

What is anti-reflective coating?

Anti-reflective coatings reduce the amount of light that reflects off of eyeglass lenses. Reflected light reduces the amount of light that passes through the lens, therefore causing the image to be degraded. This is particularly noticeable during night driving where headlights appear to “star-burst” and glare is problematic. Additionally, computer users notice a sharpness or clarity to their computer screens when anti-reflective coating is added to their eyeglass lenses. Anti-reflective coatings make the lenses look almost invisible so they look better.

Are headaches usually due to eye strain?

No. Headaches are not usually caused by ocular factors.

Is a cataract actually a film over the eye that can be peeled off with surgery?

No. A cataract is an imperfection in the transparency of the normal lens of the eye, not a “growth” or “film” that covers the eye. If the lens becomes opaque enough to significantly impair a person’s functional vision, all or most of the lens is surgically removed. Nothing is “peeled” away.

In rare instances, can a contact lens be lost behind the eye and even work its way into the brain?

No. The conjunctiva prevents a contact lens from passing behind the eye.

Ideally, should everyone use an eyewash regularly to cleanse their eyes?

No. Eyewash should be used as infrequently as possible. As long as it is functioning properly, the eyes’ natural lubrication system is adequate for cleansing them.

Is watching a bright television picture in a dimly lighted room harmful to the eyes if done for long periods?

No. As indicated in some earlier answers, the eye cannot be harmed by the way in which light enters it. The eye merely deals with light, regardless of contrast. Watching television with or without illumination is a matter of comfort rather than harm. An individual who finds the marked contrast of a bright television picture in a dimly lighted room uncomfortable should turn on a light, but neither situation will harm the eyes.

Should people who wear glasses have their vision checked every year to determine if a new prescription is needed?

No. Glasses do not affect the health of the eyes. As long as an individual is satisfied with the vision provided by the present glasses, routine visual acuity examinations are generally unnecessary.

Is the ability to read the newspaper without glasses a sign of healthy eyes in older people?

No. The ability of an older person to read without glasses may show only that they have myopia in one eye with reasonably good visual acuity. The nearsightedness could be caused by a cataract. Furthermore, the field of vision could be extremely constricted, as in advanced glaucoma, or one eye could be completely blind.

Do nearsighted people become farsighted as they age, and farsighted people become nearsighted?

No. All individuals become presbyopic (their eyes lose some of their ability to adjust) with age, regardless of their underlying refractive error.

What is the best way to clean my glasses?

Soap and water. Running water will remove any dirt or debris that could scratch the lenses and the soap will remove oils and fingerprints. A soft, lint-free paper towel (such as Bounty) should be used to dry the lenses. Specially formulated eyeglass cleaners can be used as well.

How old does my child need to be to have their first eye exam?

Children of all ages need to have their eyes examined. Children as young as 6 months old should be examined by an eye care professional, and every two years thereafter. School-aged children should have their eyes examined every year.

My vision seems just fine to me. Do I still need an eye exam?

Absolutely. Many eye diseases have no symptoms in the early stages. The key to proper treatment is early diagnosis.

How often should I have my eyes examined?

It is recommended that you have a complete eye examination every one to two years for individuals with healthy eyes. If you wear contact lenses, or if you have diabetes, hypertension, or are otherwise at risk for eye disease, you need to have your eyes examined at least annually.

Starer-Rizzo-Ruffini Ophthalmic Associates

We strive to provide our patients with the highest quality total eye care available:
We offer complete ocular diagnostics and treatments, complete surgical eye care, in-office laser equipment to treat retinal disorders and glaucoma, complete contact lens services, and an optical boutique

Starer-Rizzo-Ruffini Ophthalmic Associates, P.C.
Taylor Hospital Medical Building
8 Morton Avenue, Suite 101
Ridley Park, PA 19078
Telephone 610-521-2111 • Fax 610-521-3048

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Our office hours for patients are:

  • Monday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday: 8:30 am – 7:30 pm
  • Wednesday: 8:30 am – 7:30 pm
  • Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • Friday: 8:00 am – 12 noon

Our optical shop hours are:

  • Monday: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm
  • Wednesday: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm
  • Thursday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Friday: 8:00 am – 12 noon

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