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We know there can be a lot of questions when it comes to visiting your optometrist's office. To help provide some insight we've put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ'S) we often hear.  If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us. Our friendly staff members at Vision Plus Bellevue are happy to help provide additional information. 

Frequently Asked Questions




What is nearsightedness? 

Nearsightedness (also known as shortsightedness or myopia) is a common cause of blurred vision.  For nearsighted individuals objects in the distance can seem blurry or out of focus.  These symptoms can often be most noticeable during activities like driving (especially night driving) or TV viewing.  Glasses or contact lenses can often be used to manage the symptoms of this type of prescription.       

What is farsightedness?

Farsightedness (also known as hyperopia) is a type of prescription that can cause difficulty especially when viewing objects at near.  The symptoms of farsightedness can be most noticeable during activities like reading a book or viewing a computer screen.  Farsighted individuals may experience blurred vision, headaches, or eyestrain, especially when viewing objects at a close range.  Glasses or contact lenses can often be used to manage the symptoms of this type of prescription.    


What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common type of prescription that is caused by variances to the shape of the eye, which can affect how our eyes focus on images at both distance and near.  Individuals with astigmatism may notice symptoms like blurred, distorted, or wavy vision.  Most forms of astigmatism are simply a natural variance to the eye, and are unrelated to eye disease or other health concerns.  The symptoms of astigmatism can often be easily managed with prescription glasses or contact lenses.  


What is presbyopia? 

Presbyopia is a decrease in the eyes' ability to focus on objects at near.  It is a normal process that occurs over time; and affects the internal structures of the eyes that help us to focus.  Generally, it begins to affect individuals around the age of 40.  Around this time, many of us can begin to notice symptoms such as blurred vision at normal reading distances, having to hold reading material farther away to see clearly, or problems like headaches or eyestrain while doing near work.  Presbyopia is not a health related concern, and can often be easily managed with the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses.  Presbyopia eventually affects everyone, including both nearsighted and farsighted individuals, but may impact different people in different ways.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the internal lens of the eye.  Much like a camera lens, the internal lens of the eye allows us to focus on objects at both distance and near.  When a cataract occurs this lens becomes cloudy, preventing it from focusing on objects clearly.  Individuals with cataracts may notice symptoms like blurred vision, problems with glare (especially at night), or a general reduction to the clarity and brightness of their vision.  These symptoms can often occur gradually, and may worsen over time.  The vast majority of cataracts occur as a natural process of aging; however, there are some types of cataracts that may be congenital or occur as a result of trauma or injury.  The symptoms of mild cataracts can often be managed by simply updating your prescription glasses; however more severe cataracts may require surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear artificial one.  Cataract surgery is one of the most common types of surgeries performed in the U.S. today; and can often provide patients with a significant visual improvement.

What is glaucoma? 

Glaucoma is a condition that occurs when the fluid pressure of the eye becomes too high, causing damage to the delicate nerves inside the eye.  Since these nerves are required for normal vision, damage from glaucoma can potentially lead to permanent vision loss or blindness.  The risk for certain forms of glaucoma can increase with age or in patients with a family history of the disease.  Because most patients have no early symptoms from glaucoma, your annual eye exam is the best way to detect glaucoma at an early stage when treatments can be most beneficial. 


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