Q? Dr. Zeldes completed a Cornea Refractive Fellowship. What is this?
A. Dr. Zeldes completed a Cornea and Refractive Fellowship. The Cornea and Refractive Surgery Fellowship is an extra year of training beyond residency and emphasizes medical and surgical treatment of corneal and external disease, refractive surgery, and management of intraocular lens complication, as well as other complications of cataract surgery. A fellow is also introduced to clinical and laboratory research.
Q? Dr. Zeldes is Board Certified. What does this mean?
A. Board Certification is granted to ophthalmologists who meet a series of accredited medical training requirements in ophthalmology, sign a practice pledge indicating their intent to practice with compassion, integrity and respect for human dignity and complete an intensive evaluation process that includes two examinations: a written examination and an oral examination.
Physicians who meet all of the requirements for initial certification become diplomates of the Board and earn a certificate valid for a period of 10 years. Since the early 1990s, all Diplomates have been required to actively maintain their certificate through a lifelong learning and practice improvement process currently known as maintenance of certification.
Q? How often and when should I get my eyes checked?
A. By getting your eyes checked on a regular basis, or when you may think you are having troubles with your vision, you can keep your eyes healthy and stay clear of further complications. Many sight-threatening diseases, if detected early, can be cured or treated to prevent, or slow, the progression of any vision loss.
The most important preventive step is receiving routine examinations by a qualified eye care professional. Children should receive their first comprehensive eye examination before the age of 3, unless a specific condition or history of family childhood vision problems warrants an earlier examination. Anyone with a history of visual problems should get routine preventive care. People ages 20 to 30 should have an eye exam every two years, unless visual changes, pain, flashes of light, new floaters, injury, or tearing occurs. Then, immediate care is necessary. Yearly exams become important in the late thirties when changes in vision and focus along with eye diseases are more likely to develop. People with diabetes are at risk for several eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts, and should have eye examinations every year.
Squinting, blinking, rubbing eyes frequently, headaches, changes in vision and difficulty with visual concentration within arm’s length may be signs of eye problems and should be checked immediately by your ophthalmologist. When it comes preserving your vision, early detection is the solution.
Q? What is Lasik?
A. LASIK, short for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is the most popular refractive surgery available today. Each year, more than one million LASIK procedures are performed in the United States. LASIK has become the premier surgery for vision correction because it’s quick and painless, there is little or no discomfort after the procedure and vision recovery is rapid — some patients already see 20/20 the following day. It can also reduce the need for reading glasses among patients over age 40 who wear bifocals. The actual surgery usually takes less than 15 minutes for both eyes, but expect to be at the surgery center for an hour or more.
Q? Am I a good candidate for Lasik?
A. To be a good candidate for LASIK, you should be at least 18 years old, have healthy eyes, and have adequate corneal thickness since LASIK corrects your vision by removing tissue from your cornea to reshape your eye. Chronic dry eye problems, corneal diseases and other abnormalities may disqualify you from having LASIK surgery. In order to know for sure if you are a good candidate, a comprehensive eye exam is required. For your convenience, we are happy to provide LASIK pre-operative exams and consultations at our office. Important considerations when deciding whether or not to have LASIK are your expectations and your ability to accept a less-than-perfect outcome. LASIK can reduce your dependence on glasses and almost always gives you the ability to function well without the need for glasses or contact lenses. But there are no guarantees, and LASIK doesn’t always create perfect vision. In some cases, your vision after LASIK may be permanently less clear than it was with glasses before the procedure. You have to ask yourself if you’re willing to accept the risk of such an outcome before you decide to have LASIK surgery.
Q? What is an Ophthalmologist?
A. An Ophthalmologist – Eye M.D. – is a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are specially trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to complex and delicate eye surgery. Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research into the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision problems.
Q? How much will my eye exam cost?
A. Eye exams are available in many settings, from discount optical stores to surgical offices, so the fees can vary widely. Additionally, fees can vary depending upon whether the exam is performed by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, and the type of services that are included in the exam. Generally speaking, contact lens exams cost more than regular eye exams. Likewise, an additional or higher fee may be charged for specialized services such as laser vision correction evaluations. Many insurance plans cover at least a portion of eye exam services. Check to see what your benefits before you make an appointment. Then be sure to give the office your insurance information to verify coverage.
Q? How long can I wear my contacts?
A. Two main factors that contribute to how long you can wear your lenses, both daily and over the long term, are how well they breathe and how much they like to collect stuff. Your eyes need oxygen to stay healthy. Contact lenses are made of different kinds of materials that allow differing amounts of oxygen to get through. Depending on your needs, your doctor will work with you to select the right style and length of time you can wear your contacts.
Q? When should I see Dr. Zeldes if I am having eye problems?
A. Make an appointment to see Dr. Zeldes or go to the ER immediately if you are experiencing any of the following: