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Frequently asked questions
The color of the iris is determined by the amount of melanin pigment it has. The pigment in the iris is always brown. Blue eyes have very little pigment, and brown eyes have much more pigment. Green eyes have a moderate amount of pigment.
Because diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness, it is very important that a diabetic gets his/her eyes examined once a year. At that examination, the eyes should be dilated so the doctor can evaluate for diabetic retinopathy.
Astigmatism is when the front part of the eye is more oblong as opposed to being perfectly round. It is shaped more like the side of a football as opposed to the side of a basketball. Light rays enter the eye and come to a focus at two points instead of one. A person with astigmatism may see things blurry at all distances.
Sunglasses, particularly ones that block 99-100% of UV radiation, are very important in preventing long-term damage to the eyes. The sun’s harmful rays are linked with many eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Presbyopia is a condition which describes the loss of focusing ability that occurs with age. The structure in the eye that is affected by this process is called the crystalline lens. The crystalline lens is a clear oval-shaped structure which can change shape as the muscles in the eye act on it. This is what allows us to focus on objects at near distances. As we age, the lens loses its ability to change shape; therefore, it gets more and more difficult to see objects at near. Most people will notice this change in their early 40’s.
Not only do eye examinations determine if glasses or contact lenses are needed, but some diseases can also be detected. During an eye examination the doctor will look through the pupil with an instrument that lets him/her view the retina. Looking at the retina can help evaluate the health of blood vessels which can determine if a patient has diabetes, high blood pressure, or possibly some other systemic disease.
Nearsightedness, or myopia, occurs when the eye is either too long or when the cornea is too curved. Light rays that enter the eye come to a focus in front of the retina. A person with nearsightedness sees things more blurry at distance than near.
Farsightedness, or hyperopia, occurs when the eye is either too short or when the cornea is too flat. Light rays that enter the eye come to a focus behind the retina. A person with farsightedness sees things more blurry at near than distance. This can often lead to eyestrain and headaches.
Yes. Contact lenses are medical devices. It is very important that they are fit and worn properly. Improper wearing of contact lenses can cause very serious eye infections that may result in permanent vision loss.
Yes. High blood pressure can lead to hypertensive retinopathy, which affects the tiny blood vessels in the retina. It is very important that patients with high blood pressure have their eyes dilated once a year to evaluate for this disease. The eye is the only place in the body where blood vessels can be examined in their natural state.