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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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We had discussed my eye situation. I have been going to

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We had discussed my eye situation. I have been going to Optometrists and as far as I know they check for eye diseases like glaucoma etc. They did this as part of an "eye test". Are you saying that they don't test for those type of diseases as part of an "eye test" and only an opthalmologist does?
Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. That's not quite what I'm saying. Let me explain...
Doctor DanB : An optometrist is a person with a college degree and went to four years of optometry school what they learned about the basic anatomy and physiology behind, and how to diagnose and treat visual conditions such as nearsightedness farsightedness and astigmatism. They are experts in prescribing glasses, contact lenses, and low vision aids. Well many optometrists are facile in diagnosing common eye disorders such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, or dry eye syndrome, the vast majority of optometrists do not have significant experience in diagnosing these medical diseases of the eye. They are the primary care eye doctors and are a good first stop for eye questions and problems. But once these common things are eliminated, optometrists do not have the training that ophthalmologists do that enable them to diagnose all the optical, medical, and surgical diseases of the eye. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who went to medical school for four years after a college degree. After that an ophthalmologist does four years of residency training and studying the medical and surgical diseases of the the eyes as they relate to the body. It is the ophthalmologist who is the specialist who needs to be consulted when the question or problem is more than a basic eye issue

Thanks. This is very scary because for the last twelve years i've been going to optometrists. they always dilate my eyes and i always ask them if i have glaucoma or "any other eye diseases" and they say "no". Now I'm worried that i may have one of these diseases and it has gone un-diagnosed!


hi, are you there?

Doctor DanB : Yes, sorry. Had connection problems. Let me reply...
Doctor DanB : Is it possible that you have one of these diseases that was not diagnosed by the optometrist? Yes. However, given that you are still able to pass the drivers test, it is quite doubtful that if you do have one of these diseases that is significantly advanced there is permanent and significant vision loss because of it. Try to relax, see ophthalmologist as soon as you're able, I know that it is more beneficial for you to be seen an ophthalmologist now that you're entering a drink with glaucoma and macular degeneration are more common.

What does the word "drink" mean in your answer? thanks.

Doctor DanB : Sorry. Darn auto-correct. I meant age-range

By the way: i was BARELY able to pass the drivers test. I passed the DMV vision test OK with one eye but I had to be "creative" to pass with the other eye! I believe it is even possible for someone with ONE eye to be allowed to drive in California. That being the case - as long as I have one good eye (one is better than the other) then I'd be OK if my vision stays the same. Is that correct?


One more question: do the cheap "reader" glasses damage one's eyes (especially remembering that one of my eyes is different to the other)?

Doctor DanB : Yes, if you stayed exactly the same, yes you'd be okay from a driving standpoint.
Doctor DanB : No. Glasses only bend light. They don't cause physical damage to your eyes even if they are the wrung strength.

My prescription by the way is: OD +1.50 - 025 - 065 +225 add on and OS +0.25 - 025 -115


Thank you. So you are saying that people with only one eye are allowed to drive in California as long as that one eye is good enough?

Doctor DanB : I'm not sure of the driving laws in California but that in the case in Oregon.
Doctor DanB : Do you have any other questions?

only to ask if the prescription i typed out is normally correctable with glasses?

Doctor DanB : There should be no reason why it should not be in the absence of eye disease. That's why the visit to the ophthalmologist is important.

Thanks. Do you have any idea then, based on the prescription only, that the optometrist told me "if the glasses you are wearing which were made from your prescription don't enable you to pass the test there is nothing more we can do in terms of giving you "stronger" glasses"?


Are my eyes about average for someone of my age with no disease? Where are they on the scale?

Doctor DanB : There is no average scale for refractive errors depending on age. Someone can have a very high prescription and be five years old and another person from the 70 and have a very low prescription. So there's no average to give you to let you know that you are in a normal range.
Doctor DanB : The statement from the optometrist that they cannot give you stronger glasses to help you see better is likely correct. At some point adding more magnification is not going to improve your vision. Once the correct refractive error is neutralized with glasses or contact lenses, then if the vision is substandard, then there is likely a medical reason. So the optometrist is correct. He cannot do anything else to help you. But likely the ophthalmologist is going to have more answers.

OK. thanks

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry, one more question: if not too late - can my eye disease (if any) be reversed, or at least stabilized with medication or similar by an opthalmologist?

In sorry. That's very difficult to say because we don't even know if you have any eye disease and if you do, we don't know what it is. There are very effective treatments for glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts though.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You answered a question of mine regarding the fact that I only just squeezed through my driver's license eye exam recently and that I was worried that in 5 years time I may not pass at all. My worry is because my OPTOMETRIST told me that the prescription / glasses I were given were "as strong as it gets" and that "stronger" lenses wouldn't help me read the drivers license eye test letters any better than the lenses I was using based on his prescription. Obviously my eyes are only going to get worse over the next 5 years - not better. You stated that an opthalmologist is more highly trained. Apparently my optometrist did dilate my pupils prior to giving me the recent (pre-drivers license test) prescription and apparently he did test for eye disease including adult macular degeneration . That being the case - can I assume that the eye disease tests that an optometrist does on me are as good as the eye disease tests that an opthalmologist runs? And if the optometrist says I don't have eye disease I probably don't? Or should I make an appointment to see an opthalmologist? It would be pretty disastrous for me if I can't renew my drivers license 5 years from now.

Optional Information:
Person's Gender: Male
Person's Age: 56

It's not a function of the tests that one doctor has being more sophisticated than another. It is about the TRAINING and expertise, and knowing how to interpret those tests and mostly the exam findings and history to arrive at a diagnosis. You can teach a monkey how to look for red or green on a test result handout, but the value in going to see the ophthalmologist is they have very different, enhanced, exhaustive, MEDICAL training and I'm saying there maybe something your optometrist is missing because he does NOT have that training.
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