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2553 Kirsten Lane Fargo, ND 58104
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FAQ's About Optical, Eye Exam, Eye Heath & Contact Lenses

Eye Exams

1. How long will the eye exam take?

A complete eye exam will usually take 30 to 45 minutes.

2. What does the eye exam involve?

Dr. McCulley will carefully evaluate your internal and external eye health, including a check for glaucoma, cataracts, and eye problems associated with systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. A vision assessment will determine if there is a need for eyewear or if the patient is a candidate for contact lenses.

3. How often should I have an eye exam?

Dr. McCulley recommends you have your eyes examined yearly. If you are being treated for a certain eye condition, it may require more frequent follow-ups. An annual exam is especially important for patients wearing contact lenses to evaluate the contact lens fit, prescription, and any changes in the health of the cornea.

4. Do you do the "puff of air" test for glaucoma?

No. Newer technology has allowed us to get more accurate readings of internal eye pressure to evaluate and manage glaucoma. Dr. McCulley will still test your eye pressure for glaucoma, but will not use the "puff of air" test.

5. How do I know if my child needs an eye exam?

All children should have their first comprehensive eye exam before starting kindergarten. Often, undiagnosed eye conditions can lead to poor reading abilities or poor hand-eye coordination and depth perception in sports and extra-curricular activities. Complaints such as headaches, blurry vision, squinting, or avoidance of visual activities could all be red flags of a potential problem with your child's vision. An eye exam at a younger age is warranted if you have specific concerns about your child's eyes or there is a family history of an eye problem at a young age.

6. How young of a child will Dr. McCulley see?

Dr. McCulley participates in InfantSee, a program that provides a free eye exam to children one year of age and under. At the exam, Dr. McCulley will test for excessive or unequal amounts of near-sightedness or far-sightedness, astigmatism, eye movement ability and eye health problems.

7. What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, an optometrist, and an optician?

Ophthalmologists are eye surgeons who perform procedures such as cataract removal, glaucoma surgeries and LASIK. Optometrists are eye care professionals who diagnose and treat eye diseases, prescribe eyewear and fit contact lenses. Opticians are trained in dispensing and adjusting eyewear.

Contact Lenses

8. Can I wear contact lenses?

Most patients can be fitted to wear contact lenses. Contacts are available that correct near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia (the need for reading eyewear.) Dr. McCulley will determine if you are a good candidate for contacts based on your prescription and the health of your eyes.

9. Is my prescription the same for both glasses and contact lenses?

No. A contact lens prescription requires additional measurements taken by the doctor during the fitting.

10. Do I still need glasses if I wear contact lenses?

Absolutely. It is important to have glasses with a current prescription to use when you are not wearing your contacts. In the event of an eye infection, a lengthy airline flight, or the need to get up in the middle of the night, such as parents of a newborn, it is key to maintain an up-to-date eyewear prescription.

11. Is it alright to sleep in my contact lenses?

Unless Dr. McCulley has told you it is alright to sleep in your brand of contact lenses, it is usually unhealthy to wear contacts overnight. However, new brands of lenses are now available (such as the Night & Day soft contact lens and certain rigid lenses) that allow better oxygen breathability through the lens and may be able to be worn overnight. Ask Dr. McCulley about these new contact lenses if you are interested in overnight lens wear.

12. How old does my child need to before wearing contact lenses?

Most vision prescriptions can be fit in contact lenses, but the fitting of a child in contact lenses depends a lot on the child's maturity level. Contact lenses require daily care and good hygiene and this will require parental supervision until the parent is confident with their child's skill and care of the contact lenses. Please schedule an exam to have your child evaluated for contact lens wear.

Eye Health

13. Will my sight worsen if I start wearing eyewear?

Wearing a prescription does not make your vision worse. Often when a patient gets eyewear for the first time the visual improvement is so significant that vision without it seems much worse, especially over time. This is simply because the brain can now compare two images, one with eyewear and one without, and realize how much clearer the vision is with spectacle correction.

14. What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a vision disorder, such as near-sightedness or far-sightedness, that can be caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or an irregularly shaped lens within the eye. Symptoms of astigmatism can be eyestrain or headaches, or the need to squint to see better. Eyewear can correct astigmatism.

15. What is dry eye syndrome?

Dry eye is a condition in which either the eye does not produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate on the eye too quickly. Symptoms of dry eye include dryness, redness, grittiness, burning, or excessive tearing. Many treatment options are available to treat dry eye. A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. McCulley will determine whether or not you have dry eye and what treatments may be necessary.

16. What is a lazy eye?

A lazy eye is an eye that has not fully developed its vision potential. This is more commonly found in young children, and if left untreated, can result in permanent vision loss. Otherwise known as amblyopia, a lazy eye can be caused by an uncorrected strong prescription need, trauma to the eye, or an eye turn (strabismus). Various forms of treatment can work to correct the lazy eye. Symptoms of amblyopia include an eye that turns in or out, squinting or closing one eye to see, or it may go undetected because the child is not aware of any difficulty in seeing. If you suspect your child has a lazy eye or any problem with their vision, please bring them in for a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. McCulley.

17. What is a cataract and how do I know if I have one?

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye, which is located behind the iris and the pupil. This usually occurs as we age, but can also be caused by trauma, the use of certain medications, or excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight. Symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, problems with glare, faded colors, or difficulty with night driving. A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. McCulley will determine if you have a cataract.

18. I see little black spots floating around in my vision, especially on bright sunny days- what are these and should I be worried?

These are called floaters and in most cases they are a normal phenomenon. As the eye ages, the vitreous (the jelly-like matter that makes up the back of the eye) changes. These changes cause very fine fibers to clump together and we see the visible shadows of these fibers as floaters in our vision. If there is a sudden change in your floaters, it could be a sign that a problem is occurring in the back of the eye and should be examined immediately.

19. What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve in the back of the eye. When this disease develops, the tissue of the optic nerve is progressively damaged. Often, but not always, glaucoma is associated with high pressures in the eye. A comprehensive eye examination by Dr. McCulley can check intraocular pressure and assess the optic nerve. We also can take digital images of the back of your eye and optic nerve to monitor changes from year to year. If left undiagnosed, glaucomatous changes can lead to decreased vision in the periphery, and ultimately to complete blindness. Glaucoma can be a hereditary disease, so if diagnosed early, medications can be prescribed and vision can be preserved.

20. What can I do to relieve computer eyestrain?

To make your eyes most comfortable at the computer, be sure you are at a comfortable workstation. Good lighting is a must. Glare can be an issue on computer screens, and anti-reflective lenses help ease eyestrain. The use of lubricating tear drops can also improve eye comfort after long hours at the computer. We also recommend the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at a point 20 feet away.

21. Am I a candidate for LASIK?

Many factors are considered including strength of prescription, shape of the cornea, corneal thickness, and overall eye health. A comprehensive eye examination with Dr. McCulley can answer your specific questions.


22. How do I select the right eyewear to look good on me?

Our experienced staff will be glad to assist you in choosing a frame that fits your style, work and leisure needs. As you browse our wide variety of eyewear, we will work with you to personally select frame options that will suit your looks and personality. You may be surprised at what a great work of art your face can be with the perfect frame!

23. How thick will my spectacle lenses be?

Lens thickness depends on how strong the prescription is, the type of lens material used, and the shape of the frame. In general, the stronger the prescription, the thicker the lens. However, new high index lens materials are available that can minimize thickness. Our experienced opticians will help you choose the type of lens and frame size that will look best on you and be best for your prescription.

24. Do you carry frames for children?

Yes. We carry frames for children of all ages. Please come in to view our selection and our opticians will help you choose the best frame for your child that is durable, stylish, and affordable.

25. Do you carry sunglasses?

Yes. We carry a large variety of designer and popular sunglasses for men, women and children in a wide range of styles to meet all of your sunwear needs. Ask us about polarized sunglasses that work to prevent glare and aid in outdoor sports activities, such as fishing, skiing, and golfing. Quality sunglasses are important to have year round to protect against harmful UV rays.