CHARLES L. SCHAFFER, MD, FAAO
Ophthalmology — Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise & Anthem
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about their vision and general eye health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

Click on a question below to see the answer.

How often should I have an eye exam?
Eye exams are recommended periodically, with the interval differing for various age groups. In the first three years of infancy, a child should have vision checked along with normal pediatric checkups. Between the ages of three and six (the most crucial period of eye development) an eye exam should be scheduled every year or two. After that period, until adulthood, exams should be scheduled as necessary. During the twenties one should have at least one exam. During the thirties one should have at least two exams. In the forties, fifties, and early sixties, one should schedule an exam every two to four years. For seniors, an exam every year or two is recommended.
 
In addition to these basic guidelines, people with a family history of eye problems, those monitoring a diagnosed eye disease, or those with certain high risk diseases such as diabetes, it is recommended that exams should be performed at least once a year. Regular eye exams are the best way to keep you seeing your world clearly.
 

I have been noticing strange things with my vision lately. What should I do?
Any abnormal phenomena or changes in your vision can indicate a variety of possible problems. The key to preserving vision in the face of most eye diseases is early treatment. Thus it is important to consult an ophthalmologist if you notice anything unusual or any change in your vision. It could be a serious problem, or it could be inconsequential, but the peace of mind and the possibility of catching a serious problem early are certainly worth it.
 

My vision is great; I have no problems. Is there any reason to have my vision checked?
Many serious eye diseases often have little or no symptoms until they are well developed. The only way to diagnose a problem early in such a case is to schedule periodic eye exams. This is the best way to preserve the clearest vision possible for life.
 

Is LASIK right for me?
If you are considering LASIK eye surgery, it means you are living with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, and probably currently wear glasses or contact lenses. LASIK can be a great way to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses or contacts. It may be especially appealing because of your profession or lifestyle. It could be that you cannot wear contact lenses and dislike the appearance of glasses, or you may just want to reduce the expense and hassle of glasses and contacts.
 
However, LASIK is not appropriate for everyone. There are several factors which determine the best candidate, including age, medical history, individual eye anatomy, ocular health and expectations. Each person is unique, requiring individual evaluation. LASIK is eye surgery, and, as with all operations, carrries risk.
 
No website can tell you for sure if you are a good candidate for LASIK. The only way to find out is to schedule an exam. Be prepared to talk about your medical history, and any current diseases or medications. You will be given a comprehensive eye examination, including some tests especially tailored to evaluate whether your eyes are appropriate for the corrective surgery. From the results of this exam, Dr. Schaffer will determine if you are a potential candidate.
 
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