Patient FAQs

Senior woman smiling at camera

Q: How do I use my Amsler Grid?

A: You have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, now what?

When diagnosed with macular degeneration, you will be told to monitor your vision at home. You should try to incorporate the amsler grid into your daily schedule. This is an important tool for tracking early changes in your macula.

To Use the grid:

  • Place the grid at normal reading distance, approximately 14” away; You can place this grid near your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, wherever you will remember to use it every day.
  • Cover one eye – test one eye at a time; If you wear a reading glass prescription, please put your glasses on.
  • Look straight at the black spot in the middle of the card.

While still looking at the dot:

  • Do you see all four corners of the grid?
  • Are all the lines on the grid straight (not wavy)?
  • Any areas missing on the grid?

If you notice any changes with the grid, contact Middlesex Eye Physicians to schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist; Please inform the receptionist that you have a change on your amsler grid.

Q: What is a Fluorescein Angiogram (FA)?

A: A fluorescein angiogram uses dye and photography to diagnose changes in your retina. Typically a fluorescein angiogram is performed on a patient that may have new diagnosed issues or progression with present disease.

Prior to your test, you will be asked to read a lengthy consent form. Please read the form prior to entering the office. (Printable version of the fluorescein angiogram consent is found on patient forms. You will be asked to sign your consent form prior to having your test.)

Many photographs will be taken of the back of your eye (retina). A set of color and black and white photos will occur prior to the injection of the dye. We use special filters in the camera to illuminate the dye. You will receive the injection in your arm or hand; much like giving blood. The photographer will take a series of photographs as the dye enters your arm and travels to your eye. The dye will travel to your eye illuminating the back of the eye giving the physician a better picture to help diagnose or treat your disease.

Fluorescein Angiograms are typically performed on patients who have diabetic changes, wet macular degeneration, bleeding or leaking blood vessels and more.

Q: What is a Foreign Body?

A: A foreign body in the eye is a foreign material in the eye. When working on the job or working on your personal projects safety glasses are always required.

Patients call the office with the “feeling that something is in their eye” or “it feels like there’s an eyelash in my eye”. A foreign body can be caused by a number of reasons:

  • A sliver of metal from working under a car
  • Dust or a piece of dried grass from mowing the lawn
  • A wood shaving from cutting wood
  • Torn contact lens

A detailed evaluation by your Middlesex Eye Physicians ophthalmologist is needed to determine if there is matter in your eye or if there is an abrasion (scratch on the cornea). Your examination will be performed under a slit lamp (microscope) to reveal if you have a foreign body.

Q: What is Refraction?

A: A “refraction” is the part of your medical eye examination or “complete exam” that allows the physician the knowledge if you need eye correction with glasses or contact lenses. The term refract is defined as the bending of light. With eyes, we refract patients by bending light with lenses to focus on their retina giving most patients clearer vision. The photo displays the equipment used, called a phoropter. The phoropter is placed in front of you, the patient. You will be shown a series of lenses and asked which is better; one or two. When you respond to the clearest vision, it is recorded in your medical record. You are able to use the information in the form of an eyeglass prescription.

Q: How do I put drops in my eye?

A: Putting drops in your eye(s) may seem difficult when you first try but there are ways to make this process easier.

  • Always wash your hands prior to placing the drops into your eye(s)
  • Remove drop cap, never touch the tip
  • While standing or lying down, bring your chin up slightly
  • Pull the lower lid away from your eye creating a pocket to place the drop
  • Turn your bottle upside down to have the fluid come to the top
  • Lightly squeeze your bottle to dispense drop
  • Release your lower lid
  • Repeat to your other eye, as needed

Q: What are the different types of Laser Eye Surgery?

A: Two main types of lasers used by our Middlesex Eye Physicians ophthalmologists are the YAG and ARGON laser.

Lasers can be used for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Diabetes: Lasers used for our diabetic patients are used to seal leaking blood vessels that can harm the retina. See Diabetic Retinopathy.
  • Glaucoma: Lasers are used in glaucoma to allow better filtration for the flow of aqueous fluid in your eye responsible for maintain good intraocular pressure.
  • After Cataract Surgery: Sometimes after cataract surgery, your new lens in the eye is covered by a membrane (the bag that holds your new lens heals over it). A simple treatment is used to remove this membrane to restore your vision with your new intraocular lens.
  • LASIK Laser Vision Correction: To improve your vision Dr. Peter Shriver, Corneal Specialist and LASIK surgeon, performs sight improving LASIK, if you would like to be less reliant on your glasses or contact lenses, contact our Surgical Coordinator to schedule a FREE Consultation.

Some laser treatment is performed right in our Middlesex Eye Physicians office, while others are performed at our dedicated eye surgery centers.

Your Middlesex Eye Physicians ophthalmologist will discuss laser options with you in the office if needed. All risks and benefits will be reviewed with you by your ophthalmologist.

Q: What is Lid Hygiene?

A: Clean lids, as clean hands, help our eyes by avoiding infections. Some patients have dryness on their lids that can cause flaking, while others work in an environment where their lids will be prone to bacteria. If you suspect you have lid margin issues, your ophthalmologist will advise you of cleaning options.

Q: What is Low Vision?

A: Low vision can affect daily visual functions, making it difficult for patients to, write, distinguish faces and/or view television. There are tools available for your vision needs. If you are a candidate for low vision aids, your ophthalmologist will refer you to our knowledgeable staff to educate you on the wonderful services and aids available for our low vision patients.

Q: What is a Nevus?

A: A nevus is a Latin word for “birthmark”, it said to have the appearance of a freckle.

Where can the nevus be located?

The physician may find a nevus on the iris (colored part of your eye or in the back of your eye). They are particularly benign and do not usually grow. However, they need to be monitored routinely.

What happens when I am diagnosed?

You will be dilated at your routine eye examination. If your ophthalmologist informs you of the new diagnosis, they may take a picture for documentation; as shown below. You will be followed to ensure the nevus does not change.

our locations

Middletown Office

400 Saybrook Road
Middletown, CT 06457

(860) 347-7466
Optical Department
(860) 347-8300

Old Saybrook Office

48 Main St. Suite 2,
Old Saybrook, CT 06475

(860) 669-5305
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