Planning a trip to the opticians? Here are 13 things eye doctor won't tell you, but fortunately we will.

1. Never use tissues or toilet paper to clean your eyeglasses

Paper is made of wood, and it will scratch your lenses. I like to use my tie because it's silk and really smooth.

2. Polarised sunglasses are great at reducing glare 

but they can make it difficult to see the LCD on your cell phone or navigation system. It's harder to see an ATM screen when you've got polarised sunglasses on, too.

3. Life doesn't go on as normal after I dilate your eyes 

It'll be two or three hours before you can do anything that requires concentrated visual attention.

4. You wear your sunglasses only when it's sunny?

That's like saying “I only smoke sometimes.” Most people know that UV radiation can damage skin, but they don't realise it's also bad for eyes. Wear sunglasses big enough to block the light from above and below—they should have thick sides or wrap around.

5. Eyedrops (any kind)... 

...sting less if you keep them in the refrigerator

6. Some doctors pressure patients to have cataract surgery right away 

But if it creates financial problems for you, there's usually no harm in waiting. Cataracts rarely hurt you—they just make it hard to see, like looking out of a dirty window.

7. Reading in dim light won't hurt your eyes 

But you might get a headache.

8. Take extended-wear contacts out before bed 

Your chance of infection is 10 to 15 times greater if you sleep in them.

9. Don't grab just any old bottle of eyedrops...

...out of your medicine cabinet when a new problem comes up. If you have an infection, steroid drops might make the redness look better, but the infection could get worse. I've had to remove people's eyes because of that!

10. Pinkeye isn't always benign

A number of patients end up with light sensitivity and even vision loss. But many physicians treat it with antibiotics that won't help if the cause is a virus. We do a rapid test for adenovirus—if that's what you have, we treat it very differently than if your pinkeye is bacterial.

11. No, it's not OK to wait for symptoms to appear 

Some blinding eye diseases have few warning signs. A yearly exam is the only way to catch things early.

12. If you're over 60, considering laser eye surgery... 

...and at risk of developing cataracts, wait until you develop one. Then we can fix your vision as part of the cataract surgery and your insurance may pay for it.

13. If you wear contacts... 

...ask for UV coating.

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