Ophthalmology: Frequently Asked Questions

When to Have the First Eye Examination?

It is important to have an ophthalmology screening on newborn babies within three months of birth, followed by a visit during the first year of the child's life. If there are no problems, a second examination should be carried out within the child's first three years.

How Often Should I have an Eye Examination?

It is advisable to visit an ophthalmologist at least every 12/18 months, unless otherwise indicated.

What is an Orthoptic Visit? When is it Recommended?

An orthoptic examination is aimed at diagnosing or excluding anomalies affecting the neuromuscular apparatus of the eye and its operations from them. Orthoptics is a branch of ophthalmology, a discipline practiced by orthoptic specialists, who treat alterations of ocular mobility.

In adults, an orthoptic examination is advisable in cases of:

  • Headache.
  • Eye strain in near vision or focus.
  • Difficulty in focusing.
  • Split vision.
  • Visual stress.
  • Difficulty in visual memorization.


When to operate on a cataract?

It is generally recommended to intervene when cataracts lead to a significant decrease in visual acuity. It is possible to intervene even in old age.

Can cataracts be operated on using a laser?

At UPMC, we can perform cataract surgery both in the traditional way (phacoemulsification), and with the aid of the femtosecond laser, which in the first phase of the intervention allows less surgical invasiveness. In any case, this first phase precedes the one in which the surgeon will complete the operation in the traditional way. Suitability for cataract surgery, using femtosecond lasers or traditional phacoemulsification, is determined by the doctor.

Refractive Surgery

How is the excimer laser used to correct visual defects?

The surgical treatment with the latest generation excimer laser is the most precise method available today to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The strengths of this surgical technique are minimal invasiveness and maximum precision.

What are the results of this surgery?

The estimate calculates that 99% of people, after surgery with the excimer laser, improve their visual acuity.

Can all people undergo laser treatment?

Not everyone is eligible for laser surgery. It will be the specialist, after carrying out the pre-operative diagnostic examinations, who decides the suitability of the treatment.

Is the treatment painful? What if I move my eye during treatment?

The treatment is painless and the patient cooperation required is usually very simple. The lasers available at UPMC facilities are of the latest generation, equipped with a system called "eye-tracker." This follows the movements of the eye and facilitates easier patient collaboration.

What is the minimum age to perform the operation?

The basic condition for being able to undergo treatment is the stability of the refractive defect for at least 2 years. It is therefore advisable to be at least 20 years old. In any case, the doctor will determine the ideal age depending on the type of defect to be treated.

What are the main refractive defects that can be corrected by excimer laser?

Common conditions include astigmatism, hyperopia, myopia, and presbyopia.

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