FAQ

Call us: 518-472-9111


  • Cataract
  • What is a Cataract?

    At birth, the lens of the human eye is clear and soft, but with age, the lens becomes increasingly cloudy and hardened. As this natural process progresses, it may cause visual symptoms such as blurred vision, glare, or reduced clarity. A cataract is the medical word for the lens of the eye when it has become cloudy.

  • Who gets Cataracts?

    Almost everyone eventually develops a cataract with age. However, the formation of a cataract can occur more quickly with sunlight exposure, certain medications, eye injury, or medical diseases such as diabetes. There are also inherited forms of cataract that can be present at birth.

  • What are the symptoms of cataracts?

    As the lens becomes increasingly cloudy, a person may experience increasing glare and halos, especially around lights. People often notice these symptoms especially when driving at night. Decreased brightness to colors and difficulty with distance and reading vision are also common symptoms.

  • When should a patient have cataract surgery?

    When a cataract first occurs, it usually causes few symptoms. As the clouding of the lens progresses, sometimes a change in the glasses prescription is sufficient to improve the quality of the vision. Eventually, however, the cataract becomes cloudy enough to cause visual symptoms that cannot be corrected with glasses alone. At this point, cataract surgery is the only option to improve the quality of the vision.

     

    In most situations, cataract surgery is an elective surgery, and the goal of the surgery is to improve the quality of vision. There are some rare situations, however, where the cataract must be removed for the health of the eye.

  • Can a cataract grow back after it is removed?

    After the lens of the eye is removed with cataract surgery, it cannot grow back. In some people, a thin film of scar tissue can grow over the back surface of the artificial lens implant. If this causes a decrease in the quality of the vision, it can be easily treated with a short laser procedure in the office.

  • Can cataract surgery be done with a laser?

    Laser-assisted cataract surgery is now an option for patients. The laser can replace some, but not all of the steps of the surgery. For more information, please schedule a consultation or visit the official Catalys Femtosecond laser website.

  • Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?

    There are premium intraocular lens implants available to help decrease the need for glasses after cataract surgery.

    Standard intraocular lenses can help restore vision at either distance or near. Glasses are generally required for either reading or distance vision after surgery.

    Presbyopia correcting intraocular lenses can help restore vision for reading and distance to decrease the dependence on glasses after surgery.

    Astigmatism correcting intraocular lenses (Toric) can help improve the clarity of vision for patients with astigmatism.

    Not all eyes are good candidates for premium intraocular lens implants, and not all eyes need cataract surgery.  If you would like more information, contact us in order to schedule a consultation.

  • What does it mean when someone refers to a cataract as ripe?

    Some people use the word “ripe” to describe the point when a cataract becomes cloudy enough to cause visual symptoms.

  • Glaucoma
  • Is my eye pressure related to my blood pressure?

    Eye pressure and blood pressure are not directly related. A person may have elevated eye pressure with normal blood pressure, or normal blood pressure with elevated eye pressure.

  • What is a normal eye pressure?

    It is known that eye pressure is linked to glaucoma. In a person with glaucoma, lowering the eye pressure decreases the chance that glaucoma will progress.

    Ninety five percent of people have an eye pressure between 11 and 21, so this is considered “normal”. However, it is possible to have glaucoma with a “normal” eye pressure, and it is possible to have an eye pressure higher than normal without having glaucoma.

  • Does glaucoma cause symptoms?

    Most people with glaucoma do not experience any eye discomfort or vision change until the disease is extremely advanced, and vision loss from glaucoma cannot be restored.  It is therefore incredibly important to have a yearly dilated eye exam where the optic nerve is examined and the intraocular pressure is checked in order to assess for glaucoma.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Why do I need a yearly diabetic eye exam if my vision seems fine?

    Diabetes can cause damage to the eye over time.  We have more information regarding the types of damage in our website under diabetic retinopathy.  Sometimes, early changes that are not actively affecting the vision can be seen on dilated examination of the eye.  When these changes are caught early, there are treatments available to decrease the chance that they will cause permanent damage to the vision in the future.

  • Can diabetes damage my vision?

    Yes, diabetes can damage the vision in multiple ways, and it can lead to blindness.  Regular diabetic dilated eye exams can diagnose early changes in the eye from diabetes, and treatments can help prevent damage to the vision or blindness.

  • Practice Information
  • Do you accept my insurance?

    We accept almost every medical insurance carried by patients in the capital region.  However, we do not accept vision plans such as Davis Vision.  For more information about medical vs vision insurance plans, please visit our FAQ discussing the plans.  If you have any concerns regarding the specifics of your medical insurance, please call us at 518-472-9111.

  • What is the difference between vision and medical insurance plans

    Most vision insurance plans cover a refraction (measurement for glasses) and a basic screening eye exam to look for eye diseases.  Vision plans may cover this service on a yearly basis or every second or third year.  Medical insurance plans cover diagnosis, testing, monitoring, and treatment for eye diseases or eye exams for diseases in the body that can affect the eyes.  Diabetic eye exams are included in this category.  Some additional examples of eye diseases include eyelid abnormalities, blepharitis, dry eyes, corneal abrasions (scratches), corneal ulcers (infections), cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, flashes, and floaters.  If you are unsure whether your insurance plan will cover a visit with Perlmutter Eye Center, feel free to call us at 518-472-9111 so that we can assist you.

  • Where are you located?

    We are located in the Professional Building at 35 Hackett Blvd, Suite 236, Albany, NY 12208.  Please see our contact page for a map of the location.

  • Do You Perform Contact Lens Fittings?

    For our established patients, we do perform contact lens fittings.

  • What are your office hours?

    We schedule appointments from 7am to 5:30pm, but we are available to our patients by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  We frequently open the office in the evenings or on the weekends to see patients who have emergencies.

  • What should I bring to my appointment?

    If this is your first visit with us, you can save time by filling out our new patient form.  It can be downloaded here:

    New Patient Form:

    Additional things to bring to your visit:

    1.  Any prior medical and ophthalmological records that you have from any previous physicians.
    2.  Your insurance card.
    3.  Cash or check if you have a copay (we do not accept credit card).
    4.  Someone who can drive you home if you have difficulty driving after dilation of your eyes.
    5. We have free wifi, so feel free to bring a computer or tablet for use in the waiting room.
  • What should I bring to my appointment?

    If this is your first visit with us, you can save time by filling out our new patient form.  It can be downloaded here:

    New Patient Form:

    Additional things to bring to your visit:

    1.  Any prior medical and ophthalmological records that you have from any previous physicians.
    2.  Your insurance card.
    3.  Cash or check if you have a copay (we do not accept credit card)
    4.  Someone who can drive you home if you have difficulty driving after dilation of your eyes
    5. We have free wifi, so feel free to bring a computer or tablet for use in the waiting room.
  • General Eye Questions
  • Why won’t new glasses help my vision problem?

    Glasses help focus light inside the eye to make the vision more clear.   Eye conditions that affect the health of the structures inside the eye can cause decreased vision. Because glasses sit outside of the eye, in many eye conditions the vision cannot be improved with glasses.

  • Is it bad for my eyes to read up close

    There is no evidence that holding objects close when reading is bad for the eyes.  In fact, different people's eyes are naturally in focus at different distances from the face.  For people who are near-sighted, holding objects close to the face may be the location where the vision is the most clear.

  • How Long is a New Patient Visit?

    Visits for new patients usually involve a comprehensive examination that includes dilation of the eyes.  Given the amount of time required for the dilation process, it is recommended to plan for a 60-90 minute visit.

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