Ask the Doctor

I have red eyes, what should I do?

If you wear contact lenses…remove the contact lens…if the eye starts looking less red then the contact lens may need to be cleaned or replaced. If the eye does not go back to completely “white” then we do not recommend using a contact lens until you have been seen by one of our doctors….as you may have an infection that needs treatment.

If you do not wear contact lenses…we recommend coming in to get your eye evaluated to see if it needs treatment. Several things can cause red eyes…some need treatment and others do not… but the only way to know for sure is for us to get a magnified look at your eye. If you need our assistance, please call our Bellevue office at 425-641-2020 or email us.

I have eye pain, what should I do?

If you wear contact lenses…take out your contact lens. If the pain goes away you may need to clean your lens or it may need to be replaced. If the pain does not go away you should schedule an appointment to come in for an office visit.

If you do not wear contact lenses: The best advice is to come in for an office visit so we can determine the cause of the eye pain and treat if necessary. You can reach our Bellevue office at 425-641-2020 or email us.

I have dry eyes, what should I do?

The first line of defense for most causes of dry eyes is to lubricate your eyes with artificial tears. We recommend using tears that are preservative free in single unit doses. Fish oil can be beneficial for some patients but it may have a blood thinning effect so it may be wise to consult with our doctors or your regular primary doctor before starting fish oil.

There are medical treatments now for dry eye syndrome that are quite effective. If you have already tried artificial tears with limited or no success we recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our doctors for a dry eye evaluation (this is generally covered under your medical insurance plan rather than vision insurance). For women, it can be helpful to come in without any eye makeup or foundation around your eyes for this type of appointment. You can schedule at our Bellevue office by calling 425-641-2020 or email us.

I am seeing floaters and/or flashes of light, what should I do?

Any time you see flashes of light, or an increase in floaters or spots, you should be checked immediately. Although many people have floaters for many years, a sudden increase can be serious.

The most concerning problem related to flashes or floaters is retinal detachment. This is a sight-threatening condition. Far more common is vitreal detachment. Although vitreal detachment is common and usually harmless, the only way to differentiate between the two is a retinal evaluation.

If you notice either flashes or sparks of light on the edge of your vision, or an increase in spots or floaters in your vision, contact us immediately. If you call during weekends or evenings, the answering service will give you the number of our on-call doctor. When in doubt, please call our Bellevue office at 425-641-2020 or email us.

What is the difference between Optomap vs. Dilation Exams?

Optomap Retinal Exam, an ultra-widefield retinal examination, is the revolutionary diagnostic tool that allows clinicians to view a majority of the retina. The Optomap Retinal Exam is a non-dilating camera that captures a digital image of the retina. The Optomap allows the doctor to capture a 200° high-resolution image of the retina in a single shot-- without dilation -- in a quarter of a second. It’s easy for the patient takes just a few minutes to perform, and is immediately available for review with the patient in the exam room.

Dilation, the traditional method, requires eye drops that enlarge the pupil area and blurs vision for approximately 4 to 6 hours. The drops require 30 minutes to take effect and then another 10 to 15 minutes of evaluation with a bright light source and a magnifying lens. The resulting clinical evaluation is similar to the Optomap if the clinician is experienced, the patient is cooperative and pupil dilation is maximized. A comprehensive dilation is achieved through 8 to 10 individual inverted views of each retina that is documented on the exam form.

The doctors at Factoria Eye Clinic recommend Optomap retinal screening because:

  • It allows for enlargement of the image to see a more detailed view of the retina

  • It takes just a few minutes start-to-finish, rather than approximately 45 minutes with dilation

  • You leave the office with vision intact, rather than with light-sensitivity and blur

  • Creates a permanent record

  • Allows for future comparisons--we can compare this year’s image to next year’s image—side by side

  • Can be reviewed by other doctors, if necessary

How can I become a patient?

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