Medical-LiveIamA I'm Dr. Tanya Gill licensed optometrist: AMA! …Like about why your eyeglasses are so expensive, or about any other “eye-care” conspiracies!
Aug 9th 2016 by DrTanyaGill • 18 Questions • 192 Points
Our team of EU law experts includes Michael Dougan, whose videos before and after the referendum gained millions of views. We also have a number of other experts in our team, including those specialising in more specific areas such as how Brexit might affect EU citizens and migration.
Get your questions in now. We'll be answering them between 5pm and 7pm BST(That's 12pm and 2pm Eastern time).
(Proof tweet: https://twitter.com/livuni_EULaw/status/761164264476446720)
EDIT: Thanks to everyone who got involved, we really enjoyed answering all of your questions. As a group, we aim to inform the public debate surrounding the UK and the EU. For more of this, check out our content here:
Is my optometrist just screwing with me when she asks whether 2 or 3 is better, but 2 and 3 look exactly the same?
I greatly admired your video about the common market. It's one of the most intelligent contributions to the Brexit debate.
What is your view on how Theresa May may avoid the negative impact of Brexit?
Is there a political dynamic driven by economic requirements that may make Brexit impossible?
As a European, I prefer the UK to Brexit rather than stay in as a half-member, which isn't satisfactory to either side.
Thanks. Though these are pretty complex questions! Lots of people are working very hard to try to move the situation forward - but there are no easy answers, and there is a lot of uncertainty, before we can even begin to answer them with any degree of clarity.
What we do know is that Brexit will have certain negative impacts - indeed, it is already having certain negative impacts. They can't be avoided entirely.
Have you experienced any cases where the vision disorder was mental? Is hysterical blindness really a thing?
If Scotland was to be independent is there anyway to stay in the EU? Could they also stay in the EEA and go straight into the Euro without adopting a new currency?
Hi! Ummmmmmm yes. People make up stuff all the time. It's my job to figure that out. 8 year old girls are classic for lying in the exam chair. They just really, really, really, really want glasses.
Legally speaking, the stronger view is that Scotland would need to apply to join the European Union should it vote to be an independent state. The procedure for joining the EU is outlined in the EU Treaties in Art 49 TEU.
The same is true should an independent Scotland wish to join the EEA - as an alternative to EU membership. Scotland would need to apply to become an EEA state in accordance with the terms of the EEA Agreement.
There's a lot of political and academic discussion about whether, in the process of becoming an independent state, Scotland could avoid the requirement to apply to join the EU as a new member state. For instance, some people have argued that Scotland could 'retain' the UK's membership post-Brexit. However, such views are high contestable.
As things stand, the Scottish Government's strongest hand will be in influencing the terms of the UK Government's negotiation position as a constituent part of the UK. Its influence is likely to be significant.
Hi. In the past few years, it seems I've developed a problem with how my eyes work together. Individually, they see ok, but together the images they see are shifted. I've seen two different Dr's trying to figure out why my new glasses (with several remakes tweaking the rx) give me headaches and I feel like one eye is doing most of the seeing. I'm in a 6yr old pair of glasses that are super scratched. I'm paranoid now about getting new glasses because the optometrists couldn't figure it out before. The most recent dr figured that I should get prism in my lenses. Any advice?
I had plans to do a masters in European law, either at KCL or abroad (most likely in the Netherlands). Is there any point now? And will I have to pay non-EU student fees if I wanted to study in Holland?
Hi! When your eyes feel like they are not working together . . . what are you doing? Driving at night? Using the computer? . . . to be continued.
As a group of EU law academics, we think doing a masters in European law is something everybody should consider! :-) On a more serious note, there is without doubt enormous value in UK nationals continuing to study EU law (and we're not just saying this to keep ourselves in a job!). Any sort of exit from the EU, will inevitably result in decades of complex legal negotiations. This won't just last for the two year period envisaged by Article 50 - the process of disentangling the UK's legal system from the influence of EU law is a phenomenally complex one. For any lawyer seeking to practise in the UK for the foreseeable future a high level of knowledge of EU law is, therefore, an excellent selling point in the employment market. Furthermore, most people seem to be in favour of the UK participating in the single market in some way or other post-Brexit, so there is certainly a bright future for any expert on EU trade law. The issue of student fees is a trickier one - as, like with so many answers to questions around Brexit, we won't know until further details of the legal arrangement the UK reaches with the rest of Europe is clearer. At the moment, EU citizens (that is nationals of EU Member States) are entitled to pay student fees on the same basis as nationals of the host state in which they are studying - so, under current arrangements, you would pay the same as a Dutch national (considerably less than UK tuition fees, for example). However, if EU law ceases to apply to the UK, the Dutch authorities would be under no obligation to continue to offer this favourable status to UK nationals. It is worth remembering, however, that the UK is still a member of the EU - and will likely remain so for at least a few more years (if we assume that when Art 50 is triggered the two year period that is envisaged is used in full) - so, if you are considering a Masters in Holland it might be worth doing so before the UK leaves the EU and you lose your rights as a EU citizen student.
I'm getting my driver's licenses in 10 months and my brother had to get glasses because he failed the vision portion of the test. Last time I went to the eye doctor(Feels like i'm pissing people off by saying eye doctor) I had 20/20 vision. But I feel like that has gone down some and my parents wont take me to the eye doctor (hehe). Should I just wait until I go to take my driver's test?
Hello, I am French, living in France with my British partner and our kids (I have lived, studied and worked in the UK for 16 years). My questions are: How can the law ensure that EU leaders take into account the danger that Brexit could bring to the EU structure and the international economy? How can the law force EU leaders to decide to reform the EU and ensure that Britain can stay under new terms? Also, could the current legal battles (against Farage/Johnson and the ones pushing for the parliament to decide on Brexit, and not the current government) have a real affect on the referendum result and make it void? Last one: how can the law ensure that British people working in Europe can preserve their EU rights and the same for EU citizens living in Britain? Thank you for doing this. I have watched and shared your videos before and after Brexit. Thank you.
Hi! Congratulations on driving soon! Please show this to your parents:
Dear Parents of u/Boredomis_real,
Your child is about to drive a car. Having clear vision will drastically improve safety and keep your insurance rates down.
Please have u/Boredomis_real see an optometrist so you can sleep well at night.
Dr. Tanya Gill, Optometrist
Hello. Thank you for your interest. The mechanisms for ensuring that EU leaders take into account any negative repercussions of Brexit are largely political in nature, as the only legal mechanism for exit is Article 50 TEU, which is not very detailed in nature. Nevertheless, there are various accountability mechanisms written into that provision. For instance, under Article 50(2) TEU, the European Council, which comprises the Heads of State and Government, provides guidelines that the Union must follow when negotiating and concluding an agreement with the UK. It is therefore possible for political pressure to be placed on domestic Heads of State to ensure that key issues are included. Article 50(2) also requires that the withdrawal agreement takes into account the future relationship between the UK and the EU. In terms of how the final agreement is concluded, it must be voted on by the Council of Ministers, which comprises democratically elected government ministers and which is required to debate publicly under Article 16(8) TEU. They will vote by qualified majority. The agreement also requires the consent of the European Parliament. Therefore, there are opportunities for political pressure to be placed on various actors. Political pressure can also be placed on UK politicians, who will be negotiating as third country representatives for these purposes. Article 20(d) TFEU also gives Union citizens the right to address the Union institutions and petition the European Parliament.
Similarly, any pressure to reform the EU will largely be political in nature. The nature and ambit of EU activity is framed by the Union treaties, signed by the Member States, and the EU institutions must act within these. There must therefore be the political will for reform, though the use of legal mechanisms such as Article 50 TEU have clearly triggered such political debates. Given the diverse reasons people voted to leave the EU, and the interests of the other EU Member States, it seems unlikely that EU reform could be reached before UK exit, even though Article 50 TEU is not yet triggered. David Cameron’s ‘Remain’ argument was based on a reformed EU on the basis of his renegotiation but this did not convince those who voted to leave. The UK is a member of the EU as a sovereign nation and by virtue of its own Act of Parliament, the European Communities Act 1972. As a result, even before Article 50 TEU, there are no legal rules that force the UK to remain in the EU. Although there have been some arguments made for invalidating the referendum through the courts (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/30/politics-brexit-unlawful-eu-uk), it is very unlikely, for constitutional reasons, that the judicial branch would overturn such a politically-rooted decision. There is a legal challenge underway currently, which is looking to guarantee that Parliament has to play a role in triggering Article 50 and beginning our negotiations to leave the European Union.( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36834743).
Is the Queen not entitled to give her direction when politics and economy are in turmoil, in a major crisis? In this context, she could be the saviour of this economic downfall and political farce, the protector of British, Europe and international economy. It seems strange that in a crisis she says nothing. Thank you for your support in this crisis.
The Queen’s role in political affairs is marginal. There is a convention, a common sense agreement amongst the political establishment, that the Queen will not exercise any genuine political power.
On the other hand, there are many who believe that Parliament should be able to play the “saviour” role that you are looking for. While it is not something agreed on by all, Parliament may be able to refuse to implement the results of the referendum if they believe it is in Britain’s best interests. There is a legal challenge underway currently, which is looking to guarantee that Parliament has to play a role in triggering Article 50 and beginning our negotiations to leave the European Union.( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36834743). Thanks.
Hi, +4.5 in both. If I don't wear glasses for a while my eyesight improves significantly. Can I train my pissy, weak little eye muscles to work better?
Hi!!! +4.50 is significant. I'll need to know your age to give you the best answer! Reply back!
What can i do to reduce the floters in my eyes? Its not annoying but everytime i see one i think oooh shit... Ima die:)
Awwwww. This question always breaks my heart. Floaters totally suck especially when they are in the center of your vision. Since they usually happen in a brighter room . . . sunglasses do help. Also if you look away to the side real fast and look straight again . . . the floater will move and may move out of your line of sight. Great question!!
Is there any advantage 1-eyed people have over 2-eyed people?
Hmmmmm. Good question. The answer is simply: NO. So sorry to all you 1-eyes peeps!!
With 2 eyes . . . you have binocular vision to help with: 1) 3-D movies 2) amusement park games are easier 3) depth perception and it's cues 4) computer eyestrain (2 eyes are better than 1) 5) dynamic vision which is important for sports
Well, 1 eyed peeps . . . you would kick ass using a telescope, rifle, kaleidoscope and be a kick ass pirate. :)
Hi! It's kind of a simple math formula:
Person with a cool disposition + stable prescription + adequate corneal thickness + adequate tear production = great lasik outcome!!
Is this you?
Costs are ridiculous because Luxottica owns the entire glasses market.
How long do "daily" contact lenses really last? Is there actually any difference between the daily, weekly, monthly versions?
Hi! My practice, Oakland Vision Center has worked super hard in cutting Luxottica products out of our office . . . because the quality has gone downhill and the hinges are no so good (meaning they break often and patients complain more and more) and you're basically paying for branding . . . SO YES!!!
My prescription is -4.25/-4.75 and I have worn glasses (now 1.5 bifocals) for most of my life. I have to have high index stuff, so it's never cheap. Things seem to be deteriorating at about 0.25 per year, on both sides.
The one and only time I tried contacts, I did soft lenses that I essentially couldn't use. They felt thick and my eyes didn't completely close when I blinked, so my eyes dried out and I wound up spending tons of money on saline (at something like $350 a gallon).
For someone like me, is there a point to contacts? Is there an approach I can ask my optometrist about? Or should I just empty the mason jar for surgery eventually?
OMG. I'm about to change your life. A brand new lens just came out. Imagine a drop of water that corrects your vision . . . how would that feel? The lenses are Dailies Total 1 Multi-focals. This would be your prescription. Now ask your eye doctor for these trial lenses!!!!!
Right Eye: -3.75 low add Left Eye: -4.25 low add
And yes there's a point to contacts! Freedom of glasses. No heavy hardware on your face for a change. Plus, why not!?!?
are the lenses made by robots or humans by hands ? or is it a human operating something similar to the thingys they cut patterns to wood ?
Hi! Lenses for glasses are made either by a knife/stone process OR by a digital process. A human does have to set up the equipment or computer. And yep. There are plastic patterns to trace the lenses. My preference are digital lenses. The clarity is amaze-balls compared to traditional lenses made by a knife/stone process:)
Could you explain why I am blind in one eye and not the other? When I get glasses they usually put a lens with no prescription on one side and the prescription lens on the other. I understand that I have an astigmatism in the right eye I just don't understand how it effects one and not the other?
Hi! Ummmm. I really can't explain that . . . well, unless you give me more info or your mom's number so I can call her and ask. Yes, that lens is called a "balanced lens" so the lens thickness looks the same when your glasses are made. Astigmatism can be a bitch, but I'm guessing you're talking about the good eye. If you're blind in the other . . . the astigmatism is probably there, but you just cant see it. Pun intended:) Thank you! Awesome questions!!
A couple questions. I have astigmatism, and when I got my glasses, I was told that I wouldn't want to wear them while using a computer. I found, however, that they work wonders with the computer! I never take them off! Why would my experience be so different than I was told?
Second, I have been fitted for contact lenses twice now, by different doctors. Both times, I felt like the lenses just didn't help much. I understand that contact lenses for astigmatism are kinda an iffy proposition, but if the prescription was correct, why wouldn't they help?
Hi! Please post both your glasses prescription & contact lens prescription and we will start there. xo
How often should you get your eyes checked if you have no problems with your eyes whatsoever? I've been staring at computers since I was 8-9 years old (now 30), but have almost no problems with my eyes. Last time (~5 years?) they were checked they were 0 / 0.25 diopter.
H! Your eye pressure, is considered a vital measurement like your blood pressure. This should be checked at least every 2 years just to make sure you're not 21 or higher . . . as it can be a risk factor for glaucoma. That thing that makes people go blind. You're overdue!!
Which one looks better? Number one or number two? Here we go again, take your time. Number one or number two?
I go so far as to what's better, 9 or 10 to spice things up!!! lol.
How am I supposed to not blink when they blow that air into my eyes? I know it is coming, and it takes everything in my power to not just close my eyes until it is over.
Hi!! LOL. I appreciate your determination and grit. You will always be a welcomed patient at my practice!!
Hello Doctor; I have a question. Online, many sources (some reliable, some not) say that using the computer for extended periods, or reading in a dim light just temporarily strains the eye and doesn't really affect eyesight. However, i just got back from my optometrist and I now need glasses, and the doctor says I should take frequent breaks from eye-straining activities so I don't further affect my vision. What's the truth?
Hi! Let's be real here. I'm in downtown Oakland where there are so many computer users with computer eyestrain. Asking them to take frequent breaks certainly helps, but is really not realistic. Most jobs around here are high-intensity and before you know it, morning turns into the lunch hour (so 4 hours have gone by) . . .
Here are 2 very simple hacks to help you:
1) Move your computer monitor back 5 inches. This will help with fatigue and eyestrain.
2) Make sure the top of your computer level is at eye level. This way, when you're looking at the computer, you're looking in the down gaze position. Your eyelid will cover more of your eyeball and you will have less dryness (a computer eyestrain symptom).
Ohhhhh. Lemme throw in a 3rd hack: computer eyestrain progressive lenses to use as needed when you feel tired at the computer. They work awesome!!
Any idea why 1.74 high-index plastic lenses are harder to buy in Canada (Costco Canada stopped selling them a few years ago and only provide 1.67)? I have -8.0 correction with no astigmatism and am willing to pay for the best lenses. Why would a lab just stop providing that quality lens? Is it harder to work with? Require specialized machinery? etc?
Hi! Conspiracy theory says that Costco can't get the 1.74 cheap enough!! It's all about the markup when it comes to Costco!! Nothing to do with harder to work with or specialized machinery.
If you are willing to pay for the best lenses, you should stop going to Costco. They buy the cheapest quality lenses for like $2-10. For my patients with your Rx, we do a fair amount of digital lens product. The clarity can't be matched. Hope that helps ya!!
OMG. NO!!! I would never this!! No. No. And I repeat No!!!!
Is there an age range (or set of ordinary circumstances) where your vision can change dramatically? I've always been told that I need an eye exam every year, but the past 5-6 times I've gone, my prescription hasn't changed (or very, very slightly, such as needing a "stronger" prescription in my right eye one year, and the next year returning to the prescription from the previous year).
Hi! Vision changes usually taper off at around age 18-20. At age 40+ vision for up close stuff starts to change and continue to change until age 62-65.
Some of my patients are like you, stable prescription year after year with some fluctuations . . . Getting your eye pressure checked at least once every 2 years (once a year if you have history of glaucoma) is still something that should be done. Make sure you score under 22!!! Because, blindness sucks!
Hi! I am someone who's eyes have recently been tested, and are quite good. However, at night, when looking at a computer screen or reading a book, they get quite tired and sore (probably very common). Can/should glasses fix that?
Hi! Welcome to the world of fatigue and eyestrain!! I'm guessing you may be mildly far-sighted? Yep, a good old pair of glasses for computer eyestrain will likely help for the computer screen and reading a book. Call up your optometrist . . . they can prescribe something for you based on your eye exam. Good luck!!
Hello, thanks for staying on so long.
What lens coating do you recommend? If it's super expensive, could you suggest an affordable option?
HOLY MOLEY!! THANK YOU! I've been here all day being the good optometrist!! :P
I'm currently obsessed with the Zeiss DuraVision Platinum. I love it because my patients are happy with it. I believe it's like $150. Super pricey, but effective.
I'm about to break it to you though . . . the cheaper stuff at $40-80 is tends to get scratched and peel off easily. Best to avoid the hassle and headache. xo
I have a friend who insists that wearing glasses is actually bad for you in the long run. I'm not sure what his reasoning is, but are there any instances where this is true?
Hi! I love it when friends play eye doctor. What is your prescription? Let's start there . . . To be cont'd.
but I'm sure it's about the money, money, money.
And speaking of Luxottica...
If and when I go to a Pearle/Sears/Target/Penney/Lenscrafters, how do I know for sure that they match up to the level of care that an independent practice like yours would give me? And what's the appeal/incentive for a doctor to hook up with a chain rather than going independent?
PS: my Lenscrafters glasses were never ready "in about an hour."
I used to work for a couple commercial chains before I bought my practice. Read: student loans. It was rough because I was booked patients every 12 minutes. It wasn't the best fit for me.
But having said that, many of my friends work in corporate chains and do make the time, have work flexibility and extremely great work/life balance.
I went mountain biking recently, fell over the handle bars and got the wind knocked out of me. My husband said that's what getting punched in the balls is like. So been there done that?
How often should eye tests be? I'm 18 and am recommended to have them every 18 months but I often find my vision is blurry or weak when reading so generally ask for every 6 months but they don't usually find a change in prescription? What could this be and should I get appointments less often? Thanks
Hi! You could be experiencing computer eyestrain. Please ask your optometrist. They can also let ya know how often to return:)
Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm just curious. I'm 29 and only recently started needing glasses for distance. Before my eyes were perfect and I was the only one in my family without glasses. I've been wondering if this is just because I messed my eyes up with computer/phone or if they would have always gone bad considering everyone else in my family has shifty eyes. Thoughts? Oh also, why do my eyes water over a slight breeze or sunlight? Can I toughen them up by not wearing sunglasses?
Hi! At age 29, your prescription should stop changing. It's highly likely computer related eyestrain that's doing this to you.
In cases like this I Rx computer eyestrain glasses quite a bit. They help you feel better (less fatigue) and also help to prevent your prescription from creeping up. So yes, there is something you can do about this!!!
Watery eyes with a breeze or sunlight is common. Never toughen them up by NOT wearing sunglasses. You need the sunglasses for UV Radiation / Blue Light protection. Plus, you'll get cataracts earlier in life if you do not wear sunglasses.
You could also be having mild allergies . . . Would you like a recommendation for a great OTC allergy eye drop?
Hi, I've had really bad eyesight for my whole life (started out at -5.25 all the way to -7.00). I've been wearing glasses since I was 8. I was wondering if there was anything I could've done when I was younger to have such bad eyesight? Is it genetic or did was it my fault?
Great question! How old are you now and what is your daily computer use? Instead of blaming your parents, let me try to help you now so you don't hit -800 or -900 or the milestone of -1000. Lemme know.
Hiya! I'm 20yo, -3,50/-3,25. I've been using contact lenses for 7 years now but I'm impatient to get lasik surgery. Problem is, my eyesight is still getting worse. When does it usually stabilize? Hopefully it will soon! Is it worth doing it young? And also, how can we avoid hurting our eyes when we have to use the computer a lot?
Hi! For cases like yourself . . . I prescribe computer eyestrain glasses right away. Lemme know . . . do you mostly wear contact lenses?
So i'm paying about £40 additional for thinning per pair of glasses i get ( so once every 2 years or thereabouts).
Is this worth it? I'm a person who values their appearance over anything, and it said it would make my eyes look bigger than without thinning and make the glasses look better.
Additionally, i hate contacts and really want laser eye surgery, but i'm afraid of the risks and the cost, is it really as "amazing" as it is made out to be?
Hi! What is your prescription and age? Lemme know!!