About the Expert
Dr. Nguyen graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston. She then earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston College of Optometry. She is a therapeutic optometrist and optometric glaucoma specialist, which means she is licensed to treat, manage, and prescribe medications for most eye injuries, infections, and diseases. She specializes in custom contact lenses and dry eye.
What tests will you run during an exam?
Patients go through a very thorough exam in our office, starting with the autorefractor, eye pressure test, blood pressure, and optomap retinal screening (360-degree view of the back of your eyes) with our technician.
Patients then see our doctors, who will perform a focusing evaluation, muscle evaluation, eye disease evaluation (glaucoma, macular degeneration, dry eyes, cataracts, and more), and the refraction, which determines the prescription. Don’t worry — we don’t do the eye-puff test! We have a much more advanced method that is 100 times better and much less stressful.
What can I do to improve my eye health?
In general, be sure to protect your eyes from sun damage by wearing sunglasses or at least light-adaptive lenses when outdoors. Take breaks from your digital screen often. My general rule is that if you spend more than 10 hours a day on a digital device, you may want to explore blue-light treatments. Speak to an eyewear specialist as there are many options. Also, be sure you’re eating plenty of dark, leafy green vegetables and increasing your intake of omega-3.
My eyes feel fine, and I have no vision issues. Do I still need an annual eye exam?
Many eye conditions and diseases go undetected because they are often painless and occur gradually. If you have a family history of diabetes, macular degeneration, or glaucoma, you should get an annual eye exam. Otherwise, every other year is fine.
Children should have their first eye exam between the ages of three to five. How often they come in after that depends. Some children can be seen every couple of years. Those with a family history of certain conditions or children who have parents with strong prescriptions may benefit from more regular eye exams.
I feel like my eyes are dry all the time, but I want to wear contacts. What should I do?
There are different types of dry eye, and they are treated differently. I recommend getting evaluated by a dry-eye specialist because not all optometrists treat dry eye. People often think treating dry eye only involves over-the-counter eye drops, but there are many options. These include laser therapy, low-level light therapy, in-office heat treatments, autologous eye serums, amniotic membranes, and more.
As far as wearing contacts, everyone can be a candidate. The contact lens brands you may see advertised may not be a good fit for you. However, we have the technology and knowledge to custom-make contacts for pretty much any eyes.
What’s the biggest trend you’re seeing in eyewear now?
We really try to focus on uniqueness and individuality in our office. Some of the biggest trends now include bright and bold colors, retro designs and colors, and large frames. Cat-eyes are also making a comeback, and people are moving away from plain black or brown. New styles are usually introduced in the spring and fall every year.