expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. Richard E. Bensinger, M.D.

Ophthalmologist

Dr. Richard Bensinger is an ophthalmologist practicing in Seattle, WA. Dr. Bensinger specializes in eye and vision care. As an ophthalmologist, Dr. Bensinger can practice medicine as well as surgery. Opthalmologists can perform surgeries because they have their medical degrees along with at least eight years of additional training. Dr. Bensinger can diagnose and treat diseases, perform eye operations and prescribe eye glasses and contacts. Ophthalmologists can also specialize even further in a specific area of eye care.
50 years Experience
Dr. Richard E. Bensinger, M.D.
  • Seattle, WA
  • Johns Hopkins Univ Sch of Med, Baltimore Md
  • Accepting new patients

How successful is LASIK?

LASIK has over a 99% success rate. You might want to quibble about the definition of "success". LASIK surgeons aim for perfect distance vision - no eyeglasses needed afterwards. And READ MORE
LASIK has over a 99% success rate. You might want to quibble about the definition of "success". LASIK surgeons aim for perfect distance vision - no eyeglasses needed afterwards. And usually achieve this. A few are off target and a redo termed enhancement can be done for improvement. There are some serious problems you will discover on an internet search - almost all of these are from the early machines (check the dates).  Current machines are 4th generation with most of these problems corrected. Post procedure eye dryness can occur and many get LASIK due to contact lens discomfort from dry eyes and they are at higher risk. If you qualify on the basis of your eye power and general eye health, you have an extremely high chance of success.

Can an ophthalmologist perform cataract surgery?

Ophthalmologists are the usual ones to perform cataract removal. Optometrists cannot and do not have the training for surgery on the eye  If your mother is seeing an ophthalmologist READ MORE
Ophthalmologists are the usual ones to perform cataract removal. Optometrists cannot and do not have the training for surgery on the eye  If your mother is seeing an ophthalmologist then she is likely in good hands. This is a highly successful procedure with generally excellent results.  

Is it safe to use rose water on my eyes?

As long as the solution in which the rose scent was suspended is pure without contaminants or infectious agents, it is safe to use this as you have been doing.

When is a vitrectomy used?

Vitrectomy is an operative procedure in which special instrumentation is used to clear out material in the back of the eye which is diseased or damaged.  Generally the patient READ MORE
Vitrectomy is an operative procedure in which special instrumentation is used to clear out material in the back of the eye which is diseased or damaged.  Generally the patient is asleep and the procedure typically takes 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hour. Commonly at the same time associated procedures may be done to stabilize the tissues at the back of the eye with laser, cryo and various mechanical inserted aids.   Vitrectomy is performed most commonly for retinal detachments and for bleeding in the back of the eye.  It frequently is done in advanced diabetic change in the eye when bleeding is a complication.  Trauma common requires vitrectomy as well.  There are other indications but these are the most common.  Your mother, if she has had such a recommendation, has probably consulted with a retinal surgeon which is the subspecialist who does this type of surgery.  Hopefully he/she has explained the condition of the eye to her and why vitrectomy might be helpful as well as the recovery and results to be expected.  

What causes Behcet's disease in a person and how can it be treated?

Behcet's disease is in the auto-immune spectrum. You can read about it with the following link: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/vasculitis/beh%C3%A7et-disease/?network=g&matchtype=e&keyword=behcet%27s%20disease&creative=194484454716&device=c&devicemodel=&placement=&position=1t2&campaignid=296894295&adgroupid=20734785015&loc_physical_ms=9033344&loc_interest_ms=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy8HQ_u_M3QIVGNlkCh2qdwleEAAYAiAAEgL4X_D_BwE  READ MORE
Behcet's disease is in the auto-immune spectrum. You can read about it with the following link:

https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/vasculitis/beh%C3%A7et-disease/?network=g&matchtype=e&keyword=behcet%27s%20disease&creative=194484454716&device=c&devicemodel=&placement=&position=1t2&campaignid=296894295&adgroupid=20734785015&loc_physical_ms=9033344&loc_interest_ms=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy8HQ_u_M3QIVGNlkCh2qdwleEAAYAiAAEgL4X_D_BwE 

Why do I have eye watering after a cataract surgery?

You do not state whether the watering is one, or both eyes nor how long it has been since the surgery. Excess watering can be the eyes attempt to help healing by clearing out debris READ MORE
You do not state whether the watering is one, or both eyes nor how long it has been since the surgery. Excess watering can be the eyes attempt to help healing by clearing out debris from the front of the eye. This is usually short-term. Less commonly, it might reflect a disruption of the tear drainage "plumbing." The best bet is to return to the surgeon who removed the cataract(s) and find out what the cause is. Watering is generally good and healthful and is far better than its opposite, which is deficient watering.  

I have a problem driving at night. Is there any way to fix it?

Hopefully you are wearing eyeglasses with the best current correction. There are a few visual disorders which impact night vision and I assume you have been checked for these.  READ MORE
Hopefully you are wearing eyeglasses with the best current correction. There are a few visual disorders which impact night vision and I assume you have been checked for these.  The most common, early cataracts, will cause some glare at night, which can be a problem. You did not indicate your age, so I am not sure if you are in the older, cataract-likely age.  Check with your ophthalmologist to resolve, and define, these issues. 

How does accentrix work?

Accentrix is one of a class of agents that are called VEGF inhibitors. When circulation is compromised at or near the macula, it sends out a signal that stimulates the growth of READ MORE
Accentrix is one of a class of agents that are called VEGF inhibitors. When circulation is compromised at or near the macula, it sends out a signal that stimulates the growth of new, but seriously abnormal vessels likely to lead and bleed. Accentrix will block this signal and cause atrophy of the abnormal vessels and limits the damaging effects caused by those vessels.  

I accidentally slept in my contacts. Can just once cause permanent damage?

Sleeping in contacts can lead to an overwear temporary change in the eyes usually due to oxygen deficiency. This can cause irritation, pain, redness and less commonly lid swelling.  READ MORE
Sleeping in contacts can lead to an overwear temporary change in the eyes usually due to oxygen deficiency. This can cause irritation, pain, redness and less commonly lid swelling.  These are all temporary and usually takes 1-2 days to disappear. No permanent changes result if this is all that happened. Rarely, an infection might occur - causing redness that is generalized, pain and sometimes lowered vision. Looking in the mirror you might notice a white dot on the cornea (the window at the front of the eye upon which the contact lens rests). If this is noted, see an ophthalmologist right away. Otherwise if the symptoms disappear in 2 days then, you can go back to your usual contact lens schedule. Of course, don't wear the lens until the eye clears.  

How can I protect my eyes while working in front of the computer for close to 8 hours a day?

Computer use is not harmful. It is tiring and especially drying. The dryness relates to the fact that the normal blink rate is about 16 per minute and drops to 5-6 per minute when READ MORE
Computer use is not harmful. It is tiring and especially drying. The dryness relates to the fact that the normal blink rate is about 16 per minute and drops to 5-6 per minute when using the computer which enhances drying. I recommend to those who have to do sustained computer work, to keep a drop of ordinary lubricating eye drops at the computer site to be used when you get fatigued, headachy, irritable eyes, red eyes or visual blur. I like to emphasize that the employees at Apple who are on the computer steadily 10-14 hours per day, have no more actual eye problems than do the rest of us that use computers intermittently.

My eyelids are suddenly blinking a lot and then it settles on its own. What causes it?

While there are many possibilities, the most likely is that your eyes have become somewhat dry. The blinking is to spread what tears you have over the drying surface. Once that READ MORE
While there are many possibilities, the most likely is that your eyes have become somewhat dry. The blinking is to spread what tears you have over the drying surface. Once that is done, the signal to blink ends leading to what you feel is "settling." But the dryness underlies this, comes up again and the process repeats itself. You can try to interrupt this process by using lubricating eye drops to break the pattern. If it persists after that, then see an ophthalmologist to see if there is another problem.

What should I do for the continuous sticky discharge from my eyes?

If the vision remains fine and the eyes are not red and/or painful, then this is probably a reflection of eye dryness. Start by adding a 1/8 inch or so ribbon of plain eye ointment READ MORE
If the vision remains fine and the eyes are not red and/or painful, then this is probably a reflection of eye dryness. Start by adding a 1/8 inch or so ribbon of plain eye ointment each night before sleeping to each eye. This may correct the problem. If not , add artificial, over the counter tears during the day. If still persistent, then see an ophthalmologist.

My mother is highly diabetic and is not able to see very clearly. Could it be the onset of glaucoma?

Your mother is at high risk for visual problems due to her age and her long-standing diabetes. She certainly would benefit from an examination by an ophthalmologist fairly soon READ MORE
Your mother is at high risk for visual problems due to her age and her long-standing diabetes. She certainly would benefit from an examination by an ophthalmologist fairly soon (not an optometrist). If she is lucky, she would just need a new pair of eyeglasses. Diabetes can create significant retinal problems which can lower the vision - treatment is available for this. She is at risk for age-related cataracts, which can be fixed nicely. She is at risk for age-related macular degeneration. Glaucoma is of course a possibility, but these others are more likely. She needs an evaluation.

Why do some people have dry eyes?

Any disease will have a time of onset, and a common question physicians face is why did this happen to me? Tears are a combination of salty liquid, mucin (a lubricant), and oils READ MORE
Any disease will have a time of onset, and a common question physicians face is why did this happen to me? Tears are a combination of salty liquid, mucin (a lubricant), and oils which float on top of the tears and minimize evaporation. Older folks will notice that their skin is getting drier which changes the surface character and feel due to lower oils and moisturizing substances produced by the underlying tissue. Eyes have the same issue over the years with the final pathway being tears that are less voluminous, and which evaporate more readily due to lowered mucin and oils. It is more common in women and the symptoms are variable depending upon how serious it is and the tolerance of each patient. So, symptomatic dry eyes are distributed due to these characteristics and tolerance is quite variable. I don't know how old your mom is, but women have this problem more often. A combination of these problems for tears and for the skin around the eyes leads to what is happening to your mom. There is no cure, but lubricating eye drops and skin creams can attenuate the appearance and discomfort. Most of these treatments are over the counter, but there are some prescription medications also available although their effectiveness is variable. I assume she has seen an ophthalmologist and has been started on things to help with this.

My eyes are red and itching badly. Why is this happening?

These are certainly all the hallmarks of allergic response. If the vision is normal and there is no pain, then you can try to self treat. Over the counter anti-allergic drops like READ MORE
These are certainly all the hallmarks of allergic response. If the vision is normal and there is no pain, then you can try to self treat. Over the counter anti-allergic drops like Zaditor or Naphcon-A actually work well. A systemic allergy pill like chlorpheniramine can also be of use, but remember the side effect of these which is sleepiness so take the first one at night. Rarely one discovers the source of the allergy, but most times it is an unknown exposure. You can play detective if there is repetition. If the vision is down or there is pain, then consult with an ophthalmologist. 

What is the reason for constant watering of the eyes?

Intermittent watering of eyes is usually due to dryness. If your mother has constant watering, assuming the vision is stable and the eyes are not red, then a likely cause is obstruction READ MORE
Intermittent watering of eyes is usually due to dryness. If your mother has constant watering, assuming the vision is stable and the eyes are not red, then a likely cause is obstruction of the tear outflow lacrimal drainage system (the exit plumbing of the eyes). This should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist who can examine the outflow and see where the obstruction is located and whether treatment can be helpful.

I have a blood clot in my eyes. Is it serious?

Need more information for a specific answer. Where is the clot? Is it inside the eye or on the surface? Are you on blood thinners? If inside, is it in the front or the back? Are READ MORE
Need more information for a specific answer. Where is the clot? Is it inside the eye or on the surface? Are you on blood thinners? If inside, is it in the front or the back? Are you a diabetic?  Or have sickle cell anemia?  Blood in or on the eye varies from benign to serious. If you have seen an ophthalmologist about this, you probably have, or are close to the answer. If you simply have seen blood on the eye surface and have not seen a consultant about this, it is far more likely to be benign.

Is there a way to treat cataract without surgery?

The problem with the development of cataract is that the structure of the lens inside the eye has lost its transparency in an irreversible way. There is no way to reverse that, READ MORE
The problem with the development of cataract is that the structure of the lens inside the eye has lost its transparency in an irreversible way. There is no way to reverse that, and so surgery is the only option. 

Cataract surgery is pain free, and one of the most successful of all operations as the parts of the surgery are extremely well controlled and predictable. Diabetics commonly develop cataracts in older age and there is no additional risk to surgery in this group with well controlled diabetes. Dense cataracts prevent viewing of the back of the eye, and cataract removal in diabetics is sometimes necessary when there are diabetic changes in the back termed "diabetic retinopathy". There is a small increased risk if the cataract removal is delayed and becomes advanced, so do not put this off.  

My son is 3 years old and has developed cataract. What should I do?

I am guessing that you have already had this evaluated by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Are you certain the cataract is one eye only? Is the eye otherwise normal? Do not work with READ MORE
I am guessing that you have already had this evaluated by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Are you certain the cataract is one eye only? Is the eye otherwise normal? Do not work with an optometrist on this as these conditions are way beyond their training and experience. An eye blocked by a cataract will gradually lose vision unless the cataract is removed. This is not an emergency - there is plenty of time for the right decisions to be made. The options and treatments constitute a long list and it is better to have the pediatric ophthalmologist answer these questions. I don't know where you are located but most medical centers with an ophthalmology department will have a pediatric specialist. Larger cities may have one in independent practice as well. Hopefully you have made this contact already.

Is stopping restasis considered to be dangerous?

Restasis increases tear flow by minimizing (treating) inflammation that lowers tear flow. Stopping its use might diminish your tear flow if the underlying cause of inflammation READ MORE
Restasis increases tear flow by minimizing (treating) inflammation that lowers tear flow. Stopping its use might diminish your tear flow if the underlying cause of inflammation is still present, but it might actually demonstrate that the inflammation is gone due to no change in the tear flow when stopped. There are no other observable effects from stopping the Restasis and there are plenty of alternatives if the tear flow diminishes when you stop this product. You may safely stop Restasis and will not get into any trouble by this stoppage.