Why Do I need a Yearly Eye Exam? Symptoms of health conditions often do not appear until the damage has already occurred. Eye exams are a great way to keep tabs on what's happening in your body. Your eyes are the only place in your body that provide a clear view of your blood vessels, arteries, and a cranial nerve which can tell your doctor a lot about your overall health. During your exam, your eye doctor will look for eye muscle imbalance, vision disorders, and eye disease that could potentially cause future problems. As well as checking to see if you need glasses and updating your prescription. 

What kind of health issues could you find by looking at my eyes? An optometrist looks for diseases of the eye such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and eye infections. An exam can catch other issues within your body like a brain tumor, cancer, Lyme disease, thyroid problems, drug toxicity, and diabetes. Its a great way to check your over all health with a simple 30 minute visit that is usually covered by your insurance. 

Optos vs. Dilation 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 affect and then another 10 to 15 minutes of evaluation with a bright light source and a magnifying lens. 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.

Medical Insurance VS Vision Insurance Medical insurance pays toward eye care visits that are medical in nature.  An emergency visit, or one focused on a specific eye problem, would be submitted to medical insurance.  Some examples of a medical visit are: eye infection, floaters, eyelids styes, dry eyes, glaucoma treatment, loss of vision caused by a medical condition of the eye, etc.

Medical insurance may also pay toward a comprehensive examination if there is a medical reason for it (such a s diabetes, cataracts, or any of the previously listed reasons).  If there is a medical diagnosis, we are required to submit the examination to the medical, not vision, insurance.  Believe it or not, a comprehensive examination that is medical in nature does not include the refraction.  Nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and the need for reading glasses are not considered a medical diagnosis.  Medical insurance plans will deny this portion of the examination.  If you have both medical and vision insurance plans, our office will coordinate the benefits to minimize your out-of-pocket costs.

Vision insurance is actually a vision benefit.  It is designed to pay toward "routine" comprehensive eye examinations.  A "routine" eye examination checks for, but finds no medical problems.  The refraction (determination of the eye's prescription) is included, and since there are no medical problems, there is no discussion of problems or follow-up needed.  Most vision insurance plans do not pay toward the contact lens portion of the examination, but may offer a discount on these services.  Vision insurance plans often pay a portion of (or offer a discount on) eyeglasses or contact lenses. 

Why do I always have to pay extra for a contact lens fitting? This Fee covers extra tests preformed by the doctor along with any necessary follow up visits and trial lenses. These procedures are only done on patients that wear contacts. Insurance companies view contact lenses as an elective and usually only offer a discount toward the fitting. Depending on the complexity of your vision, ocular health and the type of contact you need requires different tests for the doctor and will vary in price. 

Whats the big deal about over wearing your contacts? Structurally, a contact lens is similar to a kitchen sponge. It is porous, allowing it to absorb and transfer fluids, gasses and debris toward and away from your eye. Like a sponge, your contacts collect and trap various contaminants; however, as your kitchen sponge ages and collects contaminants such as food and grime, you notice that it becomes less absorbent, appears to dry out, and starts to smell as bacteria grows within the pores. All of these indicators let you know when it is time to throw that old sponge away and get a new one out of the package.

Contact lenses age in a similar way, so it is important that they are replaced before they begin to house bacteria. Similar to the kitchen sponge, prolonged use of your contacts results in decreased performance and eventually a severe threat to the health of your eyes.

Is anti reflective coating worth the cost? Anti-reflective coating improves vision, reduces eyestrain and makes your eyewear look more attractive. These benefits are due to the ability of AR coating to virtually eliminate reflections from the front and back surfaces of your eyeglass lenses. With reflections gone, more light passes through your lenses to optimize your vision with fewer distractions especially at night.

I'm just gonna buy my glasses online, its cheaper. Why would I pay more to buy glasses here? Retail is NOT always cheaper! Independent research shows that buying glasses at an independent eye doctor is still less expensive than at many corporate retail chains Beyond price, glasses need to do more than just look good. Glasses are unique in that they are the only fashionable medical device (so far!). Your glasses must be customized to you in every way to maximize their role to help you see clearly. And, while can find some great values online, your eye doctor should, and must, play a critical role in helping you select the best frame and lenses that are right for your individual needs. Buying discounted frames online may cost you money in the long run. If you find a deal that is too good to be true online, it probably is. Extremely discounted designer and brand name glasses sold online are usually done so through a “gray market,” which is unofficial, unauthorized or unintended sales by the original manufacturer. This is important to know because, if these glasses malfunction, you may not have an option to get them fixed under warranty. If you purchase through your eye doctor, you have the confidence in their direct relationship with the frame manufacturer.

I found my contacts for dirt cheap online- so your probably just up charging your prices. We buy our contacts from authentic manufacturers and distributors, they are in pristine condition and go through many quality and health checks before they get into your hands. The FDA takes contacts very seriously, as they are a medical device that is being placed directly onto your eye. When you find extremely cheap contacts from online retailers, there is an extremely high chance that they are not authorized dealers of contacts, and that the reason they are so cheap is that they are not quality, or they are expired contacts. We caution all of our patients, if you are not buying contacts from us, to make sure they are purchasing contacts only from reputable optical professionals.  

Why are some progressives so much more expensive? Progressive lenses are optical masterpieces which offer smooth vision from near to far via what is known as the progression corridor or the transitional zone. But not all progressive lenses are the same. There are 3 general types of progressive. Standard, Digital, and Free Form. A standard progressive is made in traditionally from a semi-finished progressive lens that has the progressive bifocal on one side, then it works the prescription into the side opposite the progressive. This means the size and shape of the bifocal is limited to what’s available in pre-made, semi-finished progressive lenses. A digital lens has the ability to surface the progressive bifocal and the rest of the prescription on the same side. The free form is a revolutionary digital manufacturing process that uses computer-aided design and surfacing to create high-level, customized eyeglass lenses with your unique prescription. Think of it as a tailor for your eyes. Just like you can take an off-the-rack pair of pants and have it customized to fit your specific measurements, you can now have lenses made customized for your specific prescription and frames.

Whats the deal with all the material upgrades? Do they even make a difference? Depending on your prescription there are different types of material levels. The high your prescription the thinner material you are going to need so your lenses do not come out overly thick. Even if you have a lower prescription upgrading your material to a poly-carbonate or a trivex material can help the durability of your lenses so they do not break or scratch as easy. Don't worry too much about this, all of our opticians are trained to give you the right material for your prescription, lifestyle and budget. 

Spend all day at the computer?  Computer Vision Syndrome is a condition, often temporary, resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer or other display device for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time. This is an extremely common condition and we highly recommend a pair of computer lenses. These types of lenses can range from a standard pair with a simple anti-reflective coating to a special digital lens with a small add power in the bottom of the lens all the way to up a progressive lens with a high tech blue blocking coat. Talk to one of out opticians and we can walk you through your options there are options for every budget! A computer lens with help your eyes not work so hard through out the day and cause headaches, neck pain, dryness, and fatigue. A anti reflective coating will also protect your eyes from harmful computer light as well as block straining light from your computer. Long term, this will help promote healthy eyes as you get older and protect your vision. 

Is blue light really bad for my eyes? Yes! Blue light, which is part of the visible light spectrum, reaches deeper into the eye and its cumulative effect can cause damage to the retina. Furthermore, in certain wavelengths, blue light is implicated in the development of age-related macular degeneration. Computer lenses and special blue blocking antireflective coating with greatly depreciate if not eliminate the harmful effects of blue light. 

 

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