Q: What should I expect during my eye exam?
When you arrive for your eye exam, we will ask for your insurance card and license or government issued photo ID. This information will be scanned into your electronic health records in compliance with federal law (Red Flag Rule) and to better serve you in the future. You will then complete (first time appointment) or update (returning examination) two forms: the Health History Form and HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)/Notice of Privacy Practice. You will be informed of the Optomap Retinal Exam, technology which our doctors prescribe for their patients to enhance the comprehensive exam. This is a non-invasive procedure that produces an image of the retina (back of your eye).
Once you have checked in, an ophthalmic technician will bring you back to an exam room. There you be asked about your medical and ocular (eye) history and if you are experiencing any vision problems. Your vision will then be tested at far and near distances. If you are a new patient to our practice other testing will be completed: color vision and stereopsis (testing your depth perception). Next, the pressure in your eyes will be measured and drops instilled into your eyes to allow them to dilate.
Your doctor will then check your prescription (for glasses) and will update your glasses and contact lens (if applicable) prescription. Next, the health of your eyes will be assessed. The slit lamp (an upright microscope) will be used to examine the front of your eyes and take a detailed, magnified look at the back of your eyes (optic nerve head, macula, and blood vessels). Then the doctor puts on a headmounted lamp to further examine the retina (back of the eye).
At the conclusion of your examination, your doctor will review all of your results and discuss your various options. If you had an Optomap Retinal Exam, the doctor will review the images with you, or contact you later if more time is needed to compare with prior images. If you need glasses, our knowledgeable opticians are available to assist you in choosing frames and lenses that best suit you (fit and style).
Q: Why do you check the pressure in the eye?
Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the fluid pressure inside the eye. Tonometry is the method eye care professionals use to determine this. IOP is an important aspect in the evaluation of patients at risk from glaucoma. Intraocular pressure varies throughout the night and day, varying between 3 and 6 mmHg for normal eyes. In glaucoma, the intraocular pressure is often elevated and the daily range can be greater.
Q: Why do you dilate my eyes?
Dilating the eyes allow us to shine a light through the pupil to assess the health of the optic nerve head, retina, and ocular blood vessels. While not required at every examination, dilation allows for a more thorough view of the eye’s internal structures.
The light we use is very bright, but not harmful, and you may see after images which will shortly disappear. In addition, your near vision will be impaired for perhaps 2-4 hours and you may be sensitive to light. You may drive after dilation with caution and complimentary protective sunwear will be offered should you not be prepared.
An alternative to a traditional dilation includes the Optomap Retinal Scan technology. The rapid-recovery dilation drop is used for this non-invasive procedure that produces an image of the retina (back of your eye) with minimal impact on your visual performance for the balance of your busy day. The Optomap allows you and your eye doctor to take a virtual tour of your internal eye, often providing a view similar view to that when dilated.
Q: What is myopia?
Myopia or nearsightedness is a type of refractive error of the eye. Myopia is when light entering the eye is focused incorrectly (in front of the retina), making distant objects appear blurred. If you are nearsighted, you have trouble seeing things that are far away.
A nearsighted person generally sees near objects clearly, but objects in the distance are blurred. Squinting will tend to make far away objects seem clearer.
Nearsightedness is often first noticed in school-aged children or teenagers. Children often cannot read the blackboard, but they can easily read a book.
Nearsightedness typically progresses during the adolescence. People who are nearsighted may need to change glasses or contact lenses more often. It usually stops progressing as a person stops growing as a person enters his or her early twenties. Almost 50% of high school graduates manifest some degree of myopia.
Other symptoms may include:
Q: What is hyperopia?
Hyperopia or farsightedness is a type of refractive error of the eye. Hyperopia is when light entering the eye is focused incorrectly (behind the retina), and thus there is greater difficulty seeing near objects than distant objects.
Farsightedness is often present from birth, but children have a very flexible focusing system and are able to compensate for modest amounts of farsightedness. Occasionally, however, farsightedness can result in reading difficulties in school age children. Many children may outgrow the need for corrective lenses. However, later in life, glasses or contact lenses may be required to correct the vision. If you have family members who are farsighted, you are also more likely to become farsighted.
- Blurred vision of close objects
- Crossed eyes (strabismus) in children
- Eye strain
- Headache typically in the brow area while reading
- Aching eyes
Q: What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a type of refractive error of the eye in which the corneal surface or internal focusing lens is irregularly shaped, often making objects appear blurry and with ghost images. Depending on the amount and orientation of the astigmatism, individuals can experience poor distance and/or near vision.
The cause of astigmatism is unknown. It is usually present from birth, and often occurs together with nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Astigmatism makes it difficult to see fine details, either close up or from a distance.
Q: Why do I need reading glasses?
The need for reading glasses signals the onset of presbyopia, a condition in which the lens of the eye loses its ability to focus, making it difficult to see objects up close. The lens of the eye needs to change its shape to focus on smaller objects, or objects that get closer or farther away. This is called the elasticity of the lens. This elasticity is slowly lost as people age. The result is a slow decrease in the ability of the eye to focus on nearby objects.
People usually notice the condition at around age 45, when they realize the need to hold reading materials further away in order to focus on them. Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process and it affects everyone.
- Decreased focusing ability for near objects
Q: When should my child get their eyes examined?
We participate in the InfantSEE program, providing a complimentary initial eye and vision assessment for babies 6 to 12 months. Children with uncorrected vision conditions and eye health problems can face barriers in life: academically, socially, and athletically. Early detection and treatment provides the best opportunity to correct vision problems, so your child can learn to see clearly.
Depending on the results of this exam, your child may need to return at more frequent intervals – 6 months, 3 years, and before first grade. After the age of 5, children with healthy eyes are seen annually.
Q: Can I wear make-up with contact lenses?
You can wear make-up with contact lenses comfortably and safely. Below are some helpful tips from the American Optometric Association to help you do so:
- Put on soft contact lenses before applying makeup.
- Put on rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses after makeup is applied.
- Avoid lash-extending mascara, which has fibers that can irritate the eyes, and waterproof mascara, which cannot be easily removed with water and may stain soft contact lenses.
- Remove lenses before removing makeup.
- Choose an oil-free moisturizer.
- Don’t use hand creams or lotions before handling contacts. They can leave a film on your lenses.
- Use hairspray before putting on your contacts. If you use hairspray while you are wearing your contacts, close your eyes during spraying and for a few seconds afterwards.
- Blink your eyes frequently while under a hair drier or blower to keep your eyes from getting too dry.
- Keep false eyelash cement, nail polish and remover, perfume and cologne away from the lenses. They can damage the plastic.
- Choose water-based, hypo-allergenic liquid foundations. Cream makeup may leave a film on your lenses
- Choose high quality, dermatology tested cosmetics.
Q: What is the vision shaping treatment? Am I a candidate?
VST (vision shaping treatment) also known as orthokeratology are contact lenses worn overnight that are specially designed to apply slight pressure to your cornea to reshape them. The material allows oxygen to go through them to keep your eyes healthy. When you wake in the morning and take the lenses out, you will have clear vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses during the day.
This process is an alternative to surgery and completely reversible when you stop wearing the lenses. A great advantage to VST is the propensity for the retainer lenses to keep eyes from changing when used compliantly.
Your doctor will check your prescription, take a topography (map of the front surface of the cornea), and assess the health of the eyes to determine if you are a candidate. If you are interested, ask your doctor.
Q: If I buy glasses, do they have a warranty?
All frames purchased from Visionary Eye Associates are under warranty. The length of the warranty depends on the type of frame you purchase.
Under normal use, if any part of the eyeglass frame breaks due to manufacturing error, we will repair or replace the defective frame at no additional charge. This policy is effective for one year from the date of original purchase for our value frames and two years from the date of original purchase for our premium frames. If your frame has been discontinued by the manufacturer and we cannot repair the product, we will replace the frame with a product of equal value. It remains the discretion of Visionary Eye Associates to determine if the frame is defective or has become damaged secondary to misuse.
Q: Are the glasses scratch resistant? Is this under warranty?
Polycarbonate lenses and Crizal lens treatments are under warranty. The type and length of warranty depend on the lens purchased.
Under normal use, if your standard scratch resistant lenses appear to be defective for any reason due to manufacturing defects or scratched, we will replace the defective lens once in the same prescription at no additional charge. This policy is effective for one year from the date of original purchase.
All of our Anti-glare lenses and Premium scratch resistant lenses are under a two year unlimited replacement warranty from the date of original purchase and will also be replaced with the original prescription.
Q: My glasses need an adjustment, can you do this? Do I need an appointment?
Any eyewear purchased in our office will be adjusted at no cost for as long as you own the glasses. You do not need an appointment, but our opticians care for patients on a first come, first-served basis. You may want to avoid the lunch hour and end of the day when the optical shop is the busiest, or short-staffed. For your convenience, we do have early evening and Saturday optical shop hours.
Q: Are my eyes protected from UV rays?
The polycarbonate and high index lenses protect from UVA and UVB rays. Basic plastic lenses do not protect your eyes from UV rays.
The effects of sunlight exposure are cumulative; therefore, individuals whose work or recreational activities involve lengthy exposure to sunlight are at the greatest risk. UV radiation reflects off surfaces such as snow, water and white sand, so the risk is particularly high for people on beaches, boats or ski slopes. The risk for serious damage is greatest during the mid-day hours, generally from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and during summer months.
Overexposure to UV rays has been linked to cataracts, pterygium, dry eyes and corneal degenerative changes. These conditions can cause blurred vision, irritation, redness, tearing, temporary vision loss and, in some instances, blindness. Near UV rays have been suspected as a risk factor for macular degeneration development.
Children and teenagers are particularly susceptible to the sun’s damaging rays because they typically spend more time outdoors than adults, and the lenses of their eyes are more transparent than those of adults. The transparent lenses allow more short wavelength light to reach the retina of the eye.
Q: Do you have glasses for kids?
We have glasses for all ages. There are glasses and non-prescription sunglasses (Baby Banz) for infants, as well as children’s frames for all ages. We suggest an Anti-Glare lens treatment for infant and children’s frames (Crizal Avance and Crizal Sapphire) which provide a two year unlimited replacement from the date of original purchase and when replaced with the original prescription.
Q: What is the price range for glasses?
We have glasses for every budget. The cost of glasses depends on the frame and lenses you choose and your insurance coverage (if applicable). Our opticians would be happy to provide you with more details.
Q: Do you have eyeglass packages?
We have packages to fit any budget and prescription:
$89 Kids – Frame and Lenses
$99 Adult – Single vision
$149 Adult – Bifocal (flat-top)
$249 Adult – Progressive (no-line bifocal)
Q: What does my insurance cover for glasses?
The amount of coverage for frames and lenses depends on the type of insurance you have. Our opticians can provide you with more detail. It is important to realize that many insurances are designed to help with your eye wear purchase, and not necessarily to cover the entire cost of new eyeglasses.
Q: How are the sunglasses from your office different?
UV protective sunglasses help block harmful UV rays. Sunglasses should block out 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation and screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light.
Whereas most sunglasses provide UV protection, our sunglasses are precision ground and polished to provide even coloration and distortion free vision, in order to provide optimum visual performance.
Q: What are polarized lenses? What are the benefits of this special lens?
Polarized lenses filter out intense reflected light and reduce annoying unwanted glare. By filtering light and reducing glare, they provide clear and comfortable vision for outdoor activities around water, snow, or other reflective surfaces. They help improve safety and comfort by reducing glare from paved surfaces when driving and are ideal for individuals that spend time outdoors.
Q: What are progressive addition lens (PAL) glasses?
In addition to cosmetic advantages, progressive multifocal lenses provide a more natural correction of presbyopia than bifocal or trifocal prescription eyeglasses. Instead of providing just two or three lens powers like bifocals or trifocals, progressive lenses are true “multifocal” lenses, offering a seamless progression of lens powers to precisely correct for all viewing distances.
With progressive lenses, looking straight ahead provides clear vision across the room and in the distance. Lifting your chin slightly provides crisp intermediate vision for computer use, and upon dropping your gaze downward you are able to read and do fine work comfortably through the near zone of the lenses.
The new High Definition progressive lenses are digitally surfaced to improve prescription accuracy and reduce aberrations, providing a wider range of vision. The fitting of these lenses requires greater optician skills and more detailer measurements to be properly prescribed.
Q: What is a Photogray/Transition lens?
Photogray and transition lenses are known as photochromic lenses that are clear (or nearly clear) indoors and darken automatically in response to sunlight (UV) outdoors. They also protect your eyes from 99 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.
These features make photochromic lenses a great convenience, because they reduce your need to wear prescription sunglasses in most outdoor conditions.
Today’s photochromic lenses come in a wide variety of lens materials. So whether you prefer polycarbonate lenses, high-index lenses, or regular plastic or glass lenses, you typically will be able to purchase a photochromic version of your lens of choice.
Photochromic lenses also are great for kids, who tend to spend more time outdoors than most adults. Experts say the risk forcataracts and other age-related eye problems is associated with a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun’s UV rays, so protecting your child’s eyes early on could pay dividends when he or she is a mature adult. Also Light eyed children are just as light sensitive as light eyed adults.
Traditional photochromic lenses have not darkened in the car due to the UV protection from the windshield, however newer generation photochromic lenses work better in the car. Transitions XTRActive lenses respond to visible light, as well as the ultraviolet rays of the sun, and do offer moderate tinting behind the windshield. Photochromic lenses do take a few minutes to lighten when you come indoors.
Q: What is a spring hinge? Do my glasses have them?
The spring hinge makes the eyeglass frame more flexible and may delay or prevent accidentally bending the frame out of its proper alignment.
Q: I am very rough with my glasses. Is there a frame for me?
The memory metal (ie: Flexon) is a great option for you. The bridge and part of the temples are crafted from a very special bendable and twistable material that allow the frame to return to its original shape. This frame is well suited for children and very active individuals. If you are really rough with your glasses you might want to consider contact lenses!
Q: I am looking for a light frame. Is there anything out there for me?
A great option is our Titanium frames. They are the light, non-corrosive, and non-allergenic. In addition, they are very durable and provide excellent comfort and slip-resistance.
Q: I have a strong prescription, can you make them so they are not as thick?
High index lenses employ a dense plastic that bend light rays more with less thickness.
We also recommend an aspheric lens design which provides a more natural view with less magnification or minification. Aspheric lenses have a gradual power and shape change across the surface of the lens which follows the natural movement of the eye from the center of the lens out to the periphery, resulting in less distortion.
Q: Do you have safety glasses?
We carry industrial safety glasses and frames for occupational needs. Polycarbonate is one of the safest materials that also provides UV protection and is a great choice for children.
Please note, no lens is shatterproof or unbreakable.