What to expect during your eye health exam.
Eye health Exam
At the beginning of your examination, our technicians will utilize state of the art technology to perform preliminary tests. The information gathered is then assessed by our optometrists to obtain the best prescription for your lifestyle. You may benefit from a customized pair of computer glasses, or need safety glasses for your work. You may also want to be fit into new contact lenses. Our optometrists are ready to guide you to meet your visual and lifestyle needs.
Our doctors will also look at the front and back of your eye to determine overall eye health. They will evaluate you for dry eye and ocular allergies. If you have these conditions, there are a myriad of ways to help combat your symptoms. Our doctors will also evaluate your eyes for the presence of any ocular disease including glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can affect the blood vessels in the back of the eye. Dilation of the pupil aids in assessing the retina thoroughly. This is the kind of quality care you will receive at every appointment. We will treat you and want you to feel like one of our family.
Dilation of the Eye
The pupil, the dark area in the center of the eye, is both the window out for you to see, and the window in, for your optometrist to see. Under normal circumstances, when a light is directed at the pupil, the muscles in the iris (the colored part) contract and cause the pupil to become smaller. Dilating drops temporarily render the muscles of the iris unable to contract. This leaves the pupil larger, and the doctor can see a broader area inside of the retina. This area includes the peripheral retina and the outer blood vessels. While the side effects (light sensitivity and decreased ability to focus up close) are annoying, they usually do not last more than about 3-4 hours.
Contact Lens Fitting
Whether you have worn contact lenses all of your life, or are interested in beginning this journey, our staff is ready to serve you. We pride ourselves at staying on the forefront of contact lens technology. Every contact lens will fit and feel differently, and we are here to ensure that you find the right lens for your lifestyle. This means a lens you can successfully see with, and can comfortably wear all day. More importantly, the lens must have a proper and healthy fit on your eye. We are very adept at fitting multifocal lenses; which could lead to you being less reliant on your readers. We also fit disposable contact lenses of numerous modalities, astigmatism lenses, and rigid gas permeable lenses.
If you are interested in learning about your options, schedule your contact lens examination and fitting today.
There are many insurance plans, and we here at Eye to Eye strive to keep a basic knowledge of numerous plans. Of course, every plan is different, but here is a short list of insurance plans for which we are participating providers:
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- Vision Care Direct (VCD)
- WPPA/Providers Care Network
**These lists are not extensive and are not complete. The best way to know if we are a provider for your insurance is to call the member services number on your insurance card and ask for a list of providers.
It is our goal to help you receive the maximum allowable benefits with your insurance company. Again, we stress that every plan is different; you may even have a separate “vision rider” as your vision plan. This means you have Blue Cross for your medical insurance, but your vision plan is under another insurance company like Vision Service Plan. Please check with your insurance company prior to your examination so we can better serve you.
The Newest Eyecare Technology
We are always trying to stay on the forefront of technology in optometry. It is our desire to give patients the best that our profession has to offer in both service and instrumentation.
This is non-invasive technology used for imaging the retina. The retina is the tissue lining the back of the eye and is made up of 10 layers. Similar to a CT scan, the OCT uses light backscattering to scan the eye and relay a picture of the retina. Each layer of the retina can then be differentiated and measured. This has revolutionized our understanding of retinal diseases such as macular degeneration, macular swelling from diabetes, macular holes, and many more. The OCT allows us to see what is happening in each layer of the retina and how much the disease has affected each layer.
Not only can we scan the macula with the OCT, we can also scan the optic nerve. The scan tells us how thick the tissue is in and around the nerve, which aids in glaucoma diagnosis and management. Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve often caused from unstable fluid pressure within the eye. Finding thin optic nerve tissue can be a sign of glaucoma, and this technology allows us to diagnose this disease much earlier. We can then track the thickness of the tissue over time, which helps us better manage the progression of glaucoma.
This new camera allows the optometrist another view of the retina by taking a concise, detailed photograph of the retina. This is especially important in diseases like macular degeneration, glaucoma and monitoring the growth of retinal lesions. For these entities we are trying to discern changes over time and having a detailed picture each year can help us see changes sooner.
As you can see, technology is moving to a much more tailored pair of glasses created for your lifestyle. One way to customize your glasses is by taking precise measurements of how your eyes are positioned on your face, as well as within your new frame.
Visioffice is one of the most accurate instruments of its kind. It measures to 1/10 mm for distances. This instrument enables our optical staff to obtain more customizable measurements that are not obtainable without this technology. There is also a Frame Selection option that makes selecting a new frame fun and enjoyable. Visioffice can take photographs of you wearing your new frame. You can then email that photo to your computer so you can show your friends and family. Come on in and see how the Visioffice can enhance your glasses purchase experience.
Optometrists do not perform major eye surgery, but we can help you make the correct informed decision about having surgery. We will guide you to a reputable surgeon and aid in post-surgery treatment. Below is some information about different types of eye surgery.
Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
Approved by the FDA for the correction of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism, LASIK is a corneal refractive surgery. In LASIK, a thin flap in the cornea is created using either a microkeratome blade or a femtosecond laser. The surgeon folds back the flap, and then removes corneal tissue underneath the flap using an excimer laser. The flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed.
LASIK is changing the shape of your eye in order to see well. If you are nearsighted, the goal of LASIK is to flatten the cornea; as for farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. LASIK can also correct astigmatism by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more round shape.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
A procedure involving the removal of the epithelium by gentle scraping away of the corneal epithelium and then using a computer-controlled excimer laser to reshape the stroma (the middle layer of the cornea).
PRK was invented in the early 1980s. The first FDA approval of a laser for PRK was in 1995, but the procedure was practiced in other countries for years prior. In fact, many Americans had the surgery done in Canada before it was available in the United States.
PRK is performed with an excimer laser. This laser uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove (ablate) very tiny bits of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to reshape it.
With nearsighted people, the goal is to flatten the too-steep cornea; with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. Also, excimer lasers can correct astigmatism, by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more round shape.
Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK)
A hybrid of photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), the goal of LASEK is the preservation of the corneal epithelium. Rather than creating a flap with a microkeratome (as in LASIK) or scraping and removing the patient's epithelium (as in PRK), LASEK treats the epithelium with alcohol to loosen and separate it from the stroma and it is then rolled back. The underlying stroma is ablated with an excimer laser and the epithelial cells are rolled back out, repositioned, and smoothed. The potential advantages of LASEK are to reduce postoperative haze, speed visual recovery, and decrease postoperative pain over traditional PRK.
Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). The plastic IOL is permanent, requires no care, and can significantly improve vision. Newer artificial lens options include those that simulate the natural focusing ability of a young lens, allowing for distance correction as well as some near vision. Implants that correct astigmatism are now available.
Cataract surgery is typically an outpatient procedure that takes less than a few hours. Most patients are awake during the procedure and need only local anesthesia. If you need to have cataracts in both eyes removed, the procedure is scheduled for two separate surgeries. This allows time for the first eye to heal before the second eye surgery takes place.
Two approaches to cataract surgery are currently used:
- 1. Small incision cataract surgery involves making an incision in the side of the cornea, the clear outer covering of the eye, and inserting a tiny probe into the eye. The probe emits ultrasound waves that soften and break-up the lens into little pieces so it can be removed by suction. This process is called phacoemulsification. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the cataract but leaves most of the thin outer membrane of the lens, called the lens capsule, in place. Since the incision made for this procedure is so small, sutures are generally not needed to close the opening.
- 2. Extracapsular surgery requires a somewhat larger incision in the cornea to allow the lens core to be removed in one piece. This approach may be used if your cataract has advanced to the point where phacoemulsification can't break up the clouded lens. Through this incision your surgeon opens the lens capsule, removes the central portion of the lens and leaves the capsule in place.
Once the natural lens has been removed, it is generally replaced by a clear plastic lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). The artificial lens has the appropriate lens power to focus light onto the back of the eye and improve vision. Many people only need reading glasses after cataract surgery. Some patients do not need glasses at all. Much of this information was found on the American Optometric Association website.