Answers to Your Eye Care Questions
Every day, we answer dozens of question about eye care. With new developments being made in the field of optometry all the time, it can be hard for most people to know how they can take better care of their vision. There are many simple steps you can take to protect your eyes.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about eye care or about our practice. Just give us a call: Man O War and Nicholasville Road (859) 272-1422; Nicholasville, Ky (859) 881-5444; New Circle Road at Russell Cave (859) 225-4657.
Frequently Asked Patient Questions
Q: What is an optometrist?
A: An optometrist is a doctor of optometry (OD) who is trained to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders that affect the eye or vision. Optometrists detect and diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal disorders, lid disorders, infections and injuries to the eyes. Optometrists prescribe medications to treat eye diseases. Optometrists evaluate and treat vision conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. Optometrists perform minor surgical procedures such as removing foreign objects from the eye. Optometrists provide pre and post-operative care expecially for cataract, refractive, laser and glaucoma patients.
Q: What training does an optometrist complete?
A: After attending a university or college for their undergraduate education, optometry students concentrate specifically on the structure, function and disorders of the eye for four additional years during their graduate education to earn their doctoral degree. While concentrating on the eye and visual system, optometrists also study general health in courses such as human anatomy, biochemistry, physiology and pharmacology.
In addition to their formal, doctoral-level training, all optometrists participate in ongoing continuing education courses to stay current on the latest standards of care and to maintain their licenses to practice. Optometry is one of the only doctoral-level health care professions to require continuing education in every state for license renewal.
Q: How is an optometrist different form other eye care professionals?
A: Optometrists are primary eye care doctors who examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders that affect the eye or vision.
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in surgery and disorders of the eye. Your optometrist can determine if you need surgery and will refer you to the appropriate ophthalmologist for surgical treatment.
Opticians receive training on the job or through apprenticeships lasting 2 or more years. Dispensing opticians fit and dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions written by optometrists or ophthalmologists.
Q. Are you employed by Wal-Mart?
A. No. We are independent doctors of optometry. We have chosen to locate our practice inside Walmart for the convenience of our patients. We make no income from selling glasses or contacts, only from providing comprehensive exams and treating ocular disease.
Q. How can your fees be so much lower than other eye doctors? Will I receive a quality exam?
A. We provide a thorough exam with the most advanced diagnostic instruments to evaluate your vision needs and uncover any other ocular conditions that may go undetected, if not regularly monitored. We received our doctor’s degree after the same four years of training that all optometrists receive and became licensed to practice by the state after extensive testing. We can offer lower fees because our overhead is lower operating here, and we are able to keep busy seeing patients all day because of our convenient location.
Q. How much does an eye exam cost?
A. Unfortunately, we can’t tell exactly how much your exam will be until we know what needs to be done. An exam for a healthy teenager who needs a routine exam before taking his drivers test will be less expensive than an exam for a diabetic patient who has lost significant vision and is found to have glaucoma. The fee for the examination depends on what diagnostic tests need to be done and the level of examination performed. If you go do the dentist for a routine cleaning, the fee will be much less than if you have 10 filings and a root canal.
Q: How much are glasses or contact lenses?
A: At Eyemax, we don’t sell glasses or contact lenses. This allows us to focus on providing the highest level of care to our patients without having to worry about making a sale. We will prescribe what is best for each patient without being biased by dollar signs. We will write you a prescription for glasses, contacts or medicine, and you can decide where to fill that prescription. All of our locations are conveniently located next to Walmart Vision Centers, so you don’t have travel far to fill your prescriptions if you choose to utilize their services. Walmart Vision Centers offer a wide selection of high quality frames and lenses at significantly lower prices than their competition. Walmart also has a pharmacy for convenient filling of prescriptions on medications.
Q. Will I receive a written prescription after the exam? Will the prescription be accepted anywhere?
A. We will supply a written prescription and summary of your exam as you leave the office.The prescription is valid anywhere in the U.S.
Q. I had an eye exam a little over a year ago, and my vision seems fine. Why do I need another exam?
A. We think it is important that all of our patients receive an annual eye exam. Your vision can change over a 12-month period. A regular check-up enables us to uncover any sight-threatening ocular conditions that can develop, unnoticed by you. Many people with potentially blinding eye conditions have very good vision. Early diagnosis and treatment of many eye diseases can often prevent blindness. A recent patient of ours came in because his glasses were scratched and needed to be replaced but he was seeing fine with them. While performing his eye examination, we found a life threatening retinal tumor.
Q: When should my child have an eye examination?
A: Eyesight is one of the most valued senses. To protect and preserve the ability to see, we recommend early and regular eye exams. During the first 12 months, infants begin to gain visual skills that are vital to their long-term development. Eye and vision disorders also can be more easily corrected if treatment begins early.
A baby’s first eye exam should take place at 6 months of age. Unless problems are detected, the next exam should be at age 3. Children should then be checked again at age 5 or before going to school and then every 2 years after that. Undetected vision problems can cause children to face many barriers in life- academically, socially, and athletically. Regular exams help children reach their highest potential.
Q. Will you accept my insurance plan?
A. For the convenience of our patients, we accept most medical and vision insurance plans for whatever portion of the examination cost the plan covers. Please tell us your insurance company so that we can confirm your coverage.
Q. Why does it cost more for a contact lens exam?
A. We do additional testing with contact lens patients to measure the curvature of the eye to ensure that we prescribe the lens that optimizes fit and comfort. We also do an evaluation after you have worn the lenses for a given period to make sure there are no complications.
Q. Aren’t all contact lenses the same? Shouldn’t I just buy the cheapest ones?
A. They are not all the same. The contact lens companies spend millions of dollars every year to improve their lenses and regularly introduce new and better technology. You wouldn’t want to buy a five-year-old computer. For the same reason, it’s best to keep current and wear the latest and best lenses. Right now the companies are introducing new lens materials that allow much more oxygen to pass through, making them healthier to wear and enabling people to wear them in comfort for 14 hours or more per day. We recommend these new materials to most patients, even though they cost a little more, because we think they are better for their eyes in the long run.
Q. Will my contact lens prescription allow me to buy any brand of lens I want?
A. Your prescription is for a specific brand of contact lens that our examination and experience tell us is best for your vision and ocular health.
Q. Is it safe to wear a contact lens with a small tear in it?
A. A torn lens can damage the delicate outer tissue of your eye and lead to serious infection. If you tear a lens and do not have a replacement, come into the office right away and we will provide a lens that you can wear until your new supply arrives.
Q: How much are glasses or contact lenses?
A: At Eyemax, we don’t sell glasses or contact lenses. This allows us to focus on providing the highest level of care to our patients without having to worry about making a sale. We will prescribe what is best for each patient without being biased by dollar signs. We will write you a prescription for glasses, contacts or medicines, and you can decide where to fill that prescription. All of our locations are conveniently located next to Wal-Mart Vision Centers, so you don’t have travel far to fill your prescriptions if you choose to utilize their services. Wal-Mart Vision Centers offer a wide selection of high quality frames and lenses at significantly lower prices than their competition. Wal-Mart also has a pharmacy for convenient filling of prescriptions on medications.
Q. Does Wal-Mart make high quality glasses? Because they cost less, will they last as long and let me see well?
A. Walmart will custom-make your glasses in one of its six ultra-modern optical labs, using top quality lens and frame materials, which the company constantly seeks to upgrade. Because of Walmart’s buying power and operating efficiency, you receive top-quality glasses at an everyday low price.
These are just a few of the questions about eye care that we receive every day. We hope that if you have any concerns about eye care or want to have your vision checked, you will make an appointment with your eye doctor right away. Many serious vision problems can be prevented when signs are revealed in a regular eye care check-up. Don’t delay when it comes to your vision.