You have questions we have answers! Here are some of the questions we most frequently receive.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Please bring any previous prescriptions or prescription eyeglasses to help us serve you better, save you time in our office, give you an idea of what has changed for you, and to help us get the best prescription for your eyes. Also, if you wear contacts, bringing information about previous contacts you have worn, such as an old order or an old box or the name of the brand of lenses helps us to get the best contacts for your eyes. If you are coming in for a contact lens follow up exam you will need to come in wearing your contact lenses.
Do I need to bring information about prescription medications that I take?
Yes! Many prescription medications affect the eyes and your vision. Also, if something is going on with your eyes and you need a prescription or recommendation to relieve allergy symptoms or an eye infection, the eye physician needs to know all the medications you are taking so that he can make a safe and appropriate decision for your eyes. Certainly, if you take eye drops to control pressures in your eye (i.e. glaucoma), then the eye physician especially needs to know what you are currently taking to control your eye pressure.
Can I get contact lenses right away?
Yes! 99% of the time, we have trial lenses in stock for your eyes so that you can try them out at no charge so that you and the eye physician can know what lenses work for you before you spend any money to purchase contact lenses. Occasionally, eyes are unusual enough that we have to have lenses custom made and we can do that, too. Of course, if your contact lenses are custom made, there is a short delay until they are delivered, but we can give you a similar lens so that you can walk out with contacts the same day you see our eye physician. Of course, the eye physician will write a prescription so that you can purchase more contacts as soon as you and he are confident that the lenses you try are working well with your eyes. For many long-term contact lens wearers, the prescription can be written the same day.
How long will my contact lens prescription last?
Our eye physician follows all applicable state and national rules when writing contact lens prescriptions. In almost all cases, this means that your contact lens prescription will be good for at least a year. In the case of long-term wearers who have no issues with contact lens wear, our eye physician will write a two year prescription for you without you even having to ask. This usually means a significant monetary savings for the contact lens wearer who is accustomed to visiting different shops who customarily only write prescriptions for the one year minimum required by the federal law that was intended to protect the consumer, but actually ends up doing more to protect doctors.
What will the eye doctor do at my exam?
Our ophthalmologist and optometrist are board certified by the State of Florida and will perform comprehensive eye exams. They are trained to follow a strict procedure of examining everything from the outside of the eye to the inside of the eye, as well as determine the refractive state of the eye, which is the prescription that allows you to purchase eye wear that meets your expectations for good vision. Our eye exams will include the check of the pressure in the eye, both visually and numerically, as well as check for diabetic retinopathy and any indicators of brain tumors, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, or blood disorders. Many people do not realize that one of the real values of a regular dilated eye exam is that the eye physician is carefully looking at the blood vessels in the back of the eye. Those blood vessels are the only place where we can see the interior of the human body without cutting it open to check your internal health.
How often should I have an eye exam?
A comprehensive eye exam should be a regular part of everyone’s healthcare routine. Children should have a yearly eye exam with an eye physician starting at the age of four. A vision screening at school or at your primary care physician is very important for uncovering the worst eye problems early, but there are many eye problems that get missed in such screenings. Most people should have a yearly eye exam until age 25, since the eyes are continuing to change shape and vision problems can emerge at any point during development. Your eye physician will let you know if less frequent eye exams are indicated. After age 25, once every other year is sufficient until age 40. Once again, from age 40 until 45, annual exams are normally very beneficial. After age 45, if there are no other medical issues with your eyes, then every other year until age 65 is sufficient. After age 65, yearly exams are again recommended as there are many common eye diseases that advance fairly quickly after age 65 and are often treated effectively if diagnosed early enough.