FAQ

Eyeglass Basics Guide 600x

Frequently Asked Patient Questions

Q. How does diabetes directly affect the eyes?
A. Just like diabetes can affect many organs of the body, diabetes can affect many areas and functions of the eye as well. Diabetic retinopathy (leakage of the delicate blood vessels within the eye), is one of the most common, and potentially visually significant findings. Diabetes may also place a person at higher risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma, retinal vein occlusions, and other diseases of the eye. In addition, blood sugar levels can directly effect the focusing ability of the lens inside the eye which may be seen as fluctuating or a sudden shift in vision.

Q. Are there common symptoms of diabetes as it relates to eye health?
A. Many times diabetes, as it relates to the eyes, will have no symptoms at all until substantial damage is done to the retina or other areas of the eye. This is what makes diabetes one of the leading causes of vision loss. The sooner any changes are identified during a complete dilated eye exam, the better the outcome will likely be, which is why annual eye exams are so very important for all diabetics and even diabetic suspects.

Q. How does diabetes directly affect the eyes?
A. Just like diabetes can affect many organs of the body, diabetes can affect many areas and functions of the eye as well. Diabetic retinopathy (leakage of the delicate blood vessels within the eye), is one of the most common, and potentially visually significant findings. Diabetes may also place a person at higher risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma, retinal vein occlusions, and other diseases of the eye. In addition, blood sugar levels can directly effect the focusing ability of the lens inside the eye which may be seen as fluctuating or a sudden shift in vision.

Q. How does a Glaucoma test work and is it painful?
A. Every patient is screened for glaucoma at every complete eye examination. It is quite painless, and there are many different tests that can be used, if indicated. This may include: a test to measure the pressure inside your eyes, a detailed look inside your eyes including the optic nerves, risk and family history analysis, and monitoring for any changes over time.

Q. What is Glaucoma?
A. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which if left untreated can cause damage to the optic nerve, and in turn permanent loss of vision. In most cases, glaucoma is a painless eye disease and is referred to as the “silent thief of site” because there are little if any warning signs until damage and vision loss has occurred. Thankfully, with routine eye exams, this condition can be identified long before any symptoms develop and is much easier to treat at the very early stages. Although many folks think that it is always related to high pressure inside the eye, this is not always true.

Q. What is the examination like to determine whether someone is suffering from Dry Eyes?
A. During a dry eye focussed examination, we may perform, if indicated, additional in-office tests to evaluate the health of the tear film. There are so many different root causes for dry eyes including: ocular and systemic conditions, ocular and systemic medications, environment, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune conditions, dietary intake, eyelid structure and function, just to name a few!

Q. Is it true that Dry Eye symptoms seem to be more severe in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months?
A. This can certainly be true for some patients during dryer seasons. However, some patients suffer from both dry eyes and allergies, or likely a combination of both, at various times of the year. Some patients have symptoms throughout the year. Fortunately, there are many effective and customized treatments available once we understand the underlying conditions, severity, and previous treatments.

Q. I am worried about putting my finger in my eye. How does someone get used to this?
A. This is a commonly heard concern. Rest assured, we will help you through the entire process. It won't be nearly as difficult as you might imagine. There are many tricks and practice tips that we can share with you to get you to the point of inserting and removing contact lenses without even hesitating.

About five years ago, I was told I was not a good candidate for contacts. I have odd shaped eyes. Are there new options available today?
A: Technology is constantly changing so, yes, there are new options available for irregularly shaped eyes. Most patients can now be fit with one of the many options available including improved astigmatism lenses, bifocal contact lenses, thin and light daily disposable lenses, and more customized lenses, if indicated, including hybrid lenses and scleral lenses. This includes patients who have had previous eye surgeries, injuries, scars, and corneal degenerative diseases to name a few. Thankfully, it is actually rare that we cannot fit and design a contact lens for odd shaped eyes.

Q. Are you employed by Wal-Mart?
A. No. I am an independent doctor of optometry who chose to locate my practice next to Wal-Mart. I 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. I received my doctor’s degree after the same four years of training that all optometrists receive and was 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. A comprehensive eye exam starts at $79. A contact lens exam starts at $129 which includes the comprehensive eye exam. If you have astigmatism or need bifocal correction and want to wear contact lenses, there is a modest additional cost. Medical exams, such as for pink eye, infections, injuries, diabetes, etc will vary in cost depending on the level of services required and start at $45.

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.

Q. Will you accept my insurance plan?
A. For the convenience of our patients, we accept most vision plans for whatever portion of the examination cost the plan covers. Please tell me 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 my examination and experience tell me 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, at no charge, a lens that you can wear until your new supply arrives.

Q. How do I know if contacts are right for me?
A. Many people can successfully wear contact lenses. Even if you have astigmatism, need bifocals, have irregular shaped corneas due to surgery or injuries, or just want to wear contact lenses on a part-time basis. With that said, contact lenses are not for everyone. Dr. Noble can help you through the maze of options and has a wide array of trial contact lenses, and if appropriate, will tailor each lens to your unique eyes and wearing needs.

Q. At what age can children start to wear contacts?
A. There is no magic age that is appropriate for contact lens wear. In some medically necessary cases, even infants can be fit with contact lenses. In most cases, when young children can demonstrate that they can handle and take care of lenses properly they may be able to wear contacts. Generally speaking, this is usually around the age of 10. Daily disposable contact lenses are a great option for young contact lens wearers.

Q. At what age should I start bringing my child to the eye doctor?
A. The American Optometric Association recommends a vision screening at 6 mo and 3 years of age. Many times this is performed by a Pediatrician, but certainly can be performed by an eye doctor. Every child should have a complete eye exam with an eye doctor prior to entering preschool. Sooner if any problems are noticed such as an eye turning in our out, chronic tilting of head, or moving especially close to objects, or if there is a history of premature birth, or a family history of childhood eye disease.

Q. Is there anything that I can do to improve my vision?
A. The single most important thing you can do to ensure good vision and healthy eyes is to have a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor on a yearly basis. Since your eyes are part of your body, there are few common sense things you can do to promote healthy eyes...Don't smoke. Eat healthy foods, especially brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and protect your eyes from damaging UV radiation.

Q. Is blue light really that bad for you?
A. Blue light exposure is the new buzz, especially in eye care. We are increasingly exposed to the spectrum of blue light waves which are emitted by electronic devices and energy efficient light bulbs. While this is an area of ongoing research, there is growing evidence that blue light is damaging to certain structures of the eye over time. In addition, exposure to blue light at night can disrupt our circadian rhythm and ability to sleep. There is ongoing research and potential links to blue light and cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cataracts, and macular degeneration, to name just a few. There are now lenses and screen covers which are marketed to reduce blue light exposure. Dr. Noble can help you better understand your risks and steps that may be indicated to reduce potentially harmful levels of exposure.

Q. Does Wal-Mart make high quality glasses? Because they cost less, will they last as long and let me see well?
A. Wal-Mart 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 Wal-Mart’s buying power and operating efficiency, you receive top-quality glasses at an everyday low price.

Q. How do I know if contacts are right for me?
A. Many people can successfully wear contact lenses. Even if you have astigmatism, need bifocals, have irregular shaped corneas due to surgery or injuries, or just want to wear contact lenses on a part-time basis. With that said, contact lenses are not for everyone. Dr. Noble can help you through the maze of options and has a wide array of trial contact lenses, and if appropriate, will tailor each lens to your unique eyes and wearing needs.