Signs of Eye and Vision Problems A child may not tell you that he or she has a vision problem because they may think the way they see is the way everyone around them sees. Signs that may indicate a child has vision problem include: · Frequent eye rubbing or blinking · Short attention span · Avoiding reading and other close activities · Frequent headaches · Covering one eye · Tilting the head to one side · Holding reading materials close to the face · An eye turning in or out · Seeing double · Losing place when reading · Difficulty remembering what he or she read
When is a vision exam needed? Your child should receive an eye examination once every year, or more frequently if specific problems or exist, or if recommended by their eye doctor.
Unfortunately, parents and educators often incorrectly assume that if a child passes a school “Vision Screening”, it means the child does not have any vision problems. However, many school vision screenings only test for distance visual acuity, they do not test for a prescription or how well your child sees up close or at computer distance. A child who can see 20/20 in the distance, can still have a vision problem. In reality, the vision skills needed for successful reading and learning are much more complex. Even if a child passes a vision screening, they should receive a comprehensive eye examination if: · They show any of the signs or symptoms of a vision problem listed above. · They are not achieving up to their potential. · They are minimally able to achieve baseline acceptance within school but have to use excessive time and effort to do so.
Vision changes can occur without you noticing them. Therefore, your child should receive an eye examination every year, or more frequently if recommended by their eye doctor. The earlier a vision problem is detected and treated; the more likely treatment will be successful. When needed, the doctor can prescribe treatment including eyeglasses, contact lenses, or vision therapy to correct any vision problems.
Sports Vision and Eye Safety Protection Outdoor games and sports are an enjoyable and an important part of most children's lives. Whether playing catch in the back yard or participating in team sports at school, vision plays an important role in how well a child performs. Specific visual skills needed for sports include: · Clear distance vision · Good depth perception · Wide field of vision · Effective eye-hand coordination
A child who consistently under performs a certain skill in a sport, such as always hitting the front of the rim in basketball or swinging late at a pitched ball in baseball, may have a vision problem. If visual skills are not adequate, the child may continue to perform poorly. Correction of vision problems with eyeglasses or contact lenses can improve sports vision performance. Eye Safety protection should also be of major concern to all student athletes, especially in certain high-risk sports. Thousands of children suffer sports-related eye injuries each year and nearly all can be prevented by using the proper protective eye wear. That is why it is essential that all children wear appropriate, protective eyewear whenever playing sports. Eye protection should also be worn for other risky activities such as lawn mowing and trimming. Regular prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses are not a substitute for appropriate, well-fitted protective safety eyewear. Athletes need to use sports eyewear that is tailored to protect the eyes while playing the specific sport. Your child’s eye doctor can recommend specific sports eyewear to provide the level of protection needed. It is also important for all children to protect their eyes from damage caused by ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. Sunglasses are needed to protect the eyes outdoors and some sport-specific designs may even help improve sports performance.
8 Back-to-school rules to help protect your kids’ eyes 1. Screenings aren’t everything. In-school “Vision Screenings” may detect basic problems, but don’t count on one for a clean bill of vision health. In fact, 10 million kids suffer from vision issues even after a school vision screening. If the screening detects an issue, see an eye doctor soon. A comprehensive eye exam can help gauge the overall health of the eyes, how they work together and other functions. 2. Vision and behavior are often blurred. Because grades may suffer and behavior changes with degrading vision, children who have trouble seeing are often misdiagnosed with behavioral problems like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Before prescribing medications, take notice if your child is holding books or other things unusually close or far away from their eyes . If he or she struggles, it may be time for an eye exam. 3. Reading, schmeading. If your kid hates to read, it may be because the letters are all mushed together or too fuzzy to detect, and this can lead to headaches, fatigue and lightheadedness. Another common sign of vision trouble is using a finger or pencil to guide the eyes while reading — even on social media. Swap out the reading for activities that sharpen vision skills, such as connect the dots or mazes to see how he or she does. 4. Make it routine. It’s recommended that by the time a child is 6 years old, she or he should have had 3 eye exams. If your child has not had a proper eye examination it’s time to schedule one. 5. Beware of tilt-a-words. Head tilting may look inquisitive and cute, but when a child makes a habit of doing so while reading, it could signal a potential vision problem. The same goes for kids who rub their eyes a lot or cover one eye while reading. 6. Going “bump” into the night, and day. Clark Kent might be able to do super things without his glasses, but kids with vision problems can’t. If your child often bumps into desks, knocks things over and trips, he might not just be clumsy. See an eye doctor to help rule out vision problems before pulling out the first aid kit. 7. Computer vision syndrome is a thing. Yes, research suggests that heavy computer use among kids can lead to early myopia (nearsightedness). This is because the computer forces the child to focus and strain more than many other tasks, which stresses the eyes. In addition to limiting computer time, and regular eye exams, be sure the workstation is ergonomically suited to a littler body. 8. See through their (scratch-free) lenses. Spend 20 minutes watching a playground and you’ll see why the lenses you pick matter when it comes to kids. Any child under the age of 18 is required in the state of California to use materials that are made of poly carbonate or stronger such as a high index material. The reason for this is Poly carbonate lenses – are more lightweight and impact- and scratch-resistant than standard plastic lenses, and therefore more likely to take a hit or fall. At Morris Eye Group we also recommend lenses that have UV protection for sun’s harmful rays and blue light protection for use when using a screen.
The Difference Between Eye Exams and Vision Screening You may be wondering why eye care professionals recommend a back-to-school “eye examination” when many children receive a “vision screening” at school. There are important differences between a “vision screening” and a “comprehensive eye exam”. Where a “vision screening” tests only for visual acuity, “comprehensive eye exams” test for visual acuity, refraction, chronic diseases, color vision and make sure the eyes are working together properly. A standard school “vision screening” mostly checks distance vision but does not check for near vision issues, meaning farsightedness is often missed. Amblyopia, or lazy eye, and eye coordination issues are also frequently missed during screenings. That means that a child may pass a vision screening because they are able to see the board, but they may not be able to see the textbook in front of them.
We have many choices today to correct our vision. What do you recommend as the earliest age for contact lenses? Many children begin to wear contact lenses at the age of twelve. Yet, many start earlier or later. This is an individual discussion we have with parents to decide what is best for their child. Many factors go into this decision-making process: a child’s personal hygiene habits, the type of lenses the child would need, the lifestyle of the child. The doctors at Morris Eye Group can help you and your child decide when the time is best for them.
What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases that lead to damage of the optic nerve (the bundle of nerve fibers that carries information from the eye to the brain), which can then lead to vision loss and possibly blindness. Optic nerve damage usually occurs in the presence of high eye pressure (also called intraocular pressure, IOP); however, it can occur with normal or even less than normal eye pressure. The only treatment for glaucoma is to lower the IOP. If you think about the inside of the eye like a drain and a faucet, and using this analogy, high IOP is related to an imbalance between the amount of fluid made inside the eye and the amount of fluid the eye can drain. This fluid is called the aqueous and when we consider various treatment options to lower IOP, we can either decrease the amount of aqueous the eye makes or increase the drainage of aqueous from inside the eye.
Are there different forms of glaucoma? There are two main forms of glaucoma: (1) open-angle glaucoma- the most common form, affecting approximately 70-90% of individuals; and (2) angle-closure glaucoma. There are also several other subsets of glaucoma, including: normal-tension, congenital, juvenile, and secondary glaucoma.
Who is at risk for developing glaucoma? The exact cause of Glaucoma still eludes scientists. Because most forms of glaucoma develop slowly and silently, everyone, especially those at high risk, should be sure to have their eyes examined on a regular basis, preferably every one to two years or as directed by a doctor.
· People over the age of 40. While glaucoma can develop in younger patients, it occurs more frequently as we get older. · People who have a family history of glaucoma. Glaucoma appears to run in families. The tendency for developing glaucoma may be inherited. However, just because someone in your family has glaucoma does not mean that you will necessarily develop the disease. And likewise, just because you have no family history also doesn’t mean that you aren’t at risk for developing the disease. · People with abnormally high intraocular pressure (IOP). High IOP is the most important risk factor for glaucoma damage. · People of African, Latino, and Asian descent. People with African and Latino ancestry have a greater tendency for developing primary open-angle glaucoma than do people of other races. People of Asian descent are more prone to develop angle- closure glaucoma and normal-tension glaucoma. · People who have: o Diabetes o Myopia (nearsightedness) o Regular, long-term steroid/cortisone use o A previous eye injury o A family history of glaucoma o Extremely high or low blood pressure
How do I know if I have glaucoma? Your doctor will review your medical history and conduct a comprehensive eye examination. He or she may perform several tests, including: Measuring intraocular pressure (tonometry) Testing for optic nerve damage with a dilated eye examination and imaging tests Checking for areas of vision loss (visual field test) Measuring corneal thickness (pachymetry) Inspecting the drainage angle (gonioscopy) I was told I have “pre-glaucoma”– what does that mean? This is another way of saying that you are a glaucoma suspect. A glaucoma suspect is someone who might have glaucoma but it's too early to tell. This term includes patients with ocular hypertension (persons with elevated intraocular pressure but no detectable disc or visual field damage), and patients with large cup/disc ratios and normal visual fields who may or may not have early normal-tension glaucoma. If you have been diagnosed as a glaucoma suspect, it is important that you see your eye care specialist regularly to monitor your condition so that you do not experience any unexpected loss of vision. What is normal eye pressure? Unfortunately, the answer is not any single number. While the average eye pressure is approximately 15, the range of normal eye pressure is much larger. About 90 percent of people will fall between a pressure of 10 and 21. Even so, this does not mean that if you have a pressure of 22 or higher it is abnormal. Every individual and every eye is different. There are many patients with pressures in the mid-20s who do not have glaucoma, and they can be followed with routine eye examinations by their eye care specialist. There are also patients who have been diagnosed with glaucoma and yet, even though their pressure may be within the “normal range,” they still experience worsening of their glaucoma. It is important that you see an eye care specialist to receive a thorough examination and determine if your eye pressure is problematic.
Is there a cure for glaucoma? Unfortunately, glaucoma cannot be cured or prevented. But you can take preventive measures to stop further damage to your eye sight. The sooner you get it diagnosed, the better. While vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be recovered, further vision loss can hopefully be prevented with appropriate treatment. Early detection, ongoing treatment and monitoring are key factors to limiting damage from the disease, which lasts a lifetime.
What are the most common treatments for glaucoma? Although glaucoma cannot be cured, it can be controlled. Prescription eyedrops, oral medications, laser treatment, surgery or a combination of any of these are used to prevent or slow further damage from occurring. With any type of glaucoma, regular eye examinations are very important to detect progression and alter treatments to prevent vision loss.
Eyedrops: Glaucoma treatment often starts with prescription eyedrops. These can help decrease eye pressure by improving how fluid drains from your eye or by decreasing the amount of fluid your eye makes. Depending on how low your eye pressure needs to be, more than one eyedrop may need to be prescribed until your doctor finds the combination that works best for you. It is important to take your medications regularly and exactly as prescribed. Patients who are not compliant with taking eyedrops will not be successful controlling glaucoma and eye pressure with eyedrops.
Oral medications: If eyedrops alone don't bring your eye pressure down to the desired level, your doctor may also prescribe an oral medication, usually a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. These pills, which have more systemic side effects than eyedrops, also serve to lessen the production of fluid inside the eye. These medications are usually taken from two to four times daily.
Laser Treatment: If eyedrops and medications are not working effectively, most patients are a candidate for laser treatments. Laser surgery has become increasingly popular as an intermediate step between drugs and other more invasive glaucoma surgeries. The following techniques are intended to improve the drainage of fluid within the eye, thereby lowering the risk of glaucoma progression. SLT: The most common type performed for open-angle glaucoma is called “Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty.” The laser beam (a high energy light beam) is focused upon the eye's drain. Contrary to what many people think, the laser does not burn a hole through the eye. Instead, the eye's drainage system is changed in very subtle ways so that aqueous fluid is able to pass more easily out of the drain, thus lowering eye pressure. This procedure takes between 10 and 15 minutes, is painless, and can be performed in the doctor's office. Your doctor will likely check your eye pressure 1-2 hours following laser surgery, but then you may go home and resume your normal activities following surgery. After this procedure, many patients respond well enough to be able to avoid or delay surgery. While it may take a few weeks to see the full pressure-lowering effect of this procedure, during which time you may have to continue taking your medications, many patients are eventually able to discontinue some of their medications. This, however, is not true in all cases. Your doctor is the best judge of determining whether or not you will still need medication. Complications from laser are minimal, which is why this procedure has become increasingly popular and many doctors are recommending the use of laser much sooner for patients.
LPI: You may need a procedure called a “Laser Peripheral Iridotomy” in which the doctor creates a small opening in your iris using a laser. This allows fluid (aqueous humor) to flow from behind the iris directly to the anterior chamber of the eye, relieving eye pressure. This is most common for patients with “Anatomically Narrow Angles” or “Acute angle-closure glaucoma.” This procedure takes between 10 and 15 minutes, is painless, and is performed in an outpatient surgery center. Your doctor will likely check your eye pressure 1-2 hours following laser surgery, but then you may go home and resume your normal activities immediately following surgery.
Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). Your doctor may suggest a MIGS procedure to lower your eye pressure. MIGS can be thought of in a few broad categories, either enhancing fluid outflow using the eye’s inherent drainage system (GATT, Kahook Dual Blade Goniotomy, Trabectome, iStent, OMNI), shunting fluid to the outside of the eye (XEN Gel Stent) or decreasing production of fluid within the eye (ECP). These procedures generally require less immediate postoperative care and have less risk than some of the traditional more invasive glaucoma surgeries. The traditional glaucoma surgeries (trabeculectomy and glaucoma drainage devices), while very effective, are associated with risks such as double vision, devastating eye infections, exposure of a drainage implant, swelling of the cornea, and excessively low IOP. Although these risks are relatively infrequent, they make most surgeons delay glaucoma surgery until all other less invasive treatment options are maximized (medications and laser treatment) and the patient has definitive glaucoma worsening.
The procedures have been developed in recent years to reduce some of the complications of most standard glaucoma surgeries, and work by using microscopic-sized equipment and tiny incisions. Fortunately, the revolution has allowed us to change our approach to surgical glaucoma for many patients. The main theme and priority of is patient safety. While no surgery is without risk, provide improved safety while usually providing mild-to-moderate lowering. In addition, MIGS procedures are often combined with cataract surgery requiring no different post op care for the patient.
Does insurance cover glaucoma evaluations or treatments? Because glaucoma is an eye disease, evaluation and treatment for the condition is usually covered by medical health insurance plans, but not vision health insurance plans. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare), all qualified health plans must cover eye diseases such as glaucoma.
What is a cataract? Inside our eyes, we have a natural lens. This lens bends (refracts) light rays that come into the eye to help us see. The lens should be clear; however, if you have a cataract the lens has become cloudy. It is like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy, or less colorful with a cataract.
In a healthy human eye, light rays travel into the eye through the pupil, they pass through the clear lens and focus onto the retina.
In an eye with a cataract, the light rays scatter throughout the eye instead of focusing precisely on the retina, causing distorted vision.
What are the symptoms of a cataract? Cataracts are the most common reason people start to lose vision. Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. As a result, some patients do not notice changes in their vision right away. However, over time most patients will begin to notice some, or all, of these symptoms:
Blurry or hazy vision
Seeing double or ghost images- when you see two images instead of one
Being extra sensitive to bright light, especially when outdoors
Having trouble seeing well at night, or needing more light when you read
Colors aren’t as bright- may appear dull, faded, or yellow instead
What causes a cataract? Though there are other risk factors for cataracts, aging is the most common cause. This is due to normal eye changes that begin around age 40, when proteins in the lens start to break down causing the lens itself to discolor. Not until around age 60 will people usually start to notice some increasing symptoms of their cataract. Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. However, other types of cataracts can develop more quickly, such as those in younger people or those in people with diabetes. Doctors unfortunately cannot always predict how quickly a person’s cataract will develop. Besides age, other cataract risk factors include:
having parents, brothers, sisters, or other family members who have cataracts
having certain medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity
taking certain medications such as steroids
having had an eye injury, eye surgery, or radiation treatments on your upper body
having spent a lot of time in the sun, especially without sunglasses that protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays
Who needs cataract surgery? If your cataract symptoms are not very bothersome, you do not have to have surgery right away. A new eyeglass prescription may help you see better for now. However, as your cataract matures even a new prescription will not help. You should consider cataract surgery when your cataracts are making it difficult for you to do things you want or need to do (like reading, watching TV, driving, golfing, etc.). Your doctor will help you decide when the right time is for your cataract surgery. If you are not ready for cataract surgery, this is what we recommend in the meantime:
Have an eye exam every year if you're older than 65, or every two years if younger.
Get the right eyeglasses or contact lenses to help correct your vision as much as possible
Protect your eyes from UV light with sunglasses and a hat when outdoors.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking is a key risk factor for cataracts.
Use brighter lights for reading and other activities. A magnifying glass may be useful, too.
Limit driving at night once night vision, halos, or glare become bothersome.
Take care of any other health problems, especially diabetes.
Do not use eye drops or other treatments that claim to dissolve or remove cataracts. There is no proven way to resolve cataracts with eye drops. Surgery is the only way to remove cataracts.
What to expect with cataract surgery? When your vision is making it difficult to complete your regular activities, schedule a cataract consultation with one of our surgeons. At this appointment our staff will go over all your surgical options and help you make an informed decision about cataract surgery, including: preparation for and recovery after surgery, benefits and possible risks of cataract surgery, surgical techniques and options, cataract surgery costs, insurance coverage, scheduling, and any other questions you may have.
Cataract surgery is a quick outpatient procedure (about 20-30 minutes) done in an outpatient surgery center or hospital under twilight anesthesia. During cataract surgery, your surgeon will remove your eye’s cloudy cataract lens and replace it with a clear artificial lens. This new artificial lens is called an intraocular lens (or “IOL”). When you decide to have cataract surgery, your doctor will talk with you about different surgical techniques, IOLs and how they work.
Recovery after cataract surgery is generally very easy. Most patients can expect to have about 1-3 days of downtime following their procedure. You will be using eyedrops for a few weeks to help protect against any inflammation or infection. Your surgeon will talk with you about how active you can be following your surgery. Often patients need to refrain from exercise, heavy lifting, underwater activities (pool, ocean, sauna, etc.), and dusty dirty environments for a few weeks. Driving can typically be resumed in a day or two after surgery.
Does insurance cover cataract surgery? Cataract surgery is generally covered by Medicare and most private medical insurances when your vision tests at a certain decreased level of acuity or clarity. However, even if surgery is covered by insurance you may still have some additional costs. Special types of IOLs and refractive correction (for patients who want to be less dependent on eyeglasses after surgery) are typically not covered and may cost you more. Also, choosing to have cataract surgery before your vision has deteriorated enough may not be covered. In certain cases, it might be possible to get coverage before you meet the age or vision requirements. Talk with your surgeon if you are considering having early cataract surgery. What do you do if you don't have Medicare or insurance coverage? You may still be able to reduce and manage the cost of cataract surgery. See if your employer offers flexible spending or health saves programs or sign up for outside financing such as CareCredit. We are here help if you have any questions!
What is Blue Light? Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum.
Without getting into complicated physics, there is an inverse relationship between the wavelength of light rays and the amount of energy they contain. Light rays that have relatively long wavelengths contain less energy, and those with short wavelengths have more energy. Blue light is a short wavelength, which means it produces higher amounts of energy.
Light wavelengths are measured in nanometers (nm). Blue light resides in the range from 400-500nm.
How are people exposed to Blue Light? Blue light is everywhere in our world. It used to be that the only source of blue light was from the sun. Now we have brought blue light inside by the way of digital screens (found on TV's, smartphones, computers, laptops, tablets and gaming systems), electronic devices, LED and fluorescent lighting. Blue light is beaming at us from all directions!
Are there any benefits to Blue Light exposure? Without even thinking about it, your body uses blue light to regulate your biological clock, or sleep/wake cycle. Blue light also plays a role in basic functions of the human brain such as alertness, memory, emotion, and cognitive performance. In certain conditions, light therapy using the correct wavelengths of blue light is known as an effective treatment helping people of all ages.
What are the negative effects of Blue Light exposure ? As one of the shortest, yet highest energy wavelengths in the light spectrum, the blue light flickers easier and longer than other types of weaker wavelengths. This flickering casts a glare that reduces your visual contrast, affecting clarity and sharpness. Scientific research has linked blue light to the onset of digital eye strain in as little as two hours of exposure. Blue light can help elevate your mood and boost awareness, but chronic exposure to blue light at night can lower the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep, and disrupt your circadian rhythm. Harvard researchers have linked working the night shift and exposure to blue light at night to several types of cancer (breast, prostate) diabetes, heart disease, obesity and an increased risk for depression. And according to The Vision Council, more than half of all Americans experience symptoms of; - Dry Eyes - Blurred Vision - Tired Eyes - Sore Eyes - Headaches - Watery Eyes Our eyes have not evolved to provide filters against this type of artificial light. Prolonged exposure to blue light may lead to macular cellular damage, which may lead to loss of vision. The medical profession is concerned about the exposure level of blue light for adults and children. Here are some interesting statistics:
43% of adults have a job the requires prolonged use of a tablet or computer
74% of teens between the ages of 12 to 17 use electronic devices at least occasionally
70% of adults that regularly use electronic devices report symptoms of digital eye strain
93% of teens have access to or have a computer
How does Blue Light exposure effect sleep? Blue light exposure turns off the production of melatonin in the brain.
Tips, tricks and things you can do to protect yourself and your kids from too much Blue Light exposure. You can minimize the amount of blue light that enters your eyes by wearing glasses that filter some of these harmful rays. Morris Eye Group offers a high quality blue light lens that eliminates a portion of the short wavelength blue light. Children’s eyes are particularly vulnerable to the effects of blue light as virtually all of the blue light they are exposed to passes through their cornea and lens, and reaches the retina. Coupled with a high amount of screen time, this puts them at risk for over-exposure to blue light that may prove to have long-term consequences. Recommended below are some safe technology habits for you and the entire family:
Say goodnight to technology two hours before bedtime.
Limit children’s screen time to one to two hours per day for children over two years of age and restricting it completely for children under two years old.
Turn down the brightness on your devices.
Change digital device background colors from bright white to warmer colors to reduce eye strain.
When staring at a digital screen, blink more often
Take frequent breaks from staring at electronic devices
Clean your screen, as a smudge-free, dust-free screen helps reduce glare
Our bodies do not make lutein and zeaxanthin, so it is important to obtain these pigments through diet or supplements for eye protection. These supplements are plant nutrients that absorb in the retina of the eye. This is helpful as creates a yellow film that covers the macula to helps filter out blue light. Not surprising, kale and spinach are the top food choices for blue light protection, as these Eye foods are some of the best food sources of lutein. Watercress, pea shoots, and Chinese broccoli are other often overlooked, good leafy greens choices. Consuming orange peppers — both raw and cooked — and eggs four times per week will also help to increase the concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin in the body and macula.
Why does Morris Eye Group ask for my Medical insurance? Morris Eye Group is a medical practice specializing in ophthalmology that diagnoses and treats medical conditions associated with the eye. Medical insurance generally covers eye care in relation to a medical condition. For example, if you need an eye exam because of cataracts, dry eyes, complications from diabetes, or in relation to diagnosed high blood pressure, then your medical insurance will provide coverage with ophthalmologist/optometrist. Medicare and other Medical Insurance Plans do cover the portion of the eye examination devoted to the determination of eye disease and the treatment of that disease. Medical plans also cover diagnostic testing to aid the doctor in diagnosing eye disease and monitoring its progress. If you have diagnostic testing performed, charges for these services will be billed to your medical insurance carrier. You will be responsible for any copays, coinsurance and medical deductibles associated with your specific insurance plans. Vision insurance covers the vision screening, a refraction which is the test performed to obtain a glasses prescription, including dilation, and benefits towards glasses/ contact lenses. Vision Insurance rarely covers diagnostic testing to diagnose eye disease or monitor its progress. If you need those services, their charges will be applied to your medical insurance plan, and any deductibles of coinsurance requirements of your medical insurance plan will apply. Vision Insurance typically covers an eye exam once every 12-24 months, depending on the plan. Medical Insurance can be used as frequently as the doctor deems necessary for monitoring any ocular Medical diagnosis.
Why doesn’t my health insurance cover my eye glass prescription? Although eye refractions are an integral part of a comprehensive eye examination, they are specifically excluded from coverage by Medicare and most Medical Insurance Plans (HMO’s and PPO’s). Refractions are considered routine eye examinations for prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Please see the CMS Publication “Your Medicare Benefits”. https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/eye-exams-routine
Why are diagnostic pictures of my eyes not covered under my vision insurance? Vision insurance covers a once a year eye exam which includes; vision screening, a refraction which is the test performed to obtain a glasses prescription, dilation, and benefits towards glasses/ contact lenses. Photos are a diagnostic tool to assist the doctor in the treatment of eye conditions. If a patient has a medical condition and we take a photo, it is billed to their medical insurance.
Why are some medical plans considered out-of-network? Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been rolled out there are some insurance companies that have plans through Covered California and the Exchange Marketplace. Although we contract with many insurance companies including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, we are not a contracting provider for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Covered California and Exchange plans.
I have Medicare; why don’t they cover me 100% for my exam? Medicare has an annual deductible that must be met. Once that deductible is met, Medicare will cover the patient at 80% leaving a 20% responsibility for the patient. There are supplemental plans to Medicare that one can purchase to cover the portion that Medicare doesn’t cover.
What’s the difference between Morris Eye Group and a Big Box Eye Care Center? Big box eye care centers only provide vision exams. Morris Eye Group is a full-service medical practice that provides medical diagnosis, treatment and surgical services including; cataract surgery, LASIK, glaucoma management and treatment, and corneal treatments. In addition to medical services, we have the largest optical dispensary in North County San Diego providing our patients with quality glasses and contact lenses. When a patient chose to get full eye care with us, from start to finish, we have the ability to titrate any issues that arise after glasses have been dispensed because we monitor and control the process. If a patient elects to purchase eyewear elsewhere we have don’t have control on; materials/brand used, coding used, or how qualified the optician taking measurements. At Morris Eye Group, we use quality brands for our lenses and have access to choices for higher prescriptions, prism, and other brands should what we selected not work for the patient. Most of our opticians are licensed and certified and have a combined experience in optics of over 50 years.
Why do I need to come back for a Contact Lens Check after being given trial lenses? We want to verify if the lens is fitting properly on the eye and fine tune the prescription if needed.
My eyes are very dry, is there contact lenses brand that can help with dryness? Daily disposable lenses. In cases of extreme dryness, we might suggest a scleral lens.
I have been wearing contact lenses for years, why do I need to have an evaluation done every year for contact lenses? California law requires optometrist to evaluate a patient’s cornea every year when prescribing contact lenses because contact lenses are defined by law as a medical device. In addition, your optometrist needs to see the contact lens on your eye to make sure that the lens is fitting properly and that you are seeing well out of the lens, before they can sign off on the prescription. Contact lens technology is constantly advancing and with that, while the contacts the year before might have worked well for you there is a chance there will be something better we want to make you aware of.
I wear my contact lenses all day every day. Why do I still need a pair of glasses? A contact lens wearing patient needs a pair of glasses to give your eyes a break. It’s always good to have a fall back in case of emergency, maybe you run out of lenses or get an eye infection. If people have a pair of glasses to fall back on they are less likely to over-wear their contact lenses.
I got my trial contact lenses and I don't see well out of them, why do I need to wear them (when I know they don't work) to my appointment for my contact lens check? Seeing the lenses on the eye is helpful to determine why they aren’t working. Examples: checking the rotation for astigmatism.
How long does it take to get used to wearing contact lenses? It is normal to feel slight irritation or a foreign body sensation at first, but after a few days that sensation should subside. Some patients don't have any discomfort, especially if the contact lenses are daily disposables.
Can a contact get lost in my eye? The most common misconception for new contact lens wearers is the fear that they will get a contact lens stuck in or behind their eye. While this cannot happen, the lens may go under your eyelid which would initially make it difficult to see, but not impossible to remove. If you are struggling putting in or removing your contacts, we offer contact lens education at our practice, call for an appointment.
What are the benefits of wearing daily disposable contact lenses? Even though the lenses themselves may be more expensive in some cases, (since you are replacing the lenses daily) you actually save by not having to purchase contact lens solution! Many manufacturers now use special breathable material for their lenses which allow more oxygen to pass through. Most of the complaints from my contact lens patients are from those who wear biweekly or monthly contact lenses and are actually having a reaction to the disinfecting solution, not the contacts themselves. Thus, just by switching to a daily disposable lens, they immediately have less irritation and dryness. You open a sterile package with sterile solution and a sterile contact lens everyday- this leads to less problems with wear and irritation.
Are there contacts that correct for both distance and reading? If patients need help with both their distance and reading, I might recommend trying multi-focal contact lenses as they can be adjusted for computer use as well.
What age is recommended for first time contact lens wearers? I do not determine eligibility solely based off a patient's age. Instead I assess their motivation and maturity. Wearing contacts comes with a responsibility to use them correctly. If a young patient is not motivated on their own to do the work and learn how to insert and remove their own lenses, then the patient will not succeed with contact lenses. He has had patients as young as 10 or 11 years old who succeeded with contact lenses. This is greatly in part to the use of daily disposable lenses which have greatly reduced the risk and maintenance required for use of contact lenses.