Frequently asked questions

How often should I have an eye exam?

Eye exams are recommended periodically, with the interval differing for various age groups. In the first three years of infancy, a child should have vision checked along with normal pediatric checkups. Between the ages of three and six (the most crucial period of eye development) an eye exam should be scheduled every year or two. After that period, until adulthood, exams should be scheduled as necessary. During the twenties one should have at least one exam. During the thirties one should have at least two exams. In the forties, fifties, and early sixties, one should schedule an exam every two to four years. For seniors, an exam every year or two is recommended. In addition to these basic guidelines, people with a family history of eye problems, those monitoring a diagnosed eye disease, or those with certain high risk diseases such as diabetes, it is recommended that exams should be performed at least once a year. Regular eye exams are the best way to keep you seeing your world clearly.

I have been noticing strange things with my vision lately. What should I do?

Any abnormal phenomena or changes in your vision can indicate a variety of possible problems. The key to preserving vision in the face of most eye diseases is early treatment. Thus it is important to consult an ophthalmologist if you notice anything unusual or any change in your vision. It could be a serious problem, or it could be inconsequential, but the peace of mind and the possibility of catching a serious problem early are certainly worth it.

My vision is great; I have no problems. Is there any reason to have my vision checked?

Many serious eye diseases often have little or no symptoms until they are well developed. The only way to diagnose a problem early in such a case is to schedule periodic eye exams. This is the best way to preserve the clearest vision possible for life.

What is a refraction?

A refraction is the method eye doctors use to determine a person's prescription for eye glasses. This test indicates any refractive error that is reducing your ability to see 20/20. This time intensive test may require the doctor to check your vision, previous glasses prescriptions, and your current refractive error. Unfortunately, while some insurances cover this test, many insurances do not. We charge a fee for refraction. If you need to update your eye glasses, you will need a refraction.

What is dilation?

Dilation is the process where the eye doctor use a mild pharmacological agent to relax the pupil of the eye so that it expands. The dilation usually lasts for a couple of hours and causes mild blurring of vision, problems with near vision, and sensitivity to light. We understand that this process may be inconvenient for you, but if you have a serious eye condition, the medical gold standard and accepted method to evaluate your eye is through dilation. Eye photography is excellent for capturing retinal images of the undilated eye, however, when medically necessary, this type of photography cannot replace a physician's direct examination of the eye through a dilated pupil. We do not have to necessarily dilate your eye at every eye examination, however, we recommend dilation for first time patients (as a baseline exam) and patients who we think it is medically necessary.

How long will my eye examination take?

For a general eye examination, please plan for an hour. Please plan longer if you have a contact lens fitting. If you require a second opinion or have a complicated eye problem, please expect the appointment to take longer. For all new pediatric exams, please expect your appointment to take 2 hours.

What is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist a medical doctor who has attended medical school and then received an additional 3 years of hospital based eye training in eye disease and eye surgery. Some ophthalmologists receive an extra year or two of fellowship training in eye sub-specialties such as pediatric ophthalmology or corneal diseases. Ophthalmologists are trained to identify, prevent, and treat eye diseases and are specially trained to provide the full range of eye services from measuring eye glasses to performing delicate eye surgery.