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Eye Exams

Phoropter for refractions

Phoropter for refractions

What is a refraction and Why do I need it?
A refraction is a critical diagnostic test that the physician uses to evaluate your vision, and without it, we are not able to fully assess the health and function of your eyes. It helps the doctor determine whether your vision is reduced by a medical disease (such as cataracts, macular degeneration, etc) or if it can simply be improved with glasses. Just like your primary care doctor uses bloodwork to make decisions about your treatment plan, a refraction is necessary to fully assess the health and function of your eyes. Refractions are NOT optional.

Are refractions covered by insurances?
Unfortunately, no. Refractions are NOT a covered service by Medicare nor most insurance plans, even though they are an essential part of a comprehensive eye exam. We feel that they should be covered but insurance companies have chosen not to include this important exam component.

What is the cost for a refraction?
The cost for your refraction is $58.

What is a medical comprehensive eye exam?
At The Eye Associates, our patients receive a medical comprehensive eye exam, which is defined as one that includes full dilation.

Dilated eye exam

The physician looks at the back of your eye while dilated.

What is dilation and why do you do it?
Dilation is when special drops are placed in your eyes to dilate (widen your pupils) so that the doctor can get a better view of the back of your eyes. We dilate all patients so that we can look for eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and retinal detachment, to name a few.

The eye is pretty amazing because through a dilated eye you can see blood vessels. This is the only place that blood vessels can be viewed without invasive surgery. Eye doctors are often the first to identify other general medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and MS, to name a few.

How long does dilation take?
This varies from patient to patient and even condition to condition. Some might be ready for their exam with the doctor in 20 minutes while other may take 45 minutes to dilate. Each person is different.

What should I bring to my medical-grade comprehensive eye exam?
Always bring all of the glasses that you are wearing (distance glasses, sunglasses, computer glasses, reading glasses….to name a few). Also, bring a list of medications that you take. You may also want to bring questions that you would like to ask the doctor.

Tonometry Test for Glaucoma

Tonometry Test for Glaucoma

How long will I be at the office for my medical-grade comprehensive eye exam?
We recommend that you plan on being here for about 2 hours. Because The Eye Associates performs medical-grade comprehensive eye exams, we do more testing that you might have gotten in the past at other places. We want to give you a thorough eye exam that checks for eye diseases in addition to giving you a prescription for glasses. Also, as mentioned before, some people require longer for dilation than others. All of this can lead to a 2-hour exam.

What are the drops that they put in my eyes?
There are basically 2 drops that are always used. One is the dilation drops that we talked about earlier. The other drop is for numbing your eyes in order to tonometry test for glaucoma. We do this test for glaucoma at every visit because glaucoma is an eye disease that usually does not have symptoms until damage is done to the eye.

How often do I need an eye exam?
We feel that a yearly eye exam is good for most people. If you have some other eye disease such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, then you may need to be examined more often.

Retinoscopy by the Eye Physician

Retinoscopy by the Eye Physician

Steps in your exam (We customize our vision care so they may not be in this order.)
-Aberrometer Autorefractor (an aberrometer uses advanced wavefront technology to detect even obscure vision errors based on the way light travels through your eye.)
-Symptom Interview
-Extraocular Movements
-Confrontation Visual Fields
-Pupillary Tests
-Visual Acuity Test
-Refraction
-Ocular Motility Testing
-Stereopsis Test (depth perception)
-Tonometry Test for Glaucoma
-Dilation Drops
-Dilated Fundus Exam
-Slit Lamp Exam by the Eye Physician
-Retinoscopy by the Eye Physician

There could also be other testing performed, like a visual field, TearLab testing, OCT, and angiography, for example, that can make your exam take longer if your doctor deems that extra testing is needed to make a diagnosis.

To schedule an eye examination appointment, click here or call us at toll free 1-866-865-2020.