Q: How often should I have my eyes examined?
A: The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends a comprehensive eye examination every two years for people under the age of 60 and every year for people over 60. This recommendation is for everyone, not just for people who wear glasses or who have vision or eye problems. Patients who wear contact lenses or with certain vision conditions and diseases, such as glaucoma or diabetes, may need more than routine optometric visits.
Q: When should children have their first eye exam?
A: Children should have their first eye exam between the ages of 6-12 months. InfantSEE®, a program in which AOA doctors examine children of these ages at no charge, has saved the vision of countless children. In eye care, early detection is the key – if many eye conditions are detected early, the prognosis is better than if the same conditions are caught later in life.
Q: Does medical insurance cover eye exams?
A: Yes and no. Medical insurance covers visits to Dr. Taylor if the reason for the visit is medical in nature. This may be due to a long-standing eye disease, such as glaucoma, or may be due to a recent infection or injury. Different insurance carriers have different requirements for coverage, so it is best to check with Taylor Eye Care or your insurance company regarding coverage. Routine eye exams are generally not covered by medical insurance, but may be covered by vision insurance.
Q: My vision seems fine. Why do I need an eye exam?
A: Many serious eye diseases have no symptoms in the initial stages, and by the time symptoms are noticed, it may be too late to prevent damage from occurring. An example of an eye disease without symptoms at first is glaucoma. In glaucoma, the sensitive nerve inside the eye is progressively damaged over time. The damage usually occurs painlessly, and central vision is not affected. Simple tests done at routine eye exams can rule out glaucoma or detect it if it exists. Then, treatment can be recommended before damage can occur.
Q: Does Medicare pay for eyeglasses?
A: No. The exception to this is after cataract surgery. In this case, Medicare may pay for a portion of the glasses following surgery.
Q: Why do I need to have my eyes dilated?
A: During an eye exam, Dr. Taylor will want to examine the interior structures of the eyes. To do this, light must be shined through the pupils in order to see the interior structures. If a person’s pupils are too small, it may difficult to assess the inside of the eyes. Dilating the pupils makes them larger, allowing a better view of the inside of the eyes.
Q: If I have dry eyes, why do they water all of the time?
A: Dry Eye Syndrome may be due to a number of factors. One such factor is abnormal tear chemistry. Our tears need to consist of the right components in order to lubricate and to coat the surface of the eye effectively. If the components are not in the correct ratio, this can cause the tears to be too watery and thin. Watery, thin tears may not coat the eye as they need to, but may spill over onto the cheeks. The body responds to this by making more watery, thin tears. What follows is a cascade of discomfort and tearing. Many different treatments exist for Dry Eye Syndrome, including artificial tear usage, prescription eye drops, and prescription pills. Dr. Taylor will help you determine what treatment is best for you.
Q: Are all artificial tears the same?
A: No. They all have different ingredients, preservatives, and viscosities. Some even have harsh ingredients that can be bad for your eyes if used too often. Ask Dr. Taylor which drops you should use and how often.
Q: What is astigmatism?
A: The cornea, which is the clear central part of the front of the eye, is oblong instead of round in a condition. As light passes through the oblong cornea, it bends and creates a blurry image on the retina. Glasses, contacts, or refractive surgery can correct astigmatism.
Q: When can my child start wearing contacts?
A: It depends upon the child. Taking care of contacts is a big responsibility, and if they are not cared for correctly, they can cause serious damage to the eyes. Usually, the parents, the child, and Dr. Taylor decide together when contact lenses may be appropriate.
Q: Are all contact lenses the same?
A: No. Different types of contact lenses fit differently, are made of different materials, and allow differing levels of oxygen to get to the eye. They also have different wear schedules. Some should be thrown away every day, others every two weeks, others monthly, and still others every year.
Q: Are all contact lens solutions the same?
A: No. Each lens solution brand has different ingredients, which can affect the comfort and health of contact lenses. In fact, some solutions are incompatible with certain contacts. In addition, the manner in which the solutions are used may differ among manufacturers, and, if not used properly, some contact lens solutions can even cause chemical burns to the eyes. It is best to use the contact lens solution type recommended by Dr. Taylor, and if you change brands, notify him.
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