What are medical insurance and vision insurance plans?
There is much confusion regarding what type of insurance you can use when you go to the eye doctor. Most people do not understand the difference between medical insurance and vision insurance plans. Most ophthalmologists practices accept both medical insurance and vision insurance plans. The Eye Surgery Institute is a medical practice and the majority of our examinations are billed to your medical insurance. Dr. Stanley Grandon and I are board certified ophthalmologists and we care mostly for medical eye conditions.
An examination is considered a medical eye exam if Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang or I are evaluating and treating a problem, disease or particular complaint. For example, if you are being treated or evaluated for common eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts or age related macular degeneration (ARMD) it is considered as a medical appointment. Also, if you are requesting the appointment for a complaint such as pain, irritation, itching, headaches or redness it is also considered a medical appointment.
What Do I Use My Vision Plan For?
A vision exam is an examination for a prescription for eyeglasses or for contact lenses. At the Eye Surgery Institute, we will also check the general health of your eye. We will inform you if any problems or concerns are noted. If particular concerns are raised Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang or I may request for you to return to the office for a medical appointment.
You can also often use your vision plan to help in purchasing glasses or contact lenses. It is important that you learn the benefits of your vision plan and the coverage options. We offer a full service optical department that also accepts most insurance plans.
How Do I Know If My Insurance is Accepted?
Our experienced staff can assist you with your insurance choices when you call for your appointment. It can be very confusing to determine the difference between medical insurance and vision insurance plans. When you arrive to our office, we will also verify your insurance plan. You are responsible for knowing any co-pays or deductibles with your plan.
Carrots are the food you probably think are best for eye health. In fact, there are many foods that are healthy for your eyes. Foods that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and the omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are important for both the health of your eyes and your body in general. It is never to early to maintain a healthy diet!
Eating a diet with these vitamins and nutrients may decrease your chances of developing or worsened age related macular degeneration, cataracts and dry eyes. It is still important to maintain regular comprehensive eye examinations to check the health of your eyes even if you maintain a healthy diet. Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can evaluate your eye health and check you for all eye diseases.
Taking these vitamins can reduce your risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25% over 5 years. These vitamins are typically recommended in patients with either intermediate or advanced AMD. You can continue your multivitamin if you are taking AREDS vitamins.
These vitamins were not shown to prevent you from developing early AMD. It is not possible to get enough of the vitamins in your diet if you have intermediate or advanced AMD. If you are taking AREDS vitamins, it is important that you make your primary care doctor aware to ensure it is not interacting with other medications you are on.
Headaches can very frustrating and you may wonder if you should have an eye examination if you suffer with headaches. It is important to discuss your headaches with your primary care provider (PCP).
There are many causes of headaches. It is important to understand what is associated with your headache. Your PCP may want to know how often you have headaches, where they are located, what they feel like, how severe they are and what makes them better or worse. Your PCP may recommend an eye examination.
Occasionally, you may have a “hidden” need for glasses. This means that although you can read the eye chart well without glasses, your eye muscles need to work really hard. This is called latent hyperopia.
Sometimes you may feel discomfort only after a period of time such as reading or using your computer. You may be suffering from dry eyes as the cause of your discomfort.
It is also possible that muscle imbalances of your eye can contribute to eye strain and headaches when reading. This is called convergence insufficiency. We can check for this during your eye examination.
Could My Eye Examination Find Something Serious?
It is unlikely that your eye examination will find a serious problem relating to your headaches. It is important that Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I perform a comprehensive eye examination with dilation. This allows us to look at the back of the eye including your optic nerves.
A lazy eye is called amblyopia. Amblyopia is the term for when the vision is decreased in one or both eyes because the brain and the eyes are not working together. This occurs due to abnormal development of vision in early childhood. The brain never receives clear images from the eye or eyes. This is one of the leading causes of vision loss in children.
A comprehensive eye examination will often reveal a normal eye examination. The anatomy of the eye is often normal. The vision is reduced and the brain may be using the other eye more than the affected eye.
How is Amblyopia Diagnosed?
Often children will undergo vision screening at their school or their pediatrician. If your child does not pass their vision screening test, Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can perform a comprehensive eye examination. This includes checking the visual acuity, the glasses prescription, the balance of the eye muscles and checking the health of the eye. We need to ensure that no other problems exist contributing to the decreased vision.
There are different types of ambylopia. Your child may have amblyopia if both eyes have a very strong need for glasses. Sometimes amblyopia can be due to a large difference in the glasses prescription between your eyes. Your child may also have amblyopia if your eye muscles are causing the eyes to not focus straight ahead.
How is Amblyopia Treated?
It is treated differently depending on the cause of the amblyopia. If your child has a very strong glasses prescription in both eyes, we will often prescribe glasses. Sometimes it is required to cover up (patch) the better seeing eye if there is a large difference between the glasses prescriptions of the eyes. If the eye muscles are not functioning properly, this would need to be addressed.
It is important that this is detected in early childhood when the brain and eye are learning how to work together. If amblyopia is not diagnosed and treated early enough, your child may never develop normal vision.
A full eye examination starts with the doctor checking your vision. Then, the doctor will perform a refraction. This is when the eye doctor tries to see how good you can see with eyeglasses. The eye doctor wants to know how good you can see with a pair of eyeglasses. An eyeglasses examination may often end now.
Comprehensive Eye Exam
A comprehensive eye examination includes many other aspects to check the health of your eyes. Diseases of the eye such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration (ARMD) will not be detected on a glasses examination.
A comprehensive eye examination includes a eye pressure check to assess for glaucoma, a slit lamp examination as well as dilation of the pupils. Dilating the pupils allows the doctor to again check for glaucoma, to check for cataracts, macular degeneration (ARMD) as well as many other diseases of the eye. Many cases of glaucoma can be missed if the pupils are not dilated. An eye examination can take an hour or more.
It is especially important to have a dilated eye examination if you have diabetes or a family history of eye diseases. Many causes of preventable blindness have no symptoms, especially at the early stages. Depending on your age, recommendations for complete eye examinations vary, but many of our patients are seen on an annual basis. We all want to see for the rest of our life!
Board Certified Ophthalmologist
A board certified ophthalmologist will typically perform a comprehensive eye examination to make sure your eyes are healthy. If any diseases of the eye are suspected, they may decide that further in depth testing is indicated. This testing can help the doctor determine the severity of the disease and if any treatments are indicated. The doctor will let you know how often follow up evaluations are indicated.