Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I have an eye exam?
We recommend that you have your eyes examined yearly. If you are being treated for a certain eye condition, it may require more frequent follow-ups. An annual exam is especially important for patients wearing contact lenses to evaluate the contact lens fit, prescription, and any changes in the health of the cornea.
What does the eye exam involve?
Our doctors will carefully evaluate your internal and external eye health, including a check for glaucoma, cataracts, and eye problems associated with systemic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. A vision assessment will determine if there is a need for eyewear or if the patient is a candidate for contact lenses.
Do you do the "puff of air" test for glaucoma?
No. Newer technology has allowed us to get more accurate readings of internal eye pressure to evaluate and manage glaucoma. We will still test your eye pressure for glaucoma, but will not use the "puff of air" test.
How long will the eye exam take?
A complete eye exam will usually take 30 to 45 minutes.
What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, an optometrist, and an optician?
Ophthalmologists are eye surgeons who perform procedures such as cataract removal, glaucoma surgeries and LASIK. Optometrists are eye care professionals who diagnose and treat eye diseases, prescribe eyewear and fit contact lenses. Opticians are trained in dispensing and adjusting eyewear.
Do you accept my vision insurance?
Lake Region Eye Center accepts many vision plans. Please call or e-mail our friendly staff to determine if we are a provider for your insurance.
Can I wear contact lenses?
Most patients can be fitted to wear contact lenses. Contacts are available that correct near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia (the need for reading eyewear). Our eye care professionals will determine if you are a good candidate for contacts based on your prescription and the health of your eyes.
Is my prescription the same for both glasses and contact lenses?
No. A contact lens prescription requires additional measurements taken by the doctor during the fitting
Do I still need glasses if I wear contact lenses?
Absolutely. It is important to have glasses with a current prescription to use when you are not wearing your contacts. In the event of an eye infection, a lengthy airline flight, or the need to get up in the middle of the night, such as parents of a newborn, it is key to maintain an up-to-date eyewear prescription.
Is it alright to sleep in my contact lenses?
Unless a doctor has told you it is alright to sleep in your brand of contact lenses, it is usually unhealthy to wear contacts overnight. However, new brands of lenses are now available (such as the Night & Day soft contact lens and certain rigid lenses) that allow better oxygen breathability through the lens and may be able to be worn overnight. Ask one of our eye care professionals about these new contact lenses if you are interested in overnight lens wear.
How do I select the right eyewear to look good on me?
Our experienced staff will be glad to assist you in choosing a frame that fits your style, work and leisure needs, and budget. As you browse our wide variety of eyewear, we will work to personally hand-select frame options that will suit your looks and personality. You may be surprised at what a great work of art your face can be with the perfect frame!
How thick will my spectacle lenses be?
Lens thickness depends on how strong the prescription is, the type of lens material used, and the shape of the frame. In general, the stronger the prescription, the thicker the lens. However, new high index lens materials are available that can minimize thickness. Choosing a smaller frame will also cut down on lens thickness and the weight of the lens. Our eyewear consultants will help you choose the type of lens and frame size that will look best on you and be best for your prescription.
Do you carry prescription sunglasses?
Yes. We carry a large variety of trendy designer and popular sunglasses in a wide range of styles to meet all of your sunwear needs. We also offer custom clip-on sunglasses that can be made to fit any frame. Ask us about our specialty polarized sunglasses that work to prevent glare and aid in outdoor sports activities, such as fishing, skiing, and golfing.
How do I know if my child needs an eye exam?
All school aged children should have a comprehensive eye examination. Often, undiagnosed eye conditions can lead to poor reading abilities or poor hand-eye coordination and depth perception in sports and extra-curricular activities. Complaints such as headaches, blurry vision, squinting, or avoidance of visual activities could all be red flags of a potential problem with your child's vision. An eye exam at a younger age is warranted if you have specific concerns about your child's eyes or there is a family history of an eye problem at a young age.
What is a lazy eye?
A lazy eye is an eye that has not fully developed its vision potential. This is more commonly found in young children, and if left untreated, it can result in permanent vision loss. Otherwise known as amblyopia, a lazy eye can be caused by an uncorrected strong prescription need, trauma to the eye, or an eye turn (strabismus). Various forms of treatment can work to correct the lazy eye. Symptoms of amblyopia include an eye that turns in or out, squinting or closing one eye to see. The condition may go undetected if the child is not aware of any difficulty in seeing. If you suspect your child has a lazy eye or any problem with their vision, please bring them in for a comprehensive eye exam with one of our doctors.
Do you carry frames for children?
Yes. We carry frames for children of all ages. Please come in to view our selection and our eyewear consultants will help you choose the best frame for your child that is durable, up-to-the-minute in style, and affordable.
Can my child wear contact lenses?
Most vision prescriptions can be fit in contact lenses, but the fitting of a child in contact lenses depends a lot on the child's maturity level. Contact lenses require daily care and good hygiene, and this will require parental supervision until the parent is confident with their child's skill and care of the contact lenses.
Will my sigh worsen if I start wearing eyewear?
Wearing a prescription does not make your vision worse. Often when a patient gets eyewear for the first time, the visual improvement is so significant that vision without it seems much worse, especially over time. This is simply because the brain can now compare two images, one with eyewear and one without, and realize how much clearer the vision is with prescription eyewear.
What is an astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a vision disorder, such as near-sightedness or far-sightedness, that can be caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or an irregularly shaped lens within the eye. Symptoms of astigmatism can be eyestrain or headaches, or the need to squint to see well. Eyewear can correct astigmatism.
What is dry eye?
Dry eye is a condition in which either the eye does not produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate on the eye too quickly. Symptoms of dry eye include dryness, redness, grittiness, burning, or excessive tearing. Many treatment options are available to treat dry eye. A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Von Holdt will determine whether or not you have dry eye and what treatments may be necessary.
What is a cataract and how do I know if I have one?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye which is located behind the iris and the pupil. This usually occurs as we age, but can be caused by trauma, the use of certain medications, or excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight. Symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, problems with glare, faded colors, or difficulty with night driving. A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Von Holdt will determine if you have a cataract.
I see little black spots floating in my vision, what are these?
These are called floaters, and in most cases, they are a normal phenomenon. As the eye ages, the vitreous (the jelly-like matter that makes up the back of the eye) changes. These changes cause very fine fibers to clump together, and we see the visible shadows of these fibers as floaters in our vision. If there is a sudden change in your floaters, it could be a sign that a problem is occurring in the back of the eye and should be examined immediately.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve in the back of the eye. When this disease develops, the tissue of the optic nerve is progressively damaged. Often, but not always, glaucoma is associated with high pressures in the eye. A comprehensive eye examination by one of our doctors can check intraocular pressure and assess the optic nerve. If left undiagnosed, glaucomatous changes can lead to decreased vision in the periphery and ultimately, to complete blindness. Glaucoma can be a hereditary disease, so if diagnosed early, medications can be prescribed and vision can be preserved.
What can I do to relieve computer eyestrain?
To make your eyes most comfortable at the computer, be sure you are at a comfortable workstation. Good lighting is a must. Glare can be an issue on computer screens, and anti-reflective lenses help ease eyestrain. The use of lubricating tear drops can also improve eye comfort after long hours at the computer.
Optomap Retinal Exam
What is Optos?
Optos is a leading medical technology company for the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of retinal imaging devices. Retinal imaging is an important tool for the screening and diagnosis of eye problems, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, retinal holes/retinal tears and age-related macular degeneration. It can also indicate evidence of non-eye diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and certain cancers.
What is an Optomap Retinal Exam?
An Optomap Retinal Exam is a comprehensive method of evaluating, monitoring, and helping treat various eye conditions. This previously unavailable medical technology assists your doctor in viewing the retina to detect abnormalities and early signs of eye disease, as well as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and cancer.
What are the benefits of the Optomap Retinal Exam over routine eye exams?
Routine retinal examination methods provide only a limited, narrow-field view of the retina, typically less than 5% in a single capture. Such examinations can therefore miss eye and non-eye disorders or diseases, including those in the periphery of the retina, where many indicators of such diseases and precursors to eye conditions are often first exhibited. Typically, to capture a greater percentage of the retina using traditional methods, the patient's eye must be dilated, which can cause patient discomfort, and multiple images of the retina must be taken, at additional cost and time to the practitioner.
How is the procedure performed?
The procedure is simple and takes just minutes. It is fast, painless, and comfortable for patients. A small, upright machine is used, and patients simply place their eye in front of a lens, much like that of a camera. The machine then scans the retina and records the digital image. From children to seniors, the Optomap allows our doctors to view your retina quickly and in a noninvasive manner.
How often should an Optomap Retinal Exam be performed?
We recommend doing an Optomap Exam every year when you have your annual eye exam. The Optomap Exam provides a permanent record of the condition of your retina, which allows our doctors to compare each year's Optomap image side by side to discover even subtle changes and monitor your continuing eye health. This allows for early detection of retinal disorders, which is critical to preventing serious progression and loss of vision.
Does Lake Region Eye Center perform Optomap Retinal Exams?
Yes. Our optometrists are qualified to perform the procedure, analyze the Optomap images, diagnose any optical conditions or abnormalities, and monitor the continued health of your eyes.
What are some of the diseases that can be detected with the Optomap Retinal Exam?
A comprehensive eye exam, including a thorough retinal exam, can detect early signs of numerous diseases that affect not only your eyes and your sight, but your overall health, including cancer, hypertension, age-related macular degeneration, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
What are some of the diseases that can be detected with the Optomap Retinal Exam?
The Optomap Retinal Exam is much easier and more comfortable than conventional tests, which makes it ideally suited for children of all ages. It is recommended that children from a young age begin to have annual Optomap images taken, making it easier for doctors to detect early signs of disease and abnormalities. Statistics suggest that one child in the world goes blind every minute, yet 80% of blindness is avoidable (60% treatable, 20% preventable).