Performance Eyecare is the place for children’s glasses

With the kids going back to school, it’s time to bring them in for an eye exam and pick out any necessary eyewear to help him or her succeed this school year.

We understand kids can be picky about what they want to wear, but we’re confident your child will find the perfect pair of glasses at Performance Eyecare.

Here are the five trends in children’s eyewear:

  1. Designers have taken cool and classic designs that work for adults and scaled them down for kids. Don’t be surprised if your child wants eyeglasses that look a lot like yours.
  2. Branded or licensed eyewear lines grab a child’s attention. Fisher-Price, Hush Puppies, Stride Rite, Disney and Marvel Comics appeal to kids of all ages, but especially to very young children. Lines related to extreme sports (X-Games), basketball (Nike, Converse) and other sports are very popular with slightly older kids.
  3. Spring hinges, strong and flexible frame materials and impact-resistant polycarbonate or Trivex lenses all help protect your child’s eyes — as well as your financial investment in his or her eyewear.
  4. Don’t forget about sunglasses for kids. Protecting your child’s eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays may lower the risk of adult eye problems like cataracts later in life.
  5. Photochromic lenses made of impact-resistant polycarbonate are an excellent choice for kids who spend a lot of time outdoors. Clip-on sunglasses (or newer versions that magnetically attach to eyeglasses) also are good choices.
  6. For the child who is fast becoming a teenager, eyewear fashion is increasingly important. Designer eyeglass frames from Guess?, Calvin Klein and others are very appealing to “tweens.” Also popular are frames branded with apparel and accessories names such as Esprit, Nine West and Banana Republic, as well as celebrity brands like Hilary Duff and Thalia eyewear collections.

Choosing the right glasses for your child

Just the thought of buying eyeglasses for your child can make you want to pull your hair out. First, there is the initial selection to consider. Second, you must consider what your child is willing to wear. Third, which eyeglasses will be the most durable?

Then there is the pressure from your child, who is likely more worried about what the other kids might say and if their glasses look cool to others.

We’ve seen how stressful this process can be. Don’t worry, we’re here to help make it a lot smoother for everyone involved.

As noted by Liz DeFranco of AllAboutVision.com, there are other variables to this journey such as what kind of glasses are needed (near- or farsighted) and how often will they be worn.

Here are DeFranco’s 10 items to consider when buying kids’ eyewear.

1. Lens Thickness

It’s important to consult with the optician about the eyeglass prescription before looking at frames. Stronger lenses are likely going to be thick, so it is important to keep the frames as small as possible to reduce the final lens thickness.

2. Fashion

Sadly, other kids might comment with either nice compliments or unnecessary jokes about your child’s eyeglasses. It is important your child is comfortable with his/her new specs so don’t let them choose ones that you think might be a cause for concern with other kids later.

The goal is to get your child to wear the glasses.

3. Plastic or Metal

Children’s frames are made of either plastic or metal. Boys’ frames have double bridges while girls’ frames have single frames, which can also be unisex.

Plastic frames in the past were considered a better choice for children because they were more durable, less likely to be bent or broken, lighter in weight and less expensive.

Now manufacturers are creating metal frames to incorporate these features as well.

Also, ask for hypoallergenic materials if your child has shown sensitivity to certain substances, such as nickel.

4. Proper Bridge Fit

Children’s noses aren’t fully developed which makes this a tough part of the consideration process. They don’t have a bridge to prevent plastic frames from sliding down, but metal frames are usually made with adjustable nose pads to fit everyone’s bridge.

5. Temple Style

Temples that wrap all the way around the back of the ear, called “cable temples,” help keep glasses from sliding down or falling off your child’s face completely.

Another option is a strap that goes around the head.

6. Spring Hinges

A nice feature to look for is temples with spring hinges because kids aren’t always careful when they put on or take off glasses. Spring hinges can prevent the need for frequent adjustments to be made to the glasses.

7. Lens Material

Children’s lenses should be made of polycarbonate or a material called Trivex because the lightweight materials are more impact-resistant than other lens materials. They are also lighter in weight, have built-in protection from damaging UV rays, and are scratch-resistant coated by the manufacturer.

The least desirable material is glass. It must be treated for impact resistance, but it still shatters when it breaks which can be hazardous to the eye.

8. Sports Eyewear

If your kid plays sports, a proper sports goggle with polycarbonate lenses will provide the best protection against an eye injury. These goggles also must be fitted properly.

9. Warranties

If your child is a toddler or a first-time wearer, opt for a warranty if it’s offered. Not all warranty plans are the same, but it can be useful in case the eyewear needs to be replaced or fixed.

10. Backup Pair

It’s always good to have a backup pair of glasses because kids aren’t always the gentlest being to their belongings. Another pair might be best especially for those with strong prescriptions and wouldn’t be able to function without their glasses.

Ask your optician if special discounts apply for second pairs, especially if they’re purchased at the same time as the primary pair.

Stylish frames to look younger!

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to settle for the grandma look when it comes to glasses. Take a look at these tips to consider the next time you pair a new set of frames.

As noted by Julyne Derrick of Beauty.About.com, there are many frames and styles that will help you achieve a more youthful look.

Black frames are a classy look that show sophistication and a sense of style. These frames can be oversized but they will still appear flattering. It’s recommended you steer away from excessive jewelry and other accessories to pull off the black frame look.

Want a subtle look when wearing glasses? Try a frameless pair that won’t bring attention to your glasses. They will blend into the face better, as will thin frames. Frameless glasses also let off a sophisticated look.

There’s three things you should consider when you choose glasses. Most of us think about our face shape, but it’s also about hair color and personality. Square frames can balance out a longer face shape and black frames can complement a lighter hair color.

Don’t go alone when you’re shopping for eyeglasses. Always bring a friend who knows your style and can be honest with you. No one wants to buy a pair of frames and later find out they don’t look as flattering as they previously thought.

At Performance Eyecare, we offer designer frames of the highest quality and also affordable name brands such as Lafont, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tom Davies, OGA, Tom Ford, Maui Jim, OGI and many others.

Choosing glasses for style & personality!

Let your choice in eye wear express who you are and showcase your unique individual style.

Performance Eyecare has the perfect glasses to fit your style and personality

We all have different tastes, especially when it comes to style. That’s why it’s important to decide what you want your eyeglasses to say about you first.

As noted by Erinn Morgan of AllAboutVision.com, the first step is to consider the aspects of your life. We all have different aspects to our life, such as work and play, so sometimes it’s best to buy a couple pairs of glasses to suit each aspect.

Eyeglasses for Serious Business

It’s best to wear conservative frame shapes and colors in the business setting. Doing so will help instill trust and confidence with your clients and colleagues.

Some of the best choices are classic shapes such as ovals, rectangles and almonds. You should also choose a traditional color like gold, silver, brown, gray and black. If you choose to wear plastic glasses, stay away from bright colors or unusual shapes.

Eyeglasses That Showcase Your Creativity and Fashion Savvy

Those wanting to show their fashionable and creative tastes should choose modern shapes when picking out their eyeglasses. You have a lot more options than in the business setting so choosing prints, such as animal or flower, can also be an option to accentuate your style.

Eyeglasses for the Modern Baby Boomer or Senior

Many older people tend to choose for a conservative look, but they don’t have to stick with the same outdated one forever.

Certain colors can make you look younger, such as deep browns and burgundy for men and lighter, shinier hues for women.

Eyeglasses for Students

Unusual shapes, bright colors, larger sizes and interesting details are popular among students who are trying to create their own identity and style.

Students shouldn’t be afraid to express themselves in any variety of glasses.

Eyeglasses for the Busy Mom and Dad

Ovals, upswept rectangles and soft cat-eye shapes are functional and look great for the busy mom or dad.  You could choose to amplify the fashion effect of a basic shape with details such as jewelry-like metal accents or recognizable designer logos depending on your style.

Interesting colors such as plum deep red, soft green and black can add a fashion edge to a basic frame.

Adult Sunglasses at Performance Eyecare

Performance Eyecare St. Louis

While summer is winding down, it’s important to continue to protect your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses, such as ones that you can find at Performance Eyecare.

As noted by GetEyeSmart.org, we often spend more time in the sun during the summer which increases our chances of developing cataracts and growths in the eye, including cancer. This risk also applies to those who go to tanning beds for their bronze look.

Do you remember that brightness when the sun reflected off a fresh snowfall six months ago? Well, that can cause photokeratitis, which is responsible for snow blindness. This same effect can happen when you’re at the beach or a pool as the sun reflects off the sand or water. This is why it’s always important to wear UV-blocking glasses when you’re out in the sun.

A survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), only about half of people who wear sunglasses say they check the UV rating before picking out their pair. The AAO recommends the following:

1. Wear sunglasses labeled as 100% UV protection.

It’s important to wear glasses that protect both UV-A and UV-B rays and are labeled either as UV400 or 100% UV protection.

2. Wear a hat along with your glasses

This is self-explanatory as a hat can help keep the sun away from your eyes. Clouds don’t block UV light, so sunglasses are important to wear even on cloudy days.  And remember that sun rays are strong. So strong they can pass through haze and clouds. Remember: sun damage can happen at any time of year.

3. Stay inside during UV-intense times

The sun’s light is strongest mid-day to early afternoon, at higher altitudes, and when reflected off of water, ice or snow. It’s important to remember this when you leave the house.

As Performance Eyecare, we offer designer frame sunglasses that will not only look stylish on you, but more importantly protect your vision from the sun’s harmful rays.

Performance Eyecare conducts stress-free eye exams

Performance EyeCare STL Eye Examination

We understand the word “exam” can add some unnecessary stress to your life, so we wanted to share with you what a routine comprehensive eye exam usually consists of:

As noted by Gary Heiting, OD, and Jennifer Palombi, OD, the following is what makes up a routine eye exam:

Visual Acuity Test

This measures the sharpness of your vision and it’s usually performed with a projected eye chart to measure the distance visual acuity. It also consists of a small, handheld acuity chart to measure your near vision as well.

Color Blindness Test

This test can check your color vision as well as alert your eye doctor to any possible eye health problems that may affect your color vision.

Cover Test

During this test, your eye doctor will have you focus on a small object across the room and will then cover each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target. The doctor then assesses whether the uncovered eye must move to pick up the fixation target, which could indicate strabismus or a more subtle binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or amblyopia, known as “lazy eye.”

Retinoscopy

Your eye doctor may perform this test early in the eye exam to obtain an approximation of your eyeglass prescription.

In retinoscopy, the room lights will be dimmed and you will be given a large target (usually the big “E” on the chart) to fixate on. As you stare at the “E,” your eye doctor will shine a light at your eye and flip lenses in a machine in front of your eyes.

Refraction

During a refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer.

Based on your answers, your eye doctor will continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription.

Autorefractors and Aberrometers

An autorefractor, like a manual refraction, determines the lens power required to accurately focus light on your retina. Autorefractors are especially useful in certain cases such as evaluating young children who may not sit still, pay attention or interact with the eye doctor adequately for an accurate manual refraction.

Slit-Lamp Examination

The slit lamp, also called a biomicroscope, allows your eye doctor to get a highly magnified view of the structures of your eye to thoroughly evaluate your eye health and detect any signs of infection or disease.

During this test, your doctor will have you place your chin on the chin rest of the slit lamp and will then shine the lamp’s light at your eye. The doctor looks through a set of oculars (much like a microscope in a science lab) and examines each part of your eye in turn.

He or she will first examine the structures of the front of your eye (lids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, etc.). Then, with the help of a special high-powered lens, your doctor will view the inside of your eye (retina, optic nerve, macula and more).

The Glaucoma Test

A common glaucoma test is the “puff-of-air” test, technically known as non-contact tonometry, or NCT. (This test was immortalized on the hit TV show Friends, when Rachel couldn’t sit still for it.)

For NCT, the test begins with you putting your chin on the machine’s chin rest. While you look at a light inside the machine, the doctor or a trained assistant will puff a small burst of air at your open eye. It is completely painless, and the tonometer does not touch your eye.

At Performance Eyecare, we do not use the air puff. Instead, our doctors instills an eye drop and determines your eye pressure while looking with the microscope. There is no pain and this method is much more accurate than blowing air into your eye.

Pupil Dilation

To obtain a better view of the eye’s internal structures, your eye doctor instills dilating drops to enlarge your pupils. Dilating drops usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to start working. When your pupils are dilated, you will be sensitive to light (because more light is getting into your eye) and you may notice difficulty focusing on objects up close. These effects can last for up to several hours, depending on the strength of the drop used.

Once the drops have taken effect, your eye doctor will use various instruments to look inside your eyes. You should bring sunglasses with you to your eye exam, to minimize glare and light sensitivity on the way home. If you forget to bring sunglasses, the staff usually will give you a disposable pair.

Visual Field Test

In some cases, your eye doctor may want to check for the possible presence of blind spots (scotomas) in your peripheral or “side” vision by performing a visual field test. These types of blind spots can originate from eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Analysis of blind spots also may help identify specific areas of brain damage caused by a stroke or tumor.

Performance Eyecare has same day contact lenses

Woman holding contact lens to eye

There’s no need to sit around waiting and wondering when your prescription contact lenses are going to be finished. At Performance Eyecare, we have several hundred contact lenses in our office and can routinely fit our contact lens patients the same day. It is not uncommon to hear from our new contact lens patients, “You mean you have MY contact lens prescription here and I can take my contact lenses home today?”

If you’re new to wearing contact lenses, Liz Segre of AllAboutVision.com has some tips to help you with common questions:

Is my contact lens inside out?

The trick is to place the lens on your finger so that a cup is formed. Then hold the lens up directly in front of your eyes so you’re looking at the side of the cup.

If the lens forms a “U” with the top edges flared out, it’s inside out. If it forms just a “U,” it’s in the correct position.

Applying your contact lenses

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before applying your contact lenses, but avoid scented or oily soaps that might adhere to the lens surface. Especially avoid using products containing lanolin and moisturizing lotions.

Some eye doctors say to always apply the first contact lens in the same eye, so you’ll avoid the possibility of mixing up lenses for the right eye and left eye.

Other basic guidelines for contact lens application:

  1. Gently shake your lens case containing the storage solution, to loosen the contact lens should it be stuck. (Don’t try pulling at the lens with your finger, or you might damage it.)
  2. Slide the lens out of its case and into the palm of your hand. Rinse thoroughly with the appropriate contact lens solution.
  3. Place the contact lens on the tip of your index or middle finger, which should be dry or mostly dry.
  4. With the fingers and thumb of your other hand, simultaneously pull up on your upper eyelid and down on your lower eyelid.
  5. Position the lens on your eye while looking upward or forward, whichever you find to be easier. You also can apply the contact lens by placing it on the white of the eye closest to your ear.
  6. Gently close your eye, roll your eyes in a complete circle to help the lens settle, and then blink.
  7. Look closely in the mirror to make sure the lens is centered on your eye. If it is, the lens should be comfortable and your vision should be clear.

Removing your contact lenses

Always wash your hands before removing contact lenses. If you are standing in front of a sink, use a clean paper towel to cover the drain where the contact lens might accidentally fall.

To remove soft contact lenses, look upward or sideways while you pull down on your lower eyelid. With a finger, gently maneuver the lens onto the white of your eye. There, you can very gently pinch the lens together with your index finger and thumb and lift it off the eye.

Rigid contact lenses can be removed by holding out the palm of your hand, bending over, and then opening your eye wide. With one finger of your other hand, pull the skin between your upper and lower eyelid (just outside the lateral aspect of your eye) outward toward your ear with your eye wide open. Then blink. The contact lens should pop right out and into your open palm.

Show Your Eyes You Love Them With These 8 Simple Eye Care Tips!

You can tell that Valentine’s Day is on its way right now. Every day there are more and more advertisements on the television about jewelers and Hallmark cards, and many radio stations may soon be playing more love songs as Valentine’s Day approaches.

If you think about it, many of those love songs tend to include eyes. Think about it – there’s “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli, and “Brown Eyed Girl,” by Van Morrison.

It makes sense, though – as William Blake once said, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” We place great value on our eyes and vision, and we wish to give them the best care we possibly can. All to often, however, life gets in the way. We become busy or we simply forget to do a few easy things to keep our eyes healthy and strong.

This Valentine’s Day, don’t just show your love to your special someone by serenading them with these songs (and other great love songs out there) – show much you love and care for your eyes by following these 8 simple eye care tips!

VeggiesEat the Right Foods

Many studies have shown that several nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein, and vitamins C and E can help fight off or slow down age-related vision issues such as cataracts and Macular Degeneration. Be sure to regularly eat the following foods to keep your eyes healthy:

  • Leafy green veggies like spinach, kale, and collards
  • Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits
  • Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources

Keep in mind also that eating the proper food will not only keep your eyes healthy and your weight maintained, but it will also lower your chances of getting Type II Diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults. What a win-win reason to eat more healthily!

Stop Smoking

If there’s another reason to help you quit smoking, it’s probably this – smoking has been found to increase your risk of getting cataracts, Macular Degeneration, and optic nerve damage. Show your eyes how much you care by quitting smoking!

Protect Your Eyes from Injury

Did you know that about 325,000 sports-related eye injuries occur every year? Perhaps more frightening than that statistic is the fact that more than 90% of those injuries could have been prevented with proper eyewear! When you partake in your favorite hobbies or sports, be sure to wear the proper eyewear. Remember, you only have one pair of eyes. Protect them well!

Avoid Eye Strain As Much As Possible

Computers and smart phones are fantastic inventions and help us accomplish so much these days, but spending so much time in front of them has harmed our eyes. By spending lots of time in front of the bright screen, you can strain your eyes or get dry eyes or blurred vision. Be sure that your computer monitor is 5-9 inches below eye level and that the brightness isn’t very high. Also, be sure to abide by the 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes you are looking at the screen, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to help keep your eyes healthy and well-focused.

Say “No” to UV Rays

Did you know that ultraviolet rays can harm your eyes as much as they can harm your skin? It’s true! In fact, every 15 minutes you are outside adds to the cumulative effect of radiation damage you have accrued. Fight against UV rays by wearing sunglasses or contact lenses that are UV protective. Remember, even if you wear contacts, you’ll still need to wear sunglasses to protect the whites of your eyes.

Be Smart When Driving at Night

Nighttime driving can be hard on the eyes, and since it’s still dark out around rush hour, it’s still an inevitable part of life for commuters. When driving in the dark, try to look at the bottom right of the road whenever you’re able (especially as cars are coming toward you on the other side of the road). Make sure, also, that you use the night setting on your rearview mirror to help reduce headlight glare behind you!

Take Proper Care of Your Contacts

Contacts might seem scary to new users, but they’re actually pretty easy to care for. However, contacts must be kept clean. Every single time you put in your lenses or take them out of your eyes, rinse them out with contact solution. Change the solution in the contact holder every time so that you don’t risk infecting your contacts. Also, don’t fall asleep in your contacts unless your eye doctor gives you instructions to do so.

Get an Eye Exam Every Year

The scary thing about eye problems is that more often than not, they tend to sneak up on you slowly or progress without being detected. Your eye doctor can take a look into your eyes and ensure that your eyes are truly healthy. Your doctor can also tell you if your glasses or contacts are still benefitting your vision and can update your prescription, if need be.

Want to show your eyes some love? Schedule your next eye exam with us at Performance Eyecare! Just give us a call at (618) 234-3053 in Swansea or (314) 878-1377 in St. Louis. We would be more than happy to take a look at your eyes!

The Most Valuable Christmas Gift: Eye Health

“Where did you buy that gift?” “I went to Performance Eyecare.”

Okay, that may sound weird for two reasons: 1. The gift didn’t come from the epicenter of Christmas shopping, the mall and 2. The gift came from the eye doctor.

But don’t count us out when you’re searching for a Christmas gift this year. We have the most valuable Christmas gift in town and that’s the gift of vision.

For starters, we have the most fashionable eyeglasses and sunglasses in the St. Louis area. We’re sure you overheard a relative or a friend say they wish they had a different pair of sunglasses or new stylish frames at some point this year. The reality is people keep wishing and never do anything about it.

Bring them into Performance Eyecare to check out the several hundred eyeglass and sunglass frames on display at one of our 8 locations around Missouri and Illinois. We have glasses in all price ranges and for infants on up.

Our top designer frames are made with the highest quality and come from Lafont, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tom Davies, OGA, Tom Ford, Maui Jim, OGI, and many more. You won’t have a problem finding the perfect style.

Eyeware Gift Ideas

Every year you buy the avid golfer on your Christmas list the same thing: a dozen golf balls and a gift card to the golf store. Well, switch it up without switching the gift theme. We carry top of the line golf sport sunglasses that will help any scratch golfer or golf ball hacker see the ball better.

We also have baseball eyewear, football contact lenses, tennis lenses, shooting and hunting specialty eyewear, and more. Give the gift of sight improvement this holiday season!

Eyeglasses and sunglasses are the obvious gift choice, but you could give a more important gift: overall vision.

We all have a relative or friend that wears glasses or contacts and still says “I can’t read that. What does it say?” It’s time to bring those loved ones in for an updated eye exam because eyes change and they need to wear the right prescription of eyeglasses or contacts. Plus, you won’t have to be their eyes for them anymore which is a relief if you’re always being asked to read things for them.

After all, it’s the thought of the gift that counts.

Why are Eye Exams Important?

Regardless of your age or physical health, it’s important to have regular eye exams.

During a complete eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. They’ll also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

Who should get their eyes examined?

Eye examinations are an important part of health maintenance for everyone. Adults should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of eye disease. For children, eye exams can play an important role in normal development.

Vision is closely linked to the learning process. Children who have trouble seeing or interpreting what they see will often have trouble with their schoolwork. Many times, children will not complain of vision problems simply because they don’t know what “normal” vision looks like. If your child performs poorly at school or exhibits a reading or learning problem, be sure to schedule an eye examination to rule out an underlying visual cause.

What is the eye doctor checking for?

In addition to evaluating whether you have nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, your eye doctor will check your eyes for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss. Here are some examples of the conditions that your eye doctor will be looking for:

  • Amblyopia: This occurs when the eyes are misaligned or when one eye has a much different prescription than the other. The brain will “shut off” the image from the turned or blurry eye. If left untreated, amblyopia can stunt the visual development of the affected eye, resulting in permanent vision impairment. Amblyopia is often treated by patching the stronger eye for periods of time.
  • Strabismus: Strabismus is defined as crossed or turned eyes. Your eye doctor will check your eyes’ alignment to be sure that they are working together. Strabismus causes problems with depth perception and can lead to amblyopia.
  • Eye Diseases: Many eye diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic eye disease, have no obvious symptoms in their early stages. Your eye doctor will check the health of your eyes inside and out for signs of early problems. In most cases, early detection and treatment of eye diseases can help reduce your risk for permanent vision loss.
  • Other Diseases: Your eye doctor can detect early signs of some systemic conditions and diseases by looking at your eye’s blood vessels, retina and so forth. They may be able to tell you if you are developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other problems. It’s estimated that one-third of Americans who have diabetes don’t know it. Your eye doctor may detect the disease before your primary care physician does, especially if you’re overdue for a physical.

What’s the difference between a vision screening and a complete eye exam?

Vision screenings are general eye tests that are meant to help identify people who are at risk for vision problems. Screenings include brief vision tests performed by a school nurse, pediatrician or volunteers. The eye test you take when you get your driver’s license renewed is another example of a vision screening.

A vision screening can indicate that you need to get an eye exam, but it does not serve as a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam.

A comprehensive eye examination is performed by an eye doctor and will involve careful testing of all aspects of your vision. Based upon the results of your exam, your doctor will then recommend a treatment plan for your individual needs. Remember, only an eye doctor can provide a comprehensive eye exam. Most family physicians and pediatricians are not fully trained to do this, and studies have shown that they can miss important vision problems that require treatment.

Treatment plans can include eyeglasses or contact lenses, eye exercises or surgery for muscle problems, medical treatment for eye disease or simply a recommendation that you have your eyes examined again in a specified period of time.

No matter who you are, regular eye exams are important for seeing more clearly, learning more easily and preserving your vision for life.

Preparing for an Eye Exam

Eyecare experts recommend you have a complete eye exam every year to keep your eyes healthy. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your exam:

Eye Exams for Kids

Some experts estimate that approximately 5% to 10% of pre-schoolers and 25% of school-aged children have vision problems. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), all children should have their eyes examined at 6 months, 3 years, and again when they start school. Children without vision problems or risk factors for eye or vision problems should then continue to have their eyes examined at least every two years throughout school.

Children with existing vision problems or risk factors should have their eyes examined more frequently. Common risk factors for vision problems include:

  • premature birth
  • developmental delays
  • turned or crossed eyes
  • family history of eye disease
  • history of eye injury
  • other physical illness or disease

The AOA recommends that children who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses should have their eyes examined at least every 12 months.

Eye Exams for Adults

The AOA also recommends an annual eye exam for any adult who wears eyeglasses or contacts. If you don’t normally need vision correction, you still need an eye exam every two to three years up to the age of 40, depending on your rate of visual change and overall health. Doctors often recommend more frequent examinations for adults with diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. That’s because many diseases can have an impact on vision and eye health.

If you are over 40, it’s a good idea to have your eyes examined every one to two years to check for common age-related eye problems such as presbyopia, cataracts and macular degeneration.

Because the risk of eye disease continues to increase with age, everyone over the age of 60 should be examined annually.

How much does an eye exam cost?

Eye exams are available in many settings so the fees can vary widely. Generally speaking, contact lens exams cost more than regular eye exams. Likewise, an additional or higher fee may be charged for specialized services such as laser vision correction evaluations.

Many insurance plans cover at least a portion of eye exam services. Check to see what your benefits are and which eye doctors in your area participate in your plan before you make an appointment. Then be sure to give your doctor’s office your insurance information to verify coverage.

What information should I take with me to my eye exam?

It’s important to have some basic information ready at the time of your eye examination. Bring the following items to your exam:

  • All eyeglasses and contact lenses you routinely use, including reading glasses.
  • A list of any medications you take (including dosages).
  • A list of any nutritional supplements you take (including dosages).
  • A list of questions to ask the doctor, especially if you are interested in contact lenses or laser vision correction surgery.
  • Medical or vision insurance card if you will be using it for a portion of your fees.

Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to have regular eye exams, at least once per year. Diabetes increases your risk of eye problems, so it is important to not delay in caring for your eyes.  However, you are also at risk for diabetic retinopathy: damage to the blood vessels located in your retina.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

This disease is the most common among those suffering from diabetes – both type 1 and 2; is the leading cause in America for blindness. In some people, the blood vessels in the retina may swell and leak fluid, however in other people you may develop new vessels on the surface of your retina. This eye disease typically affects both eyes, not just one.

If you are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, we will recommend a treatment to help the progression of this disease which may include more than one visit to the doctor per year. Do not let this go untreated.

Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

You can’t always prevent diabetic retinopathy. However, you can help prevent vision loss and other complications of diabetic retinopathy

  • Monitor your blood sugar level by checking levels regularly and working with your doctor to establish a routine.
  • Manage your diabetes with a healthy diet and ample physical activity.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control by losing excess weight, committing to a healthy lifestyle, and incorporating medication if needed.
  • Pay attention to vision changes. Contact your eye doctor right away if your vision suddenly changes or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy.

To find out how to treat this eye disease, or to make an appointment for your annual checkup, please schedule your appointment today!