Q: I have a red eye, shouldn’t I go to my primary care doctor or a walk in clinic?

A: Regular doctors don’t have slit lamp microscopes or anyway to accurately diagnose eye disease. Without accurate diagnosis, accurate treatment is not possible. Nearly every day we see red eye patients after the walk-in clinic has failed to resolve their discomfort.

Q: I have diabetes & glaucoma, do I have to see an ophthalmologist for my care?

A: No. Today’s state board certified optometric physicians (Certified Optometrists or Therapeutic Optometrists, depending on the state) are fully educated and licensed to care for diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, etc. In Kentucky, Therapeutic Optometrists are required to be trained in both laser and minor outpatient eye surgery. In Ohio, Therapeutic Optometrists do not perform surgery. Therefore, they are often able to provide more personalized care, because they are not balancing a patient care schedule with a busy surgery schedule. Ophthalmologists are surgeons. In the event that your condition reaches a point requiring surgery, you are then referred to a surgeon who can do what he does best. After surgery, you immediately return to the careful management of your Therapeutic Optometrist.

Q: How old should a child be before his/her first eye exam?

A: Usually, age 4. Many severe eye problems may present themselves even in infancy. However, there are many problems that can permanently affect brain development, coordination, and learning that are not apparent –even in a thorough pediatrician’s exam. Therefore, it is recommended that every child receive a comprehensive eye exam performed by an eye doctor by age 4. If everything is normal, the next exam will usually be scheduled immediately prior to starting kindergarten.

Q: What should I bring to my exam?

A: Your most recent prescription eyeglasses and contact lens prescription information.
A list of all medications – even those that may not seem to impact the eyes.
Cards/vouchers/information on any insurance plans that may apply.
Sunglasses to wear after dilated exam (we will provide disposable sun protection upon request).
Samples of any specific reading material that you are having difficulty reading.
Bottles of any eyedrops currently used.
Nose-to-screen measurements for computer users or other important occupational distance measurements.

Q: Is there anything I can do naturally to improve my vision?

A: Many new studies show a potential for better vision and decreased risk of eye disease with nutritional supplements. There are many preparations available for the eyes. Good ones should have at least 8mg per day of Lutein. Lutein is found naturally in spinach. A little more than a half-cup per day will provide the necessary eight grams and an assortment of other essential eye nutrients.

Q: Is there any value in eye exercises?

A: There are many commercials advertising the value of eye exercises to “See clearly without glasses or contact lenses.” This method is based upon very old research that has since been found to have little value. Children, however, sometimes can improve muscle imbalance and overall visual performance with carefully prescribed vision training. This treatment should not be confused with the method advertised by these profiteers.