Frequently Asked Patient Questions
Q. Are you employed by Wal-Mart?
A. No. I am an independent doctor of optometry who chose to locate my practice at Wal-Mart, which is my landlord. I make no income from selling glasses or contacts, only from providing comprehensive exams and treating ocular disease.
Q. How can your fees be so much lower than other eye doctors? Will I receive a quality exam?
A. We provide a thorough exam with the most advanced diagnostic instruments to evaluate your vision needs and uncover any other ocular conditions that may go undetected, if not regularly monitored. I received my doctor’s degree after the same four years of training that all optometrists receive and was licensed to practice by the state after extensive testing. We can offer lower fees because our overhead is lower operating here, and we are able to keep busy seeing patients all day because of our convenient location.
Q. Will I receive a written prescription after the exam? Will the prescription be accepted anywhere?
A. We will supply a written prescription and summary of your exam as you leave the office.The prescription is valid anywhere in the U.S.
Q. I had an eye exam a little over a year ago, and my vision seems fine. Why do I need another exam?
A. We think it is important that all of our patients receive an annual eye exam. Your vision can change over a 12-month period. A regular check-up enables us to uncover any sight-threatening ocular conditions that can develop, unnoticed by you.
Q. Will you accept my insurance plan?
A. For the convenience of our patients, we accept most vision plans for whatever portion of the examination cost the plan covers. Please tell me your insurance company so that we can confirm your coverage.
Q. Why does it cost more for a contact lens exam?
A. We do additional testing with contact lens patients to measure the curvature of the eye to ensure that we prescribe the lens that optimizes fit and comfort. We also do an evaluation after you have worn the lenses for a given period to make sure there are no complications.
Q. Aren’t all contact lenses the same? Shouldn’t I just buy the cheapest ones?
A. They are not all the same. The contact lens companies spend millions of dollars every year to improve their lenses and regularly introduce new and better technology. You wouldn’t want to buy a five-year-old computer. For the same reason, it’s best to keep current and wear the latest and best lenses. Right now the companies are introducing new lens materials that allow much more oxygen to pass through, making them healthier to wear and enabling people to wear them in comfort for 14 hours or more per day. We recommend these new materials to most patients, even though they cost a little more, because we think they are better for their eyes in the long run.
Q. Will my contact lens prescription allow me to buy any brand of lens I want?
A. Your prescription is for a specific brand of contact lens that my examination and experience tell me is best for your vision and ocular health.
Q. Is it safe to wear a contact lens with a small tear in it?
A. A torn lens can damage the delicate outer tissue of your eye and lead to serious infection. If you tear a lens and do not have a replacement, come into the office right away and we will provide, at no charge, a lens that you can wear until your new supply arrives.
Q. Does Wal-Mart make high-quality glasses? Because they cost less, will they last as long and let me see well?
A. Wal-Mart will custom-make your glasses in one of its six ultra-modern optical labs, using top quality lens and frame materials, which the company constantly seeks to upgrade. Because of Wal-Mart’s buying power and operating efficiency, you receive top-quality glasses at an everyday low price.
Q. Is it true that Dry Eye symptoms seem to be more severe in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months?
A. Yes. Our humidity levels go down in the winter. Plus, you spend a lot of time with forced air heating which can also make your eyes feel dry.
Q. When should a person come in to see their optometrist for Dry Eye symptoms and when is it enough to take care of this problem yourself?
A. If the discomfort lasts more than a few days, please come in. Dry eyes can also cause blurred vision because the front surface of the eye is not wet and smooth like it should be. If that surface is dry and rough, the light rays are scattered and you may not see clearly.
Q. I have a friend in whose eyes are frequently overly watery. That isn’t Dry Eye, is it?
A. It could be dry eyes. When your eyes are dry, they send a message to the brain to make more tears. These tears are called “reflex tears” and they are more watery than your normal tears and tend to run out of your eyes.
Q. What is the examination like to determine whether someone is suffering from Dry Eyes?
A. We have special testing to measure the quality of your tears (Tear Lab), the amount of tears, and a test for inflammation on the ocular surface (Inflammadry). We also examine the eyelids because many times the glands found there are contributing to dry eyes.
Q. What are the typical treatments used to help people suffering from Dry Eyes?
A. There are many treatment options including artificial tears, prescription eye drops, regimens for healing the glands on the eyelids, plugging the tear ducts and more. Fish oil supplements can also help people who suffer from dry eyes produce better quality tears.
Q. Are some people more prone to having Dry Eyes than others?
A. Yes. People who spend a lot of time working on a computer are more likely to have dry eyes. As you age the chance of experiencing dry eyes goes up. Women after menopause are at risk for dry eyes due to the changes in hormones. Also, check your environment. Try not to have a fan blowing directly at your eyes.