FAQ

FAQ's

• How often should I have my eyes examined?

We recommend yearly eye exams to monitor the eyes for changes in prescription and to help with the early detection of eye disease. Children sometimes need to be checked on a more frequent basis if their eyeglass prescription is increasing faster than normal. Anyone with eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration generally need to be checked on a more frequent basis as well.

• Do you take my insurance?

We take most insurances and a comprehensive list of insurances that we accept can be found on our insurance page. If you do not see your insurance listed, please call us and we will gladly look into it for you.

• What is 20/20 vision?

By looking at lots of people, eye doctors have decided what a “normal” human being should be able to see when standing 20 feet away from an eye chart. If you have 20/20 vision, it means that when you stand 20 feet away from the chart you can see what the “normal” human being can see. In other words, your vision is “normal” — most people can see what you see at 20 feet. So, if you have 20/40 vision you will have to be at 20 feet in order to see what a “normal” person can see at 40 feet.

• Is looking at a computer screen for long periods bad for my eyes?

Focusing closely at any object for long periods causes eye strain and fatigue. If you are doing extensive computer work, we recommend following the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes look at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for 20 seconds. This will relax the muscles in your eyes and help to prevent strain. Also, your eyes can become dry from staring at the computer screen for long periods, if so keep some artificial tears on hand.

• Are carrots good for my eyes?

While carrots provide a good source of Vitamin A, recent studies have shown the best food for your eyes is spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables. These provide the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which provide protection against damage to the retina associated with macular degeneration.

• What vitamins and minerals are good for my eyes?

Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) help protect adult eyes from macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome and decrease the risk of glaucoma. Vitamin C and Bilberry, a bioflavanoid, help protect the cornea and blood vessels in the retina, and reduce the risk of cataract formation and macular degeneration. Vitamin A helps protect the cornea, aids in reducing eye infections and decreases the risk of macular degeneration. Anyone who smokes should not take excessive Vitamin A or Beta carotene because of the increased risk of developing lung cancer. Vitamin E helps to possibly prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin provide protection against damage to the retina. Zinc and selenium help your body absorb Vitamin A and Vitamin E and protect against macular degeneration and night blindness.

• Should I have the Optomap retinal imaging performed?

We do recommend Optomap retinal imaging for all of our patients because it gives us a comprehensive detailed image of the retina which we cannot get with our other instruments. It also allows us to view the images on screen, compare them with previous images to detect any changes, and show you if there is any abnormality or eye disease. It is an easy test to take as a patient. It takes just a few seconds, like getting your picture taken, and you see a bright flash of light. We highly recommend it as an excellent way to evaluate the retinal structures.

• Am I entitled to a copy of my patient record?

Yes. The patient record, or a copy thereof, shall be released in a timely manner upon written request, to the patient, the patient’s authorized representative, or to another optometrist or physician acting on behalf of the patient.

• How long is an optometrist required to keep patient records?

New Jersey licensed optometrist must maintain records for a period of not less than seven years from the date of the most recent entry.

• Can an optometrist charge a fee for the reproduction of patient records?

Yes. An optometrist may charge a fee for the reproduction of records, which shall be no greater than $.50 per page or $100.00 for the entire record, whichever is less. If the record requested is 10 pages, the optometrist may charge up to $10.00 to cover postage and the miscellaneous costs associated with retrieval of the record.

• Can I sleep in my contacts?

Some contacts with higher oxygen permeability are approved for extended wear, anywhere from a few days to one month of continuous wear. Not everyone can wear extended wear contacts successfully though. Environmental factors and physiological variations from person to person can affect the ability to successfully sleep in contacts. There is also an increased risk for eye infections with extended wear.

• When does a contact lens prescription expire?

Federal regulations stipulate a contact lens prescription is valid for one year. Once the optometrist has arrived at your final contact lens prescription, your optometrist can indicate an expiration date based upon your eye health status on the written prescription. That expiration date may be less than one year.

• Why do I need to have a contact fitting and evaluation every year?

Contact lenses come in direct contact with a very sensitive and important part of your body—your eyeball. Contacts if worn improperly (and sometimes even when worn correctly), can cause changes to the eye, specifically the cornea. We evaluate the cornea for changes such as neovascularization (new blood vessels), swelling, microcysts (air bubbles), and changes in corneal shape. If any of these are present, then a different type of contact needs to be prescribed. Also, vision changes can take place,(sometimes you will not even be aware of these changes), and your prescription will need to be changed.

• Can an optometrist release my contact lens prescription if I had an eye examination for contact lenses but haven’t completed the fitting process?

No. A contact lens prescription is not complete unless and until a patient has been fitted for the contact lens being prescribed and the fit has been fully evaluated over at least one follow-up visit and determined to be satisfactory.

• Do I need additional testing prior to my optometrist providing me with a contact lens prescription?

Testing is required, beyond the scope of a routine eye health examination and issuance of an eyeglass prescription, for cosmetic contact lenses.

For new contact lens wearers, the optometrist must evaluate and record the contact lens performance on the eye. The patient must be taught contact lens placement, removal, care and be given a wearing schedule. Typically, the recommended solutions and a contact lens case are provided. At least a one-week follow-up is required before the contact lens prescription is released.

For current contact lens wearers, the optometrist must evaluate and record the contact lens performance, condition and associated vision prior to issuing a new prescription.

Medical eye health problems such as Keratoconus (odd shaped corneas) and Anisometropia (large prescription differences between the eyes) may require many addition visits and special contact lens constructions.

• When can an optometrist release a patient’s contact lens prescription?

An optometrist shall, free of charge, release a copy of a patient’s contact lens prescription directly to the patient upon completion of the contact lens fitting. An optometrist shall, free of charge, release a copy of the patient’s contact lens prescription directly to a licensed ophthalmologist, optometrist, or ophthalmic dispenser upon either the oral or written request of a patient.

• Am I required to pay a fee in addition to the fee for a routine eye health exam and eyeglass prescription for contact lens fitting, refitting or evaluation?

Almost all providers charge an additional fee for the fitting and evaluation of contact lenses. This may be expressed as a contact lens fit/refitting fee or as a different price for the routine eye examination and the eye exam for the contact lens wearer.

• Does my vision care or medical insurance pay for contact lens fitting?

In rare instances, cosmetic contact lens fitting may be paid for by your vision care insurance.

Some vision care insurances and some medical insurances have benefits toward contact lenses that are medically required. Typically, the patient must have vision that is not correctable with eyeglasses.

Medical eye health problems such as Keratoconus (odd shape corneas) and Anisometropia (large prescription differences between the eyes) may require many additional visits and special contact lens constructions.

• Can I purchase my contact lenses through any contact lens seller?

With a written contact lens prescription, you can purchase your contact lenses through any licensed or registered contact lens seller.

• Can my optometrist require that I purchase contact lenses from him/her?

After the contact lens fitting/evaluation is finalized, your optometrist CANNOT require that you purchase the contact lenses nor the supply of contact lenses from him/her.

• Can I purchase/order contact lenses other than what is specified on my prescription?

Your contact lens prescription has been determined to be safe for your eyes. The prescription includes, at least, the brand/type, curves, diameter and power. The contact lens vendor is obligated to follow the prescription just like a pharmacist is obligated to follow a medication prescription. In many instances, if a colored contact lens is prescribed, the patient may choose an alternate color.

• In the event that I receive contact lenses other than what was prescribed, do I have any recourse?

First, contact your contact lens supplier. If you find the supplier to be unresponsive, you may contact the New Jersey State Board of Optometrists or the New Jersey State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians at 124 Halsey Street, 6th Floor, Newark, New Jersey 07101.

• At what age can my child be fit with contact lenses?

The age at which a child can be fit with contacts varies with every child. It is based upon the maturity and responsibility of the child, the child’s prescription, and the child’s determination and desire to wear contacts. We have fit contacts successfully as young as 8 years old but usually from age 12 and up do the best with them.

• When can an optometrist release a patient’s eyeglass prescription?

After the completion of a patient’s comprehensive eye examination, and upon the patient’s request, a copy of the patient’s prescription for eyeglasses shall be given, free of charge, to the patient or to another optometrist, ophthalmologist, or ophthalmic dispenser acting on the patient’s behalf.

• Is an optometrist required to include the “pupillary distance” on an eyeglass prescription?

No. An optometrist is not required to include the interpupillary distance and height segment measurements on an eyeglass prescription.

In the past all spectacle lenses were made of the same index of refraction (density), same center, edge thickness and the same style. All of the patients facial anatomical measurements were taken with a millimeter ruler at the time of the eye examination. With the explosion of new frame designs, lens materials and technologies, the old measurement system is no longer remotely adequate. Proper placement of the appropriate aspect of the lens in front of the patients pupil is critically important for today’s technologically more advanced spectacle lens and frame materials. Special instrumentation and devices are required to ensure the prescription lenses will function properly for the patient. The measurements must be made relative to the eyeglass frame selected. Therefore, the patient must be measured by the seller and/or the dispenser of the eyeglass frame. The optometrist cannot assume any responsibility for the proper prescription being misplaced in front of the pupil due to the configuration of the frame, the lens style or material chosen by the patient. Not all lenses are created equal and there are many technological differences.

Pupillary distance, “PD”, refers to the measured distance between the patients pupils, and is taken for at least far and near viewing distances. Today’s lenses require precise horizontal and vertical placement of the lens selected by the patient. These measurements are effected by the lens and frame shape, size and use (driving, computer or reading) of the prescription. Therefore, the patient must be measured by the seller and/or dispenser of the eyeglass frame.

Segment height, bifocal, trifocal or progressive lenses, refers to the height or placement of the near viewing (intermediate or reading portion) of the lens. Most lens manufacturers have a fitting guide to ensure the lens is positioned for maximum viewing efficiency with minimum of peripheral distortion. Therefore, the patient must be measured by the seller and the dispenser of the eyeglass frame.