What is the difference between and optometrist and an ophthalmologist?
An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists examine eyes for both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Optometrists in the United States also are licensed to prescribe medications to treat certain eye problems and diseases.
What is refraction?
Refraction is the process of determining the eye’s refractive error, or need for corrective glasses and/or contact lenses.
Refraction is sometimes necessary depending on the patient’s diagnosis and/or complaints presented that day. For example, if a patient is experiencing blurred vision or a decrease in visual acuity on the eye chart, a refraction would be needed to see if this is due to a need for glasses or due to a medical problem. A refraction is also necessary to prove to insurance
the need for cataract surgery. We must prove that your vision cannot be simply improved with a glasses prescription.
What is a refractive lensectomy?
A refractive lensectomy corrects nearsightedness or farsightedness by replacing the eye’s natural lens, which has the wrong power, with an artificial intra-ocular lens (IOL) implant that has the correct power for the eye. Refractive lensectomy is a surgical procedure that uses the same successful techniques of modern cataract surgery. The main difference between standard cataract surgery and refractive lensectomy is that cataract surgery is primarily performed to remove a patient’s cataract that is obstructing and clouding their vision, while refractive lensectomy is performed to reduce a person’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
What makes someone a good candidate for a refractive lensectomy?
-He or she wants to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts
-He or she may not be a good candidate for laser vision correction
-He or she is 50+ years of age (varies depending on the patient)
-He or she has no health issues affecting their eyes
What should I expect during and after a refractive lensectomy?
A refractive lensectomy procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Only one eye will be treated at a time. After the eye is completely numbed with topical or local anesthesia, the eye’s natural lens will be gently vacuumed out through a tiny incision, less than one eighth of an inch wide.
Next, the new intraocular lens will be folded and inserted through the same micro-incision. It will then be unfolded and placed into the “capsular bag” that originally surrounded the natural lens. The incision is “self-healing” and usually requires no stitches — it heals fast and provides a much more comfortable recuperation. The whole procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes.
You will go home soon after the surgery and most patients return to their normal activities within a day or two. The goal of the procedure is to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Though some patients report an improvement in their vision almost immediately, results vary by patient.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that can cause vision loss if left untreated. It is one of the most serious eye disorders and approximately 2.25 million Americans 45 years or older have glaucoma. It is estimated that between 84,000 and 116,000 of them have become blind from glaucoma. The incidence of glaucoma increases with age.
Glaucoma is usually caused by increased pressure in the eye, which causes mechanical damage to the optic nerve and also affects the blood flow to the optic nerve. This damage to the optic nerve will cause vision loss. There are two main types of glaucoma, open angle glaucoma (the most common form) and angle closure glaucoma (5% of glaucoma cases).
Yearly examinations with your ophthalmologist will be sufficient to check for glaucoma. If you have any risk factors for glaucoma your ophthalmologist will perform a work-up for glaucoma. The work-up includes checking your eye pressure with a tonometer, checking for damage to the optic nerve, and checking for damage to the drainage system in the eye.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Glaucoma often develops over many years without causing pain – so you may not experience vision loss until the disease has progressed. Symptoms are occasionally present and should be taken as warning signs that glaucoma may be developing; these include blurred vision, loss of peripheral vision, halo effects around lights and painful or reddened eyes.
Who is at risk for glaucoma?
People at the greatest risk include those who are over the age of 40, diabetic, near-sighted, African-American, or who have a family history of glaucoma.
Is glaucoma treatable?
Once diagnosed, glaucoma can be controlled. Treatments to lower pressure in the eye include non-surgical methods such as prescription eye drops and medications, laser therapy, and surgery.
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is the number-one cause of blindness in the United States. It occurs when the macula — a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our vision is clear and sharp — degrades or “degenerates,” causing a progressive loss of vision.
Does macular degeneration have any symptoms?
Yes. They include:
A gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
A gradual loss of color vision
A dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision
Can macular degeneration be treated?
The “dry” form of macular degeneration has no treatment, but the “wet” form may be helped by laser procedures if it is detected early. Certain vitamins and minerals may also aid in slowing or preventing vision loss.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a loss of transparency, or clouding, of the normally clear lens of the eye. As one ages, chemical changes occur in the lens that make it less transparent. The loss of transparency may be so mild vision is hardly affected or so severe that no shapes or movements are seen, only light and dark. When the lens gets cloudy enough to obstruct vision to any significant degree, it is called a cataract. Glasses or contact lenses cannot sharpen your vision if a cataract is present.
Who is at risk for cataracts?
People at risk for developing cataracts are over 55 years old, have had eye injuries or disease, have a family history of cataracts, smoke cigarettes or use certain medications.
Are there symptoms associated with cataracts?
There is no pain associated with the condition, but there are several symptoms that indicate failing vision due to cataracts. These include:
Spots in front of the eye(s)
Sensitivity to glare
A feeling of “film” over the eye(s)
A temporary improvement in near vision
Can cataracts be prevented?
Reducing the amount of ultraviolet light exposure by wearing a wide-brim hat and sunglasses may reduce your risk for developing a cataract but once developed there is no cure except to have the cataract surgically removed. Early detection through regular eye exams can help maintain the clearest vision possible.
What are the treatment options for cataracts?
Vision loss from cataracts can often be corrected with prescription glasses and contact lenses. For people who are significantly affected by cataracts, replacement surgery may be the preferred method of treatment. During cataract replacement (the most common surgical procedure in the country), the lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one called an intraocular lens or IOL.
What is dry eye?
“Dry eye” is the term for when your eyes are insufficiently moisturized, either because they do not produce enough tears or because the tears have an improper chemical composition. It often occurs during the natural aging process, but it can also form as a result of eyelid or blinking problems, certain medications (antihistamines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants), climate (low humidity, wind, dust), injury, and various health problems (arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome).
Is dry eye serious?
In addition to being uncomfortable, dry eye can damage eye tissue, scar the cornea and impair vision. Dry eye is not preventable, but it can be controlled before harm is done to your eyes.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
Irritated, scratchy, dry, uncomfortable or red eyes
A burning sensation or feeling of something foreign in your eyes
How can dry eye be treated?
Treatment for dry eye can take many forms. Non-surgical methods include blinking exercises, increasing humidity at home or work, and use of artificial tears or moisturizing ointment. If these methods fail, small plugs may be inserted in the corners of the eyes to limit tear drainage, or the drainage tubes in the eyes may be surgically closed.
What is Botox Cosmetic?
Botox® Cosmetic is a simple, non-surgical, physician-administered treatment that can temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines between the brows, on the forehead and around the eyes (crow’s feet) in people from 18 to 65 years of age. It is the only treatment of its type approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Botox® Cosmetic is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, which reduces the activity of the muscles that cause those frown lines between the brows to form over time. Over a million people have been treated with FDA-approved Botox® Cosmetic.
How does Botox work?
Hyper dynamic wrinkles are the most common indication for Botox® Cosmetic treatments, and are caused by repeated contractions of the delicate underlying facial muscles every time you smile, laugh, or frown. A very animated individual who contracts these facial muscles frequently will have greater facial muscle tone, and deepening of unwanted lines of the face. Botox® Cosmetic is injected into the small facial muscles through a tiny needle, and it works in two ways. First, Botox® Cosmetic relaxes hyper dynamic muscles, dramatically softening or eliminating wrinkles within three to ten days. Second, over the ensuing months the relaxed muscle slowly thins down to a more normal state, providing further cosmetic benefit for unwanted wrinkles. This secondary effect has been seen to last as long as two years.
How long will the effects of Botox last?
Given its unique mechanism of action, Botox® Cosmetic offers sustained relief, dose after dose over the course of long-term treatment. The relief you will feel from a single treatment of Botox® will normally be sustained for approximately three to four months. You will notice a gradual fading of its effects. At this point, you will return to us for your next treatment. Usually, Botox® treatment is required only three or four times a year. Symptoms may vary throughout the course of the condition, and so the degree of relief and duration of effect varies from person to person.
What are the side effects of Botox?
With more than 2.0 million treatments performed last year and a superb safety track record, Botox® Cosmetic has rapidly become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. Most side effects are rare and temporary. Botox® injection side effects and risks include:
· Mild numbness or tingling in the injection area
· Minor swelling or bruising around the injection area (temporary)
· Headache (temporary)
· Nausea (temporary)
· Drooping eyebrow or eyelid (usually temporary and can last 2-3 weeks)
· No improvement after undergoing treatment
· An allergic reaction to Botox® Cosmetic
· Flu-like symptoms
Many of these side effects can be avoided if proper injection techniques are used, and if the patient avoids rubbing the injection area for approximately 12 hours after treatment. The possibility of experiencing Botox® injection side effects can be greatly reduced by choosing a qualified physician who has experience in performing the Botox® injection procedure. The specific risks and the suitability of these procedures for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally.
Is LASIK appropriate for me?The only way to determine your lasik candidacy is for you to have a thorough pre-operative eye health examination. You will be educated on the benefits and risks of LASIK eye surgery and a series of tests will be performed to make sure the surgery can be performed on your eyes. Everyone’s eyes are different so this pre-LASIK exam is absolutely necessary. The advancements in recent technology are helping to widen the realm of possibilities for vision correction. Consult us directly to find out more about your new possibilities for vision correction other than LASIK surgery.
Which LASIK technology is best for me?There are several FDA approved excimer lasers for vision correction. The best way for you to determine the best technology is to speak directly with your surgeon. Your surgeon went through an extensive educational process to choose the best laser. Avoid being influenced by corporate literature designed to tell you their laser is the best. Your surgeon is the best qualified to discuss this information objectively with you.
How does wavefront LASIK compare to conventional LASIK?Wavefront LASIK is also commonly referred to as Custom LASIK or customized LASIK. Wavefront adds an automatic measurement of more subtle distortions (called higher order aberrations) This measurement is used to create a more precise laser treatment “In a few studies comparing wavefront-guided LASIK to conventional LASIK, a slightly larger percentage of subjects treated with wavefront LASIK achieved 20/20 vision without glasses or contact lenses compared to subjects treated with conventional LASIK”. (FDA information 2006)
Is there Financing available?Flexible Payment Options and Plans
At Whitsett Vision Group, we understand that financial considerations are an important factor in your decision. Our goal is to help make Lasik, Cataract, and Lens Replacement surgery costs more affordable for any budget with payment options that suit every financial situation.
Whitsett Vision Group accepts cash, cashier’s checks, money orders, and all major credit cards.
Whitsett Vision Group has also partnered with a reputable financing company that offers convenient payment plans for our patients. Benefits for qualified applicants include:
Credit lines for current and/or future procedures.
100% financing available. No down payment necessary.
Low interest rates.
Low monthly payments.
No prepayment penalty.
No annual fees.
Wells Fargo Health Advantage
Wells Fargo Health Advantage offers special financing for 18 months with convenient monthly payments. *The Wells Fargo Health Advantage program is issued with approved credit by Wells Fargo Financial National Bank.
Wells Fargo Health Advantage Credit Card
If approved for credit, the following special terms promotions may be available to you on qualifying purchases. Please ask your surgical counselor which promotions they are offering, including minimum purchase amounts (if any).
Special Terms Promotional Disclosures and What They Mean:
No Interest if Paid in Full within 18 Months with regular monthly payments.
This is a deferred interest promotion. This means that if you do not pay off the purchase balance in full within the special terms promotional period, interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date at the regular APR for Purchases rate of 9.99%. This APR will vary with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate. Paying only the minimum monthly payment will not pay off the purchase balance before the end of the special terms promotional period. To avoid interest charges, you must either pay more than the minimum monthly payment or make a lump sum payment(s) before the end of the special terms promotional period.
Important Information for Approved Cardholders:
If you are approved for credit, you will receive a credit card in the mail within 14 calendar days of the credit decision.
The credit card accesses a revolving line of credit that can be used for future purchases for personal, family, or household use up to the available credit limit.
You should only be charged after your transaction is completed. A transaction is completed after your provider has performed all of their obligations to you, including delivery of products and/or performance of any service.
You may at any time pay the Outstanding Balance of your Account, in whole or in part, without any additional charge for prepayment.
REMINDER: For No Interest if Paid in Full promotions, you will have to pay interest that accrues at a variable 9.99% APR from the date of purchase if you do not pay the purchase balance in full within the special terms promotional period.
Please see wellsfargo.com or visit your local banking location for more details.