Medical eye services are generally divided into two types: Emergency and Non-emergency eye care. Emergency eye care include services for patients who have eye infections, corneal abrasions, ocular foreign body in their eye, eye pain, sudden loss of vision, sudden onset of vision disturbances such as floaters or flashes in their vision. If you identify to our staff that you are having an eye care emergency, we willprioritize your appointment. Our offices accept most common medical insurance plans. (Emergency eye care services can only be billed to medical insurance, not vision insurance programs. Some programs require referrals prior to the appointment and it is up to the patient to determine this.)
In addition to vision prescriptions, the medical conditions that we treat or monitor in offices include:
- Dry Eye Syndrome – There are many new treatments for dry, burning eyes. These treatments include newer types of lubrication drops, prescription medication for dry eyes, and punctual occlusion “tear saver” techniques
- Ocular Allergies – There are now several prescription medications that control the itching and discomfort of ocular allergies
- Blepharitis, Rosacea and other eyelid conditions – eyelid inflammation tends to be a chronic condition for many individuals and can contribute to the discomfort of dry eye and allergies. There are several treatments for these problems that we can discuss with you.
- Iritis/Uveitis – These are internal eye inflammations that are typically treated with ocular steroid medication over a period of several weeks.
- Eye Infections – Infections can be caused by viruses or bacteria. If the infection affects the cornea, or if the infection is moderate to severe, then we typically will have one or more follow-up visits.
- Visual floaters, flashes or other vision disturbances – Any sudden change in vision is important to report to your eye doctor. In some cases, these visual disturbances may be due to retinal holes, tears or detachments. Other disturbances can be caused by ocular migraines. These types of migraines can give patients visual auras without a classic migraine headache.
- Sudden vision loss, even temporary, can signal an impending stroke. We can facilitate specialty care from a neuro-opthalmologist or other specialist.
- Cataracts – We check for cataracts at your Annual Eye Examination. Although most cataracts only need to be checked annually, in some cases we need to check more frequently.
- Corneal Abrasions and foreign Body Removal – These are very painful eye emergencies. We will try our best to have you examined as quickly as possible.
- Diabetic Examinations – Patients with diabetes can have problems in the cornea, lens retina and optic nerve. Additional diagnostic testing will depend on the control and extent of your diabetes.
- Examinations specific for people who take medications or have systemic disease that can affect the eyes – There are many diseases and medications which affect the eyes. Your doctor will discuss your medical history during your Annual Eye Examination to determine if further follow-up is necessary.
- Glaucoma, Ocular Hypertension and Glaucoma suspect – Glaucoma is a condition in which the pressure inside the eye becomes elevated enough to cause damage to optic nerve fibers. In the early stages of glaucoma, patients are not aware of symptoms. By the time patients are aware of symptoms, they have already lost vision. Just as you need to be aware of and treat high blood pressure before someone has symptoms of stroke or heart disease; you need to be aware of and treat high intraocular pressure before a patient has loss of vision (vision loss due to glaucoma is not correctible with glasses or contact lenses).
Many of the patients with risk factors for glaucoma may not go on to develop glaucoma. In order to determine which patients do indeed go on to develop glaucoma, we may need to do more specific testing and more frequent monitoring of these patients.