Having regular eye exams is important to maintaining healthy eyes and getting an optimal vision. As your eyes age, it is critical to start having eye exams every year simply because vision loss can be detected and then prevented. If you are a diabetic eye care patient or you are over the age of 60 it is suggested by various sources that regular eye exams are important. The eye doctors at South Texas Eye Institute welcome you to our practice and hope that you choose us for your eye exam doctors. We feel that our well-qualified and experienced eye doctors will provide the most thorough and best eye exam in San Antonio.
Please contact us within 48 hours if you are unable to keep your scheduled eye exam appointment. We offer a 15 minute window for your to arrive at your scheduled appointment time. We look forward to seeing you at our San Antonio office soon!
What you need to know about our eye exams
Upon your initial phone call you should be prepared to describe why you want an eye exam. Is this just a routine checkup? Do you want new glasses? Are you seeking vision correction? Maybe you have current vision problems such as dry eye or floaters? After getting the basics of your visit communicated you will want to know about vision insurance and the total cost of the eye exam. This will prevent any eye exam cost surprises on the day of your appointment. There also might be the possibility that you will need to be dilated so that the overall eye health can be evaluated. This will enable your eye doctor to see into your retina, and evaluate any potential retina problems. If you are interested in LASIK or laser vision correction please be sure to mention this when you call in. The practice will arrange an educational consult and discuss the entire experience to give you a better idea as to what to expect. Our diagnosis will be very thorough and if further testing is required a second comprehensive eye exam will need to be scheduled. Early detection of eye diseases is vital to healthy vision and can often make the difference between losing vision and keeping vision.
Regular eye exams can diagnose a variety of eye conditions and quite frankly is the best strategy to preserve vision. It is not a bad idea to know your family history so you can gain some insight into your future. Glaucoma and diabetic eye care patients are most at risk and can be put on treatment protocols to prevent vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma in particular is troubling because there is no pain associated with the progress of this eye disease. This is why it is often referred to as the sneak thief of sight.
Prior to your eye exam
- Remove eye makeup prior to your eye exam.
- You will be required to read and sign a HIPAA consent form
- Our notice of Privacy Practices provides information about how we may use and disclose protected health information about you. The Notice contains a Patient Rights section describing your rights under the Law.
- Be sure to bring your medical health and eye insurance information.
- New patients are encouraged to print, fill out medical forms.
- Be prepared to discuss any health problems and/or allergies.
- What are your previous eye diseases, surgery related to vision or previous eye injuries?
- Family history of eye disease. (This is important for eye diseases like Glaucoma)
- Prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking (This can be important in cases of cataract surgery)
- List of sports/hobbies in which you participate (This may be important for those seeking LASIK eye surgery)
What are the signs you might need an eye exam?
- Overall Eye Pain
- Too Much Time On Computers
- Itchy or scratched cornea
- Contact Lens Discomfort
- Blurry vision
- Objects floating in vision
- Peripheral Vision Problems
- Dry Eyes or Burning Eyes
What if I have diabetic eye disease?
Having diabetes is very tough non the body in various ways but it can cause major problems for vision over time. In fact, diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness today. This is a disease that progressively tears the body apart and in the early stages, when it is most easily treated it often has no symptoms. Regular eye exams are typically required for detection of this disease. If not treated diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, which leads to blurry, distorted vision and then complete vision loss.
Cost of Eye Exams in San Antonio
What if I need glasses?
We have the expertise to custom-tailor the right eyewear for you and the things you love to do: biking, golfing, gaming, cooking, playing cards, and so much more. We offer a great selection of sunglasses, kids’ glasses, safety glasses, and more. We have lens options that can help with digital eyestrain, trouble sleeping, night driving, seasonal-affective disorder, migraines, dyslexia, or light-sensitive epilepsy.
How much do glasses cost?
We have quality options for every budget! Let us help you choose what will work best for your needs at a price you are comfortable with.
We accept most major vision insurance plans, and we will help you get the most out of your vision benefits. You can also use your flex spending dollars for eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses. If you are interested in flexible payment options such as six months interest-free, sign up for Care Credit and use it in our office.
Pediatric Eye Care
The Importance of Eye Exams for Children
Healthy eyes and vision are a critical part of a child’s development. They need good vision to identify objects and master the basics of moving around. Their eyes should be examined regularly, as many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated early. If you are a parent of a toddler or preschooler you may often wonder if your child has a vision problem. There is no doubt that eye exams for children are extremely important. According to the All About Vision website “25% of school aged children have vision problems.” This means that early detection of problems can be critical at this early age and require diagnosis.
What Are My Eye Exams Looking For?
The eye is comprised of numerous structures, including the cornea (clear surface of the eye), lens (part that refracts/focuses light), iris (colored part of the eye), pupil (open part in center of iris), retina (eye structure that converts image into electrical energy), and optic nerve (pathway to brain stem).
Often, the eye is compared to a camera. When working properly, the eye is able to take in light rays, refract it, and clearly interpret the image. However, if the eye is shaped irregularly or if light rays do not properly focus on the retina, then vision can become blurred. Imperfect vision is typically the result of a refractive error, like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia.
Nearsightedness, or myopia, is the inability of a person to clearly see distant objects. The condition, named for a person’s ability to only see near objects, occurs when an eye is too long or its cornea is too steeply curved for the eye’s shape. This irregularity causes light to focus in front of (not on) the retina, creating a blurred appearance of distant objects.
Just the opposite of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or hyperopia, is the inability of a person to clearly see near objects. A person with farsightedness also has a misshapen eye; however, the eye is either too short or the cornea is too flat. In hyperopic patients, light focuses behind the retina, resulting in blurred near vision.
Unlike nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is not caused by the eye’s length. Where an eye without astigmatism has a smooth and evenly shaped lens and cornea, an astigmatic eye has a cornea or lens that is irregularly shaped in some areas. This irregularity can distort both near and far vision.
Unlike the other refractive errors, presbyopia is not caused by the shape of the eye, but by the aging of the aging of the eye. A young, healthy eye is able to use accommodation, the ability to shift focus from near to far (and all distances in between). However, as the eye ages, the eye’s crystalline lens begins to lose its flexibility and has trouble focusing on near objects. Typically around the age of 40, a person will notice that he or she has difficulty with close-up tasks, like reading.
The Importance Of Routine Eye Exams
Periodic eye exams with an ophthalmologist should be part of everyone’s normal eye health routine. With that being said, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, of course, you see an eye doctor. If you need a new prescription for your glasses or contact lenses, of course, you see an eye doctor. But what if nothing is bothering you in particular?
When you see an ophthalmologist for a routine eye exam, the ophthalmology services you will receive go further than a typical check of your refractive errors because they are checking the overall health of your eyes.
Good vision does not necessarily mean your eyes are healthy.
Vital Ophthalmology Services
A vision screening is not the same as a comprehensive dilated eye exam performed by an ophthalmologist. This thorough dilated exam will provide vital information to uncover eye diseases and conditions, especially those without obvious symptoms.
Often times, eye diseases and other health issues are discovered by your eye professional before your primary care doctor. Diabetes is one such disease.
Some typical ophthalmology services will:
- Identify eye diseases that threaten your eye health
- Check the overall health of your eyes
- Discover eye diseases that threaten your vision
- Measure the intraocular pressure or IOP which can signal a risk for glaucoma
- Evaluate the optic nerve and retina for abnormal blood vessels or leakage signaling diabetic retinopathy
- Test your field of vision
- Evaluate how your eyes work together as a team
A dilated eye exam will provide clues to otherwise hidden health issues.
Preserve Your Vision With Routine Eye Exams
Several eye diseases have no noticeable symptoms. A patient will feel no pain nor have visual issues until the damage is already done to their vision.
Macular Degeneration also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), results in loss of central vision. The doctors at South Texas Eye Institute have tools and screening tests to diagnose AMD. Once detected it can be treated by our specialists.
Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes and one of the leading causes of blindness. South Texas Eye Institute can diagnose and monitor any signs of swollen or leaking blood vessels in the retina.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve with no obvious early symptoms. Early detection is key and unfortunately once diagnosed any lost vision cannot be restored.
Ophthalmology services can detect autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, MS, tumors and even cancer.
It is recommended that adults over the age of 60 have annual dilated eye exams with an ophthalmologist. Those adults with African descent should have annual eye exams starting at age 40 due to a higher risk of glaucoma.
A patient with diabetes should have eye exams at least once per year or as recommended by their doctor..
The best way to preserve your vision is through regular comprehensive eye exams. The professionals at South Texas Eye Institute specialize in protecting your vision from all eye diseases or eye conditions.
If you need glaucoma care management, have diabetes, or simply need an annual dilated eye exam, trust your vision to the ophthalmology services at South Texas Eye Institute.
Preserve your valuable vision with routine eye exams.
Make an appointment today.