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Diabetic Eye Exam Vs Regular Eye Exam

Diabetes: Eye Exams

Diabetes: Eye Exams

www.CardioSmart.org A dilated eye exam lets your eye doctor see the back of your eye. This test can detect eye problems like diabetic retinopathy. Before the test, your eye doctor will use eyedrops to widen, or dilate, your pupils. This makes it easier for the doctor to see into your eye. The eyedrops take about 15 to 20 minutes to fully dilate your pupil. Your doctor may also use eyedrops to numb your eyes. Who should get a dilated retinal exam? Everyone with diabetes should have regular dilated retinal exams. Diabetes can lead to eye problems that cause vision loss or blindness. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you will have eye problems. By the time you notice any vision problems, your eyes may already be seriously damaged. A thorough exam can help detect symptoms early. Early treatment may help protect your vision. People with diabetes are also at a higher risk for glaucoma. This is increased pressure inside the eye, which can cause blindness. An eye exam can check for this condition along with diabetic retinopathy. How often should you be tested? If you have diabetes, get tested every year, or more often if your doctor says to. If your eye exam results are normal, your doctor may consider follow-up exams every 2 years instead of every year. But if you are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, youmay need frequent eye exams. Who performs a dilated retinal exam? This test can be done by: • An ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat eye problems, diseases, and injuries. • A licensed optometrist. Optometrists are health professionals who diagnose and treat vision problems and eye diseases. They also do routine vision testing and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. An optometrist is not a medical doctor, Continue reading >>

Vision Screenings Vs. Eye Exams: Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Vision Screenings Vs. Eye Exams: Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Is it really that important to have routine eye exams? What if you just passed a vision screening at work or school — do you still need an eye exam? Here are a few important differences between vision screenings and eye exams — and why routine eye exams are so important even if you've passed a vision screening. Vision Screenings Are Not Eye Exams Vision screenings are not comprehensive eye exams. Screenings usually take only a few minutes and are often performed by volunteers who are not eye care professionals. In many cases, vision screenings are nothing more than a visual acuity test where you're asked to identify the smallest letters you can on a vision chart across the room. Vision screenings typically are designed to only detect subnormal visual acuity and major vision problems — as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. They generally are ineffective for detecting more subtle vision problems and potentially sight-robbing eye diseases. People who fail a vision screening (usually because their visual acuity is worse than 20/40) are made aware of this and are encouraged to visit an eye doctor so they can have their vision problem professionally diagnosed and treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. Eye exams, on the other hand, are performed by licensed eye doctors (an optometrist or ophthalmologist) and evaluate not only your visual acuity, but also the complete health of your eyes, from front to back — including checking for early signs of serious eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and detached retina. Your eye doctor also can detect early signs of serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and risk of stroke, based on the appearance of delicate blood vessels and other structures within Continue reading >>

Routine Vs Medical Eye Exams

Routine Vs Medical Eye Exams

Your reason for being seen at the eye doctor and the results of your examination determine whether your insurance company will classify the exam as “routine” or “medical.” What is a routine eye exam? A routine eye exam is defined by insurance companies as an office visit for the purpose of checking vision, screening for eye disease, and/or updating eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions. Routine eye exams produce a final diagnosis, like nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Vision insurance plans provide coverage for routine exams, glasses and contact lenses, or at least provide some type of discounts on your doctor’s fees. A routine eye exam is billed to your vision insurance plan. By law, Medicare does not pay for routine vision exams. A medical eye exam produces a diagnosis, like conjunctivitis, dry eye, glaucoma or cataracts, to mention a few. Depending on your policy, your medical insurance may cover a medical exam, but not pay for the exam if it is a routine eye exam. Examinations for medical eye care, assessment of an eye complaint or to follow up on an existing medical condition are billed to your medical insurance plan. A refraction is the part of an office visit that determines your eyeglass prescription. It typically involves questions like, “which is clearer – option one or option two” as different lens combinations are shown to you. Vision insurance policies generally cover both the eye exam and the refraction. Medical insurance will not cover the cost of the refraction. We understand how confusing the difference between “routine” and “medical” eye examinations can be and we’ll gladly answer any questions you may have. It’s important to remember that “routine” or “medical” has nothing to do with the steps involv Continue reading >>

"annual /routine" Vs. Medical Eye Exam

Vision Plan, Annual and Medical Eye Exams Many commercial insurance plans through employers offer benefits of an annual/biannual eye exam and a vision “rider” that provides for a vision exam. In addition recent publicity about “free” preventative services at both the state and Federal level has people believing that they can receive a “free” eye exam every year. In this posting we are going to try to explain all of those various exams, the benefits covered and why some patients cannot take advantage of certain benefits because of chronic eye disease. Benefits under most vision plans are limited to those services, provided by an ophthalmic or optometric provider, needed to evaluate your need for glasses/contact lenses or to adjust the prescription for your eyewear. The refractive exam is not intended to evaluate the complete medical health of your eyes. This exam will be billed to the vision services insurance plan named in the vision service “rider” (EyeMed, Davis Vision, VSP, etc.) to the patient’s health insurance. If your insurance plan offers you an annual or biannual eye exam, that exam will be done without your having to pay a copay but the exam itself will be billed to your insurance plan. This exam will evaluate the complete health of your eye and should involve dilation of the eye so the doctor can get a good at the back of your eye. The third type of exam is a medical exam being done because of a complaint from the patient about an eye problem or a decrease in visual acuity. With an exam such as this, the patient will pay a copay and the exam will be billed to their health insurance. This exam will be as complete as the doctor feels is needed to address the issue that brought the patient to the office in the first place. So it may or may not Continue reading >>

The Difference Between A Vision Screening And A Comprehensive Eye Examination

The Difference Between A Vision Screening And A Comprehensive Eye Examination

By Maureen A. Duffy, M.S., CVRT What Is a Vision Screening? What Is a Comprehensive Dilated Eye Examination? Locate an Eye Care Professional in Your Area What Is a Vision Screening? A vision screening is a relatively short examination that can indicate the presence of a vision problem or a potential vision problem. A vision screening cannot diagnose exactly what is wrong with your eyes; instead, it can indicate that you should make an appointment with an ophthalmologist or optometrist for a more comprehensive dilated eye examination. However, there is no clear evidence about the accurateness and effectiveness of a vision screening for open-angle glaucoma (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 2013). For glaucoma, a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the most effective detection method. Tom McCarville, Co-Founder, E.A.R.S. for EYES Vision Rehabilitation Services Fifteen years ago, Tom McCarville was a photographer and lighting engineer, running his own company with his partner Martha Parisian. With combined experience in movie making, television, and commercial photography, Tom and Martha had a successful media business and were climbing their joint ladder of success. Life changed when Tom decided to visit his eye doctor and purchase a more modern pair of eyeglass frames. He was given the news that he had permanently lost 20% of his peripheral vision through glaucoma. "The disease is out of control," he was told by his ophthalmologist. Learn more about the ways Tom coped with glaucoma, along with these facts about the importance of eye examinations: Check out our Getting Started Kit for more ideas to help you live well with low vision. Sign up with VisionAware to receive free weekly email alerts for more helpful information and tips for everyday living with vision loss. Wh Continue reading >>

Eye Exams: Importance And Costs

Eye Exams: Importance And Costs

Vision care insurance can help with costs of regular eye exams, which can help you maintain a good quality of life. Understand the Importance and Costs of Eye Exams Eye exams don’t just detect vision problems, but can signal, or help prevent, future health problems. The cost of an eye exam can run as little as $50 and can go up to over $100, depending on who performs the eye exam and on whether or not you have vision care insurance. The basics of an eye exam You can have your eye exam performed either by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. An ophthalmologist, according to allaboutvision.com, is an eye doctor with either an MD (medical doctor) or OD (osteopathic doctor) credential to practice medicine and surgery; an optometrist is an eye specialist with a Doctor of Optometry degree who’s not a medical doctor. The cost of an eye exam is generally lowest (often about $50), when you have it performed by an optometrist at a retail store (like Target or Costco) or at an optical chain. Eye exam cost is highest when conducted by an ophthalmologist in a clinic or an office. Here, the cost of an eye exam can run well over $100. Doctors generally recommend that you have your eyes examined every one to two years, depending on your age, according to allaboutvision.com. More specifically, if you’re over 60, you should have annual eye exams, while if you’re between the ages of six and 60, you should have an eye exam once every two years. Children under the age of six generally have eye exams at six months of age and then again at three and six. During an eye exam, the ophthalmologist or optometrist will generally perform the following procedures, according to the Berkeley Eye Center: Distance vision test, using a chart with letters that decrease in size Eye movement test, a Continue reading >>

What To Expect At Your Eye Exam

What To Expect At Your Eye Exam

If you are lucky enough to have good eyesight, you may be surprised when your diabetes care team recommends that you make an appointment with an eye doctor. If your vision is stable, and your eyes don’t bother you, why should you have your eyes checked? The answer is that many potentially devastating eye problems develop without causing discomfort or distorting vision. Glaucoma and cataract are examples of eye problems that occur commonly in older adults and more frequently in people with diabetes. Generally, these conditions are treatable, but if not caught early enough, they can lead to vision loss or even blindness. In addition, there’s diabetic retinopathy, a serious complication that is more likely to occur in people with Type 1 diabetes but may develop in anyone with diabetes. Tight blood glucose control can significantly reduce the incidence and severity of diabetic retinopathy, but the only way to identify this and other eye problems in their earliest and most treatable stages is to have regular, comprehensive eye examinations. -- Keep an eye on your vision! Learn about preventive steps and treatments for diabetic retinopathy from retinal specialist Dr. Charles Wykoff. >> There’s no reason to avoid an eye exam; it involves a series of painless tests that check your visual acuity and general eye health and screen for signs of disease. Before we discuss what to expect at the exam, let’s take a look at the eye and how it works. The eye The eye is a hollow organ about the size of a Ping-Pong ball, with an opening at the front that lets in light, and a gelatinous substance called vitreous filling most of the inside. It functions in a manner similar to a camera. The aperture through which light enters the eye is the pupil, the black-seeming hole in the middle Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Diabetes And Eye Exams

What You Should Know About Diabetes And Eye Exams

Overview Diabetes is a disease that profoundly affects many areas of your body, including your eyes. It increases your risk for eye conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts. The primary concern for eye health in people with diabetes is the development of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that develops when the blood vessels in your retina become damaged. The retina is the light-sensitive portion of the back of your eye. As the damage worsens, you may begin losing your vision. Your eyesight may become blurry, less intense, and begin to disappear. This condition can affect people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you live with diabetes, the more likely you are to develop complications like diabetic retinopathy. This is why adopting lifestyle changes and learning to manage diabetes is so important. In its earliest stages, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms. The initial symptoms may be barely noticeable or mild. Over time, the condition can worsen and lead to partial and then complete blindness. You should see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms: floaters, or dots and dark strings, in your field of vision dark or empty areas in your field of vision blurry vision difficulty focusing vision changes that seem to fluctuate altered color vision partial or total vision loss Diabetic retinopathy most often affects both eyes at the same time and in equal measure. If you’re experiencing issues with only one eye, it doesn’t mean you don’t have diabetic retinopathy. However, it might indicate another eye issue. Make an appointment to see your doctor to find an appropriate treatment plan. The buildup of excess sugar in your blood can lead to a number of health issues. In your eyes, too much glucose can damage the tiny ves Continue reading >>

Importance Of Diabetic Eye Exam

Importance Of Diabetic Eye Exam

Why the Annual Diabetic Exam Is So Important? 1. Eye damage can occur before pain, visual blurring, or other symptoms With diabetic retinopathy, there are often no symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage and causes rapid permanent vision loss. Your annual diabetic exam can spot it early, however, when it is treatable. Ideally treatment occurs before any loss of vision to maintain good 20/20 vision. During the exam, you will also be checked for cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye problems common in diabetics . 2. The earlier eye disease is found, the better Diabetic damage to the eye needs to be addressed as soon as possible for the best outcome. In between annual exams, report symptoms like those below to your ophthalmologist right away. You can usually see an Apex Eye ophthalmologist the same day you call for urgent matters. eye pain blurring glare double vision difficulty reading halos around lights sudden appearance of spots or floaters objects that look larger or smaller than normal a dark or empty spot in center of your vision difficulty seeing well at night flashing lights droopy eyelid floaters a dark curtain moving from peripheral vision toward central vision These symptoms can mean something as simple as a prescription change for your glasses or contacts, or may signal a diabetic change. 3. Excellent treatments are available if diabetic eye disease is caught early and managed properly When diabetic eye disease is found early and managed diligently by a board-certified ophthalmologist, it can by stopped or slowed. By training and education, ophthalmologists are the physicians uniquely qualified to diagnose, manage and treat the eye disorders associated with diabetes. 4. The eyes are an open window to the blood vessels. It is the only place in the body whe Continue reading >>

Routine Vs. Medical Eye Exams

Routine Vs. Medical Eye Exams

The specifics of medical insurance can be confusing, and vision coverage is no exception. Insurance companies usually categorize visits to your eye doctor as either "routine" or "medical”. This has little to do with the steps it takes to perform a full eye exam. A "routine" vision exam often contains the same elements as a "medical" eye exam. Also, the type of eye doctor you see does not determine if the examination is termed routine or medical, and either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist can perform the exam. The reason for being seen and the results of the examination often determine whether insurance will classify the exam as routine or medical. The difference is determined by the reason for the visit, such as symptoms and complaints, and also the patient’s diagnosis. Insurance companies often look at both when determining payment. The routine vision exam usually produces a final diagnosis, such as “nearsightedness” or “astigmatism”, while the medical eye exam produces a diagnosis such as "conjunctivitis" or "cataract." Depending on your policy, your medical insurance may cover a medical eye problem, but not pay for the exam if it is a "routine" eye exam. Other policies contain vision plans that provide coverage for glasses and contact lenses or at least give you some type of discount on the doctor’s usual and customary fees. Many times, people with medical insurance have a separate rider policy to cover routine eye exams. To complicate matters more, some medical insurance will cover one routine eye exam every two years in addition to covering eye exams that are for a medical eye problem. And the co-pay for each type of exam may be different! Here is an example of how both may work in real life: You’ve decide that it is time for an eye exam becaus Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy - Exams And Tests

Diabetic Retinopathy - Exams And Tests

Diabetic retinopathy can be detected during a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. An exam by your primary doctor, during which your eyes are not dilated, is not an adequate substitute for a full exam done by an ophthalmologist. Eye exams for people with diabetes can include: Visual acuity testing. Visual acuity testing measures the eye's ability to focus and to see details at near and far distances. It can help detect vision loss and other problems. Ophthalmoscopy and slit lamp exam. These tests allow your doctor to see the back of the eye and other structures within the eye. They may be used to detect clouding of the lens (cataract), changes in the retina, and other problems. Gonioscopy. Gonioscopy is used to find out whether the area where fluid drains out of your eye (called the drainage angle) is open or closed. This test is done if your doctor thinks you may have glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that can cause blindness by damaging the optic nerve. Tonometry. This test measures the pressure inside the eye, which is called intraocular pressure (IOP). It is used to help detect glaucoma. Diabetes can increase your risk of glaucoma. Your doctor may also do a test called an optical coherence tomography (OCT) to check for fluid in your retina. Sometimes a fluorescein angiogram is done to check for and locate leaking blood vessels in the retina, especially if you have symptoms, such as blurred or distorted vision, that suggest damage to or swelling of the retina. Fundus photography can track changes in the eye over time in people who have diabetic retinopathy and especially in those who have been treated for it. Fundus photography produces accurate pictures of the back of the eye (the fundus). An eye doctor can compare photographs taken at different ti Continue reading >>

Routine Exam

Routine Exam

All of our doctors perform routine examinations. We’ll keep you seeing great with glasses or contacts, but that’s not all! Elements of an Eye Exam When To Have An Eye Exam “Does My Insurance Cover Routine Exams?” Routine vs. Medical Exam Exam Elements: It’s not just about glasses An eye exam not only tests for visual impairment, but also for other underlying health issues. Even if you do not feel like you need glasses, many asymptomatic conditions exist that can be identified early on with an eye exam. A complete eye exam involves a series of tests designed to evaluate your vision and check for eye diseases. Your eye doctor may use a variety of instruments, shine bright lights directly at your eyes and request that you look through an array of lenses. Each test during an eye exam evaluates a different aspect of your vision or eye health. When to have an eye exam An eye exam helps detect eye problems at their earliest stage — when they're most treatable. Regular eye exams give your eye care professional a chance to help you correct or adapt to vision changes and provide you with tips on caring for your eyes. Several factors may determine how frequently you need an eye exam, including your age, health and risk of developing eye problems. General guidelines include: Children 5 years and younger. For children under 3, your pediatrician will likely look for the most common eye problems — lazy eye, crossed eyes or turned-out eyes. Depending on the results at your pediatrician, your child’s first more comprehensive eye exam should be done between the ages of 3 and 5. School-age children and adolescents. Have your child's vision checked before he or she enters first grade. Vision screenings are often performed by your pediatrician and school. If there is any fam Continue reading >>

Yearly Eye Exam

Yearly Eye Exam

How often is it covered? Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers a yearly eye exam for diabetic retinopathy by an eye doctor who's legally allowed to do the test in your state. Who's eligible? All people with Part B who have diabetes are covered. Your costs in Original Medicare You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for your doctor's services, and the Part B deductible applies. In a hospital outpatient setting, you pay a copayment. To find out how much your specific test, item, or service will cost, talk to your doctor or other health care provider. The specific amount you’ll owe may depend on several things, like: Other insurance you may have How much your doctor charges Whether your doctor accepts assignment The type of facility The location where you get your test, item, or service Your doctor or other health care provider may recommend you get services more often than Medicare covers. Or, they may recommend services that Medicare doesn’t cover. If this happens, you may have to pay some or all of the costs. It’s important to ask questions so you understand why your doctor is recommending certain services and whether Medicare will pay for them. Continue reading >>

Health Insurance Vs. Vision Insurance

Health Insurance Vs. Vision Insurance

Insurance benefits and healthcare coverage can be very confusing. The language isn’t always clear, and sometimes you need to speak with a benefits specialist or human resources representative through your employer to navigate what is covered and what isn’t. In general, there are a few things you should know about vision insurance vs. health insurance and how they may help cover your eye care needs. There are many options for vision insurance providers including EyeMed, Humana, VSP and more. Of course, they all have their own specific coverage benefits and amounts, but in general they cover routine care like getting an annual exam and glasses or contact lenses. They will pay all or part of the cost of your exam and eyewear and give you a timeline of how often you are allowed to get a covered exam or eyewear allowance. You are certainly allowed to order additional contact lenses or glasses, or to get exams more frequently, but the insurance provider will only cover a predetermined amount based on their annual or bi-annual timeline. Usually covered individuals pay a co-pay or a percentage of the cost of an exam and any associated eyewear. The difference between this and health insurance is that health insurance generally covers only eye care in relation to a medical condition. For instance, if you need an eye exam because of cataracts, dry eyes, complications from diabetes, or in relation to diagnosed high blood pressure, then your health insurance will usually cover the eye care. You don’t need vision insurance for this coverage, but you may be able to use your health insurance to cover your medical eye condition or eye care needs and then use your vision insurance to cover your glasses or contact lenses. In addition to covering eye care for medical conditions, heal Continue reading >>

Diabetes Eye Exams

Diabetes Eye Exams

Diabetes can harm your eyes. It can damage the small blood vessels in your retina, or the back of your eye. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes also increases your risk of glaucoma and other eye problems. You may not know your eyes are harmed until the problem is very bad. Your doctor can catch problems early if you get regular eye exams. This is very important. The early stages of diabetic retinopathy don't cause changes in vision and you won't have symptoms. Only an eye exam can detect the problem, so that steps can be taken to prevent the retinopathy from getting worse. Even if the doctor who takes care of your diabetes checks your eyes, you need an eye exam every 1 to 2 years by an eye doctor who takes care of people with diabetes. An eye doctor has equipment that can check the back of your eye much better than your regular doctor can. If you have eye problems because of diabetes, you will probably see your eye doctor more often. You may need special treatment to prevent your eye problems from getting worse. You may see two different types of eye doctors: An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who is an eye specialist trained to diagnose and treat eye problems. An optometrist is a health care provider trained to diagnose and treat problems with your vision. Many can do screening exams for damage from diabetes. Once you have eye disease caused by diabetes, you need to see an ophthalmologist. The doctor will check your vision using a chart of random letters of different sizes. This is called the Snellen chart. You will then be given eye drops to widen (dilate) the pupils of your eyes so that the doctor can better see the back of the eye. You may feel stinging when the drops are first placed. You may have a metallic taste in your mouth. To see the b Continue reading >>

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