Q: Does my child need to be dilated? But they don't like eye drops!
A: Not only do we want to give them the same thorough evaluation of eye health that we give our adults, but many children’s focusing systems are also so strong that it can be difficult to determine their prescription exactly. Dilation helps relax kids’ focusing systems, ensuring we can detect the full prescription that is present.
Q: Can I get my prescription?
A: Yes! All patients presenting for a routine eye exam are given a glasses prescription upon completion of payment. If a contact lens exam has been performed, a copy of the contact lens prescription will be given once the fit and vision has been finalized. For previous wearers that is usually the same day. New wearers will be at the one-week follow up.
Q: Do I need an appointment to pick out glasses?
A: Yes, during COVID our policy has changed to necessity of an appointment.
Q: Why do I have to pay for another contact lens fit if I like the ones from last year and just want more of those exact ones?
A: During a contact lens evaluation, your doctor will evaluate your prescription, eye health, and fit to ensure that the lenses you are wearing are indeed the healthiest and clearest for your eyes. Many contact-lens related findings during an exam can be potentially harmful to your eyes and occur without symptoms. When we evaluate your eyes for contact lenses, Dr. Finnell is looking out for current and future problems that may occur with your contacts. Ultimately, we want your eyes to stay healthy and for you to see clearly your entire life, and this extra attention and care is necessary since you’re wearing a medical device every day!
Q: I paid in full when I was there, so why do I have a bill?
A: There are a couple of reasons why this may have happened.
1. We mistakenly left off a copay or test or some other line item. If this happens (and it does, sometimes) we will call you as soon as we catch the mistake so you are not caught off guard with a bill you don’t expect.
2. Your medical insurance/vision plan reviewed your claim and adjusted the amount you owe. This can be because you haven’t yet met your deductible, or something is unexpectedly denied.
Q: Why is my vision weird/blurry/distorted after putting on brand new glasses for the very first time?
A: It takes a brain a little time to adjust to a new prescription. This is especially true if there has been a change, if it is your first-time wearing glasses, or if you’re putting on new progressives for the first time. The best way to quickly adapt is to not wear the new glasses the first day they are picked up. Wear them first thing the next morning and do not go back to the old ones. It often takes up to 2 weeks for patients to fully adjust to their new prescription! Don’t worry, and give it time. HOWEVER, if you’re still having trouble after a couple of weeks with adjusting, we ABSOLUTELY want to know about it!
Q: Do I need this extra testing?
A: We offer some extra testing at our office, including a photo of the back of your eye (retina), an ultrasound image of the back of the eye (OCT), and visual field evaluation. They are not covered by insurances typically when done for a screening purpose, but we offer them to you because they give more information and a better record of your eye health over time. Without these tests, your examination is still very thorough and complete, but with the testing we can watch for subtle changes over time, possibly catching potentially blinding eye conditions before they do damage. With this testing, we have caught undiagnosed hypertension, undiagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed autoimmune conditions, sickle cell retinopathy, carotid artery stenosis, brain tumors, strokes, macular degeneration, diabetes, benign as well as malignant lesions in the eye and much more!
Q: Can I drive while dilated?
A: Dr. Finnell does not recommend driving while dilated. We encourage patients to bring a driver or to reschedule the dilation at a time when a driver can be present. Dilation will make you light-sensitive and makes your vision blurry at near. This resolves in 4-6 hours. For a small number of patients, the light sensitivity makes them feel uncomfortable driving. For another small subset, the dilation does affect distance vision. Cataract may cause severe problems while dilated. Your current glasses or contacts may not be updated in order for you to see your best while dilated. It is best to bring a driver.
Q: Can I get my PD?
A: PD stands for pupillary distance and is just one of many measurements an Optician considers when making your glasses. The pupillary distance is not a required part of any glasses prescription in Arizona but is instead the responsibility of the person making the glasses (i.e. the Optician, Optometrist, or Ophthalmologist). Often, requests for pupillary distance are made with the intention of purchasing glasses online. When you decide to make glasses online, you are effectively acting as your optician and are thus responsible for these measurements. Unfortunately, due to the frequency with which online glasses do not meet prescription or safety requirements, we do not encourage this practice. You can see our office policy on PD measurements here, including the online glasses package we offer, should you decide to purchase online. You can read Arizona prescription law here.
Q: Why is it so much more expensive here? Walmart never cost this much in the past.
A: In terms of the exam, we are very intentional about following your insurance co-pays. We never know what you may have been charged in the past but we follow co-pays and allowances exactly. We are not allowed to charge different rates for our cash paying versus insurance patients, so our examination and contact lens fees are set with that in mind and compared locally and nationally to other offices. When it comes to materials, we do things a lot differently here and we’re very proud of that. For instance, we do not offer the cheapest type of lens material, because it is not shatter resistant and often does not fit in frames well. Our base lens is most other office’s upgrade. Secondly, we strongly believe that everyone deserves anti-glare. Again, this is offered as an “upgrade” in many other places. Dr’s lenses in her exam room are treated with anti-glare, and she believes that in today’s world of staring at computer and phone screens, anti-glare is a must. When it comes to progressives, we are intentional about only carrying the designs that give the very best vision, not the “cheapest.” For frames, we have made a conscious decision to stock frames that are not a brand name. Brand name frames often sacrifice quality for the ability to be branded with a “designer” label. Our independent brands are hand made with the highest quality materials and therefore can be “re-lensed” over and over. When it comes to glasses, they are NOT all created equally.