Skip to main content

Map

Our Location

10071 Wadsworth Pkwy, Ste 200
Westminster, CO 80021

slideshow_1
slideshow_3
slideshow_4
slideshow_2
slideshow_5
Home »

Uncategorized

Safety Measures and Updates on COVID-19

group of doctors with eye chart and glasses

Stay informed about COVID-19.

 

Our practice is working to keep you informed of new operations and changes we are making to accommodate COVID-19 and keep our staff and patients safe. We are #doingourpart to keep urgent eye care patients out of the ER to help relieve the strain on hospitals.

To be clear, under a stay-at-home order you are permitted to leave your house for essential and emergency health care. Currently, stay-at-home orders have been extended in Jefferson County, Colorado, until May 8th, 2020, but you can stay up-to-date with Governor Polis here.

IMPORTANT: If you believe you experience these symptoms of pink eye, you should evaluate yourself for further signs of illness and call your primary care physician. There may be evidence that pink eye could be an early symptom of COVID-19. Evaluate your children for these symptoms as they often touch their eyes and face. There may also be evidence that pets could exhibit symptoms. Just be aware of your environment and the health of your loved ones.

pink eye girl rubbing1280x853

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR CONTACT LENS WEARERS: If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19 it’s been recommended by the American Optometric Association to temporarily stop wearing contact lenses. The virus has shown to be present in tears and eye secretions in infected individuals, even those who have recovered. If you believe you have symptoms or are told by a primary care doctor that you are presumptive positive, please call our office for personalized instructions on contact lens wear. Contact lenses are not damaging to your eyes, but if you can limit touching your eyes by not wearing contacts, you will help slow or prevent the potential spread of the virus to other surfaces or persons in your home. We will continue to post updates here as we learn more about this issue.

contact lenses

Even during stay-at-home orders our office is remaining open to serve essential and emergency needs.

Please DO NOT hesitate to call if you have:

  • Trauma: blunt force, projectile, foreign object in eye, chemical burn, scratch.
  • Flashes/Floaters/Halos: sudden flashes of light, with or without pain.
  • Urgent Contact Lens Complications: redness, pain, sensitivity to light are potential signs of corneal damage or dangerous infection.
  • Sudden Vision Loss: gradual or acute blackout, tunnel vision, blind spots.
  • Sudden Vision Changes: Sudden blurriness or double vision.
  • Drooping Eyelid: sudden or acute.
  • No Current Vision Solutions: If you have lost or broken your ONLY pair of glasses we will see you for a replacement. bigstock Cheap plastic reading glasses 1280X853
  • If you are out of contacts, we may be able to extend your prescription until you are able to schedule an eye exam. Check out our new contact lens ordering button on our homepage!
  • Out of Prescription Eye Drops or Medication: some prescriptions may be extended over the phone at this time. Please call to check.
  • Diabetic check-ups are permitted
  • Glaucoma check-ups are permitted
  • Any other medical routine check-ups for Hypertension, Macular Degeneration, or a history of retinal concerns.
  • You may contact us to discuss telehealth. From what we know, all major insurances are paying for telehealth sessions related to COVID-19 concerns. senior man in thought2

 

As we work toward a “new normal” here are some of the safety measures we’ve enacted in our office:

  • We cannot accept walk-ins at this time. All visitors must have an appointment.
  • Adjustments to eyeglasses are postponed during this time to abide by social distancing measures. But our opticians are available by phone to walk through some small temporary adjustments that can be made at home if glasses are extremely uncomfortable.
  • Appointments are spaced out to allow the staff time to clean and disinfect surfaces between patients.
  • All patients are required to wear a face mask and wash their hands upon entering the office before touching any surface or using pens, chairs, door handles, etc.
  • Temperatures are taken during sign in. Staff temperatures are taken and monitored throughout the day.
  • Frames that are touched by shoppers are set aside for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Copays and bills may be paid electronically.
  • Eyewear orders can be shipped to your home.
  • Contactless pick-ups can be arranged outside our front office doors.
  • Any high-risk patients are immediately led to an exam room to limit exposure with others.
  • We’re limiting extra visitors or children in the office.

These safety measures are likely here to stay for the foreseeable future.

We can all make a contribution to the safety of our community.

boy with heart sqr

We are here to help. If you think you need essential or emergency eye care, please call us.

You’re part of our family!

UPDATE: Eye Care During COVID-19

child w heart ortho k 300px

Dear Family & Friends,

Our aim is to keep you informed as changes are made to accommodate the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

To be clear, under a stay-at-home order you are permitted to leave your house for essential and emergency health care. Starting in April 2020, everyone must wear a face mask or cloth that covers their nose and mouth when in public (in Colorado) until further notice. This can include a bandana or ski mask, but many cloth face masks are available online.

IMPORTANT: If you have symptoms of conjunctivitis like: redness, pain or irritation, gritty feeling, or sensitivity to light, please evaluate yourself for further signs of illness and call your primary care physician first.

Some kinds of eye care are essential or emergencies and we will remain open to serve these needs. Periodic, medical check-ups for glaucoma, diabetes, and macular degeneration count as essential services.

Caring Hands 640

DO NOT hesitate to call if you have:

  • Trauma: blunt force, projectile, foreign object in eye, chemical burn, scratch.
  • Flashes/Floaters/Halos: sudden flashes of light, with or without pain.
  • Urgent Contact Lens Issues: redness, pain, sensitivity to light are potential signs of corneal damage or dangerous infection.
  • Sudden Vision Loss: gradual or acute blackout, tunnel vision, blind spots.
  • Sudden Vision Changes: Sudden blurriness or double vision.
  • Drooping Eyelid: sudden or acute.
  • Out of Prescription EyeDrops or Medication: some prescriptions may be extended over the phone at this time. Please call to check.
  • Diabetic check-ups are permitted
  • Glaucoma check-ups are permitted
  • Any other medical conditions including anyone who has hypertension, takes high-risk medications, has Macular Degeneration, or a history of retinal concerns.
  • No Current Vision Solutions: If you have lost or broken your ONLY pair of glasses we will see you for a replacement. If you are out of contacts, we may be able to extend your prescription and ship extras to you.

eyeglasses pen 640

Other appointments, like routine vision exams, will need to be postponed. We appreciate your patience and understanding and will reach out to you as soon as possible to reschedule.

If you're waiting for eyeglasses or contact orders, please call to schedule a pickup time. These appointments will be limited to allow for social distancing. Alternatively, we may ship them to you via USPS for $10. Please contact us if you would like to arrange shipping.

Contact us with any questions. We are here to help you. 303-427-2020

Thank you,

Drs. Rob & Loree Wagner

Family Vision Center

 

 

7 Reasons to Choose Glasses at Family Vision Center!

7 Reasons to Choose Glasses at Family Vision Center!

As part of our family you’ve probably shopped our selection of frames during your visit. We have a wide range of unique frames and designer lines but there are many other considerations beyond style when choosing your next pair of eyeglasses.

KateSpadePink

7 considerations for eyeglass purchases:

  • Personalized Fitting
  • Optimal Clarity
  • Comfort & Fit
  • Free Repairs & Adjustments
  • Year-round Sun Protection
  • Computer Glasses
  • Workspace or Safety glasses

 

Personalized Fitting

Many people are drawn to Warby Parker’s trendy frames and cute names but you might be sacrificing many important services when you order online. Family Vision Center opticians are board certified, and specialize in customizing your frames in many different ways. Their expertise ensures a valuable purchase: quality frames that fit you comfortably and lenses with optimal clarity at every distance. These factors are especially important for anyone wearing bifocal, trifocal, or progressive lenses.

Optimal Clarity

Large or unusual frame shapes can create distortion at the edges of your field of vision. Lenses are essentially curved prisms that are customized to the refractive needs of your unique eyes. Because we customize lenses right here in our office, our opticians can accommodate for even the most difficult distortions that can exist.

SmithSunglasses

 

Comfort and Fit

Sometimes it’s hard to adjust to a new pair of glasses. An incorrect fit can be painful, cause headaches and make you feel frustrated with a new pair. Our opticians are always here for free adjustments and custom alterations to make your eyeglasses as comfortable as possible, and you have 90 days from the time of your exam to “test” the prescription.

Free repairs and adjustments

Through daily wear and tear you may occasionally need adjustments to tighten or straighten your frames. Sometimes a small tune-up can even re-align your field of vision.

Maybe you’ve lost a screw, a lens popped out, or your frame was bent in an accident. We can help with free repairs on eyewear purchased at Family Vision Center. *Some repairs may require a replacement piece or may be unfixable (cracked plastic, torn metal) but every pair of eyewear purchased at Family Vision Center comes with a 1 year replacement warranty. Ask our friendly Opticians for more information.

Sunglasses

The sun is amazing but we all need protection from that thing! Whether you’re wearing glasses or contacts, all Optometrists agree that our eyes need protection from harmful UV rays for long-lasting eye health. Protecting your vision can be easy and stylish with a wide range of shade designs, tints, and polarizations. Every moment you’re outside in sunny Colorado is a moment worth wearing eye protection!

CarreraSuns

Computer Glasses

Low Wavelength Blue Light Blocking technology can be included on Family Vision Center lenses!

Do you feel dizzy after a long day of scrolling? You may work at a computer for much of the day or enjoy long hours of entertainment in front of a screen. Your eyes can become stressed by the emittance of low wavelength blue light from the many digital screens we use throughout the day.

This blue light can cause frustrating headaches for many people, nausea, or vertigo… not to mention potential harm to your retina. Our doctors and opticians often recommend lenses that block harmful blue light and relieve stress on your eyes. These glasses can be custom made for your daily work station as computer glasses so you can easily focus at an optimal distance.

Workspace, Safety, and Sport Glasses

Maybe you have hobbies that require lots of eye concentration; sewing, knitting, reading, playing music, building miniatures, or crafting. We can create a custom pair of glasses for the specific distance needed for your activity. This can also significantly reduce eyestrain and make your hobbies even more enjoyable.

Welding, woodworking, or carpentry… these trade skills (or hobbies) come with risks. While traditional safety goggles are protective, they are certainly a hassle to wear over prescription eye glasses. Trade in your standard safety goggles for custom, prescription safety glasses. This will give your eyes the protection they need from shards of metal, splinters flying through the air, or other dangerous shrapnel, while providing clear vision for the task. *Check with your employer for coverage on safety glasses— they may have insurance to cover the costs for you!

Are you an avid sports player? Many of our athlete patients opt for prescription sport glasses, like the example below, rather than contacts. These goggle-type glasses provide more protection during high-impact sports like racquetball or basketball.

SafetySports

Thanks for tuning in!

We look forward to seeing you at your next eye exam.

~Family Vision Center

Why It’s Better to Buy Contacts at Family Vision Center

If you wear contact lenses and think you can get a better deal online, you’re missing out! Plus, there are a few serious things you should consider before buying from big discount websites.

Contact Lens Photo

As a private practice, Family Vision Center uses our relationship with contact lens manufacturers, like Bausch & Lomb and Johnson & Johnson (Acuvue), to give you the best prices on annual contact lens purchases.

Don’t believe us? We’re happy to give you a quote. Call us at 303-427-2020.

Here are the benefits of ordering an annual supply of contacts at Family Vision Center:

  • Generous manufacturer rebates ONLY available at private practices (often higher in value than Big Box retailers’ instant rebates)
  • Use your In-Network benefits! Why pay all year for your vision plan if you can’t maximize your material benefits? Most VSP plans offer $120-$200 off contacts and many EyeMed plans offer up to $130 off contacts.
  • $5 discount per box— a thank you from Drs. Rob and Loree Wagner. When you buy an annual supply each $5 discount adds up!
  • Free shipping to your home address for an annual supply
  • Free travel cases and solution (as available)
  • Return un-marked, un-opened boxes for credit on your next years’ supply
  • $100 credit to use on a complete pair of prescription glasses and sunglasses or a $99 pair of non-prescription sunglasses (don’t forget to wear sun protection with your contacts!)
  • Included lessons on safe contact lens use for new wearers; how to clean, remove, and handle your contacts so you never endanger the health of your eyes.
  • Rotating selection of coupons for eye drops and solution, available at the front desk

During your eye exam Drs. Rob and Loree Wagner will make you their number one focus; fitting you with the most comfortable contact lenses for your eyes, ensuring the best vision possible for your prescription. They use the latest technology to evaluate, diagnose, and educate you about the best contact lenses for your unique eyes.Safe Contact Wear

Remember, contact lenses are medical devices so it’s important to wear the correct lenses as prescribed to avoid any long-term or permanent damage.

Three serious things to consider before buying contacts online:

  • Many online sites are not reputable. They may be selling expired, or soon-to-expire contacts, or illegal product not made in the USA which may not be up to FDA “medical device” standards.
  • If they don’t require your prescription… it is a scam. Because contact lenses sit on surface of your cornea they can carry potential health risks. All lenses, even decorative ones, are legally required to be fit and prescribed by an Optometrist.
  • “Discount” sites may mislabel product, sending you the wrong lenses made of different material and putting you at risk for serious eye concerns; allergic reactions, corneal abrasions, or worse. One that comes to mind is the popular Hubble contacts site, whose product is not the quality they claim.

At Family Vision Center we want to educate you about proper eye health, as well as serving all your vision needs. In the case of contact lenses, what you don’t know can hurt you, and there are a lot of factors to consider. If you have any concerns about your contacts or eye health we are here for you.

 

*Even if you’re not yet a patient at Family Vision Center you can still purchase contacts by calling 303-427-2020 with your contact lens prescription.

Freaky Floaters!

Freaky Floaters

 
Ever see stars or spots in your vision? Most people do and often ask their eye doctors what’s behind them. Drs Rob and Loree Wagner have fielded that question a lot. Our patients often describe the spots as objects floating in their vision. Hence, the common term, floaters. “They try to brush it away or track it visually, to no avail,” they say.
 
But what causes the freaky floater phenomenon? Like most visual changes, it has to do with the aging process of the eye. At the very back of your eyes there’s a gel-like substance. The technical term is vitreous humor. When we’re born, this stuff is uniformly thick and transparent – think of clear gelatin. But as we get older or if we get hit on the head, that transparency tends to change. Any unclear spots can create a shadow on the retina, which is the light and sight-sensing part of your eye. And it’s those shadows – whether shaped like a speck, blob or strand – that we see as a floater. Annoying though they may be, floaters aren’t usually something to worry about. But listen to Drs Rob and Loree and resist the temptation to self-diagnose what’s going on.
 
Call Family Vision Center 303-427-2020, if you experience sudden onset of floaters, or changes to shape, size or frequency of them. Anything from bleeding in your eyes to a retinal tear or detachment could be to blame. Light flashes and blurred vision should also signal alarm. “These situations require immediate attention.” Seek an eye exam right away if any of these symptoms take shape.

Start the School Year With Good Vision

As you might have guessed, a lot of school-based learning is achieved visually. Despite the well-known connection between eyesight and learning, a lot of people underestimate or are simply uninformed about vision problems, and don’t include a visit to the eye doctor as part of their child’s back to school preparations. It’s important to know that because vision in kids changes, regular eye and vision care is central to academic success and overall happiness and wellbeing.

School-aged children have a truly impressive ability to carry on, despite having a vision problem. As children go through school, it becomes even more important to keep tabs on their vision.

Impaired vision and growing visual demands such as smaller print in textbooks or additional homework can significantly change his/her performance. Recently developed classroom technology, such as interactive whiteboards, can also potentially exacerbate previously hidden vision issues. If a child doesn’t have good enough vision, it isn’t just their school work that suffers. It’s mentally and emotionally taxing too.

If your child has already been tested for and fitted with glasses, the start of the school year is a perfect time to see if their current frames are meeting their needs at school. If you want a kid to wear his glasses, he better feel good about them!

Find a good time to visit us when you’re gearing up for the new school year. We want to help your child begin the academic year with vision that’s in excellent condition.

Children’s Vision and Learning Month

Children’s Vision & Learning Month

Teen exam

“Many homework battles occur when there is no apparent explanation for why the child avoids reading. The child is bright, interested in and understanding of material when presented in an auditory format,” Dr. Kara Heying, OD, FCOVD, President of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) explains. “However, when reading from paper (or digital device), typically the child begins just fine, yet after a few words or a few minutes the child starts struggling. This is actually a sign of eye coordination and eye tracking disorders .”

“This August marks the 20th year National Children’s Vision & Learning Month will be observed,“ Dr. Heying continues; “It was started in 1995 with a presidential proclamation from President Bill Clinton. The purpose of the proclamation was to help parents and educators understand that undiagnosed vision problems can block learning and lead to years of unnecessary struggling. COVD continues developing this understanding through this annual observance.”

Ryan (17 years old) and Jacob (13 years old) both struggled with schoolwork for more than 7 years. “They were each several years behind their peers in reading and were tutored in school since their early elementary years. Neither of the boys had passed a test on their own since elementary school, standardized testing was torture, and they hated school,” Kinkade explains; “They were bright students, and could exhibit mastery of anything they were taught verbally or through demonstration, yet could not do the same with any assignment or testing they were required to read independently. They learned enough to avoid being labeled as learning disabled, but never enough to reach grade level or move beyond required school intervention.”

“During reading homework, they would make it through the first few words and then stop, every single time. They avoided reading at all costs. I couldn’t tell you how often I grew frustrated and yelled at the boys for this,” Kinkade continues; “I could not conceive how they could possibly lose their place only a few words into a paragraph.”

When she was finally informed that eye coordination and eye movement problems were at the root of her boys’ struggles, she found hope and relief. It turns out the boys repeatedly lost their place while reading due to significant eye tracking issues. Their eyes would jump around the page, skipping words and lines of text, making it impossible for them to understand what they were reading. Additionally, Mrs. Kinkade learned her boys just had trouble seeing the text on the page; the words often became blurry and sometimes actually looked like they were moving.

“Every part of the boys’ diagnoses made sense and perfectly explained the reasons for every academic struggle. I had felt since Ryan was in second grade and Jacob in kindergarten that SOMETHING was not right, yet no doctor, teacher or counselor could answer the question of what. Many tried to explain it away as ADD/ADHD or said they were ‘just boys’ and would ‘grow out of it.’ I was crushed that it had taken so long, yet so grateful there WAS actually something.”

After a program of optometric vision therapy , Kinkade shares their success, “I can tell you in all sincerity that it has given my boys their lives back. Where they were previously hampered by their impairments, they are now without limits. They now fully engage in conversations, exhibit higher level thinking and are more socially confident. I had not realized how much their visual impairments had hampered their overall interaction with the world until I saw them begin to truly experience it.”

In addition, both Ryan and Jacob are actually performing at grade level. “Their grades are climbing and their confidence is soaring. Ryan scored a 97 on a recent English midterm; and Jacob gained 4 grade levels in reading in just one semester;” Kinkade shares proudly, “Dare I say homework is even easy now?”

Kinkade has become a staunch advocate for educating other parents on the vital link between vision and academic performance. She has referred more than 90 students (and their parents) for comprehensive vision evaluations and continues to receive phone calls and messages from others who desire to hear more about Optometric Vision Therapy .

“I am so thankful to have found out what was causing my two boys to struggle. My assumption that they ‘could see fine’ based on their visual screenings in school was terribly wrong. I am sure most parents of struggling readers share the same misconception. I hope that by sharing my boys’ story that other families are able to find the missing link to their child’s struggles;” Kinkade wraps up, “It still amazes us to see how easy learning has become for them; it is almost as if they never struggled before.”

The signs that a child may have an eye coordination or eye tracking problem are easily mistaken for attention problems and learning problems. The child is often thought to be a bright underachiever or just lazy and not trying hard enough. Dr. Heying states, “I f you or someone you know is struggling with reading and homework, visit our website and learn more about the critical link between vision and learning.”

COVD’s Public Service Announcement video highlights the need for annual eye exams for children. Parents and educators are encouraged to watch and share it with friends and family.

CONTACT: Pamela R. Happ, MSM, CAE
COVD Executive Director
330.995.0718 tel
Email: phapp@covd.org
Website: www.covd.org

About COVD

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is an international, non-profit optometric membership organization that provides education, evaluation, and board certification programs in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy, and visual rehabilitation. The organization is comprised of doctors of optometry, vision therapists and other vision specialists. For more information on learning-related vision problems, vision therapy and COVD, please visit http://www.covd.org/ or call 330.995.0718.

 

New study shows link to infections in contact lens wearers

New study shows link to infections in contact lens wearers

A new study linking contact lens use with higher levels of bacteria in the eyes and an increased risk of infection brings to light the importance of proper hygiene practices for contact lens wearers.

contact Lens2

"Surprisingly for patients, dirty and itchy eyelids are also a breeding ground for small bugs and infectious parasites."

The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in May. Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center found that contact lens wearers had three times the usual proportion of four types of bacteria—Methylobacterium,LactobacillusAcinetobacter and Pseudomas—in their eyes than non-contact lens wearers. These bugs, which are more commonly associated with skin (and the hands in particular), can cause serious infections, especially for those who wear contact lenses.  



Thomas Quinn, O.D., AOA Contact Lens and Cornea Section chair, stresses that eye care professionals need to discuss proper contact lens wear with their patients, especially in light of these new studies on rising infection rates.



"It's important to note that even though the increased risk for serious infection is minimal (about 4 in 10,000), proper lens care is extremely important, especially for patients who re-wear their lenses for a longer period of time, like two weeks or a month," says Dr. Quinn.



How to encourage proper contact lens hygiene

To help patients prevent infection and inflammation while wearing contacts lenses, Dr. Quinn, along with others, suggests educating them on the importance of properly caring for their lenses and their eyes. 



Dr. Quinn notes that most of his patients know and understand the risks associated with poor care, however, they slip up because of busy schedules or bad habits. 



"People are creatures of habit, and despite understanding the need to dispose lenses worn past the point recommended, they continue to remove them and place them in their cases for the next day," Quinn says. 



To avoid these common mistakes, he suggests prescribing daily disposable lenses when appropriate, which studies have found reduce the risk for infection by over 12.5 percent.



"People who take their lenses out daily and dispose of them are less likely to get inflammation and infection because there is less room for error. They don't have to worry about buying solution or cleaning cases, which can be a laborious and time-consuming process," he says.



Dr. Quinn adds that one of the more surprising ways to prevent infection is to put more focus on the care of the patient's eyelid.



"The eyelid glands are moist and warm, which is what many of these bugs love to live in. Eye care providers are finally seeing the importance of caring for the ocular surface. In addition to doing eyelid expressions, we're starting to council patients on proper eyelid care and even suggest wipes, foaming cleansers and tablets to clean and care for them," Dr. Quinn says. 



The more difficult cases, especially for Dr. Quinn and the other care practitioners at his practice in Athens, Ohio, are the patients who complain of inflammation and itchiness but have no obvious cause for those symptoms. 



"In many of these cases, we can't pinpoint the exact cause of discomfort so we have to ask the patients to show us where the itchiness and inflammation is coming from. There are a surprising number of patients who realize it's their eyelids causing the issues and not the cornea." 



In addition to eyelid care, other steps that patients can take to reduce the risk of infection include not sleeping in lenses and properly washing and drying hands.

June is Cataract Month!

Cataract

KS15390

Causes of cataracts

Most cataracts are due to age-related changes in the lens. However, other factors can contribute to their development including:
   • Diabetes mellitus—Persons with diabetes are at higher risk for cataracts.
   • Drugs—Certain medications have been found to be associated with the development of a cataract. These include:
        o Corticosteroids
        o Chlorpromazine and other phenothiazine related medications
   • Ultraviolet radiation—Studies have shown that there is an increased chance of cataract formation with unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
   • Smoking – An association between smoking and increased nuclear opacities has been reported.
   • Alcohol – Several studies have shown increased cataract formation in patients with higher alcohol consumption compared with people who have lower or no alcohol consumption.
   • Nutritional deficiency—Although the results are inconclusive, studies have suggested an association between cataract formation and low levels of antioxidants (e.g. vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids). Further studies may show that antioxidants have a significant effect on decreasing cataract development.
 
Rarely, cataracts can be present at birth or develop shortly after. They may be inherited or develop due to an infection, i.e. rubella, in the mother during pregnancy. A cataract may also develop following an injury to the eye or surgery for another eye problem, such as glaucoma.
 
While there are no clinically proven approaches to preventing cataracts, simple preventive strategies include reducing exposure to sunlight through UV blocking lenses, decreasing or discontinuing smoking and increasing antioxidant vitamin intake through consumption of leafy green vegetables and nutritional supplements.

Diagnosis of cataracts

Cataracts can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. This examination may include:
   • Patient history to determine vision difficulties experienced by the patient that may limit their daily activities and other general health concerns affecting vision.
   • Visual acuity measurement to determine to what extent a cataract may be limiting clear vision at distance and near.
   • Refraction to determine the need for changes in an eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
   • Evaluation of the lens under high magnification and illumination to determine the extent and location of any cataracts.
   • Evaluation of the retina of the eye through a dilated pupil.
   • Measurement of pressure within the eye.
   • Supplemental testing for color vision and glare sensitivity.
 
Additional testing may be needed to determine the extent of impairment to vision caused by a cataract and to evaluate whether other eye diseases may limit vision following cataract surgery. Using the information obtained from these tests, your optometrist can determine if you have cataracts and advise you on options for treatment.
 

How is a cataract treated?

The treatment of cataracts is based on the level of visual impairment they cause.
 
If a cataract affects vision only minimally, or not at all, no treatment may be needed. Patients may be advised to monitor for increased visual symptoms and follow a regular check-up schedule.
 
In some cases, a change in eyeglass prescription may provide temporary improvement in visual acuity. Increasing the amount of light used when reading may be beneficial. The use of anti-glare coatings on clear lenses can help reduce glare for night driving.
 
When a cataract progresses to the point that it affects a person's ability to do normal everyday tasks, surgery may be needed.
 
Cataract surgery involves removing the lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens. The artificial lens requires no care and can significantly improve vision. New artificial lens options include those that simulate the natural focusing ability of a young healthy lens.
 
Two approaches to cataract surgery are generally used:
   • Small incision cataract surgery involves making an incision in the side of the cornea, the clear outer covering of the eye, and inserting a tiny probe into the eye. The probe emits ultrasound waves that soften and break-up the lens so it can be removed by suction. This process is called phacoemulsification.
   • Extracapsular surgery requires a somewhat larger incision in the cornea and the lens core is removed in one piece.
 
Once the natural lens has been removed, it is replaced by a clear plastic lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). For situations where implanting an IOL is not possible because of other eye problems, contact lenses and in some cases eyeglasses may be an option to provide needed vision correction.
 
As with any surgery, cataract surgery has risks from infection and bleeding. Cataract surgery also slightly increases the risk of retinal detachment. It is important to discuss the benefits and risks of cataract surgery with your eye care providers. Other ocular conditions may increase the need for cataract surgery or prevent a person from being a cataract surgery candidate. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective types of surgery performed in the United States today. Approximately 90 percent of cataract surgery patients report better vision following the surgery.
 

The Importance of Nutrition

A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye. Depending upon its size and location, it can interfere with normal vision. Most cataracts develop in people over age 55, but they occasionally occur in infants and young children. Usually cataracts develop in both eyes, but one may be worse than the other. Reasearchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients such aslutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc to reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, including cataracts. 
 
The lens is located inside the eye behind the iris, the colored part of the eye. The lens focuses light on the back of the eye, the retina. The lens is made of mostly proteins and water. Clouding of the lens occurs due to changes in the proteins and lens fibers.
 
The lens is composed of layers like an onion. The outermost is the capsule. The layer inside the capsule is the cortex, and the innermost layer is the nucleus.
A cataract may develop in any of these areas and is described based on its location in the lens:
   • A nuclear cataract is located in the center of the lens. The nucleus tends to darken changing from clear to yellow and sometimes brown.
   • A cortical cataract affects the layer of the lens surrounding the nucleus. It is identified by its unique wedge or spoke appearance.
  • A posterior capsular cataract is found in the back outer layer of the lens. This type often develops more rapidly.
 

Types of Cataracts

 cataract 3 150          cataract 1 150          cataract 3 150

         Nuclear cataract                              Cortical cataract                       Posterior capsular cataract

© 2009 Eyemaginations, Inc.
 
Normally, the lens focuses light on the retina, which sends the image through the optic nerve to the brain. However, if the lens is clouded by a cataract, light is scattered so the lens can no longer focus it properly, causing vision problems.
 
Cataracts generally form very slowly. Signs and symptoms of a cataract may include:
   • Blurred or hazy vision
   • Reduced intensity of colors
   • Increased sensitivity to glare from lights, particularly when driving at night
   • Increased difficulty seeing at night
   • Change in the eye's refractive error
 
While the process of cataract formation is becoming more clearly understood, there is no clinically established treatment to prevent or slow their progression. In age-related cataracts, changes in vision can be very gradual. Some people may not initially recognize the visual changes. However, as cataracts worsen vision symptoms tend to increase in severity.
 

Comprehensive Eye and Vision Examination

Comprehensive Eye and Vision Examination

Periodic eye and vision examinations are an important part of preventive health care. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems are important for maintaining good vision and eye health, and when possible, preventing vision loss.

A comprehensive adult eye and vision examination may include, but is not limited to, the following tests. Individual patient signs and symptoms, along with the professional judgment of the doctor, may significantly influence the testing done.

Patient History

A patient history helps to determine any symptoms the individual is experiencing, when they began, the presence of any general health problems, medications taken and occupational or environmental conditions that may be affecting vision. The doctor will ask about any eye or vision problems you may be having and about your overall health. The doctor will also ask about any previous eye or health conditions of you and your family members.

Visual Acuity

Reading charts are often used to measure visual acuity.

Visual acuity measurements evaluate how clearly each eye is seeing. As part of the testing, you are asked to read letters on distance and near reading charts. The results of visual acuity testing are written as a fraction such as 20/40. 

When testing distance vision, the top number in the fraction is the standard distance at which testing is done, twenty feet. The bottom number is the smallest letter size you were able to read. A person with 20/40 visual acuity would have to get within 20 feet of a letter that should be seen at 40 feet in order to see it clearly. Normal distance visual acuity is 20/20.

Preliminary Tests

Preliminary testing may include evaluation of specific aspects of visual function and eye health such as depth perception, color vision, eye muscle movements, peripheral or side vision, and the way your pupils respond to light.

Keratometry

This test measures the curvature of the cornea, the clear outer surface of the eye, by focusing a circle of light on the cornea and measuring its reflection. This measurement is particularly critical in determining the proper fit for contact lenses.

Refraction

Determining refractive error with a phoropter and retinoscope

Refraction is conducted to determine the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). Using an instrument called a phoropter, your optometrist places a series of lenses in front of your eyes and measures how they focus light using a hand held lighted instrument called a retinoscope. The doctor may choose to use an automated instrument that automatically evaluates the focusing power of the eye. The power is then refined by patient's responses to determine the lenses that allow the clearest vision. 

This testing may be done without the use of eye drops to determine how the eyes respond under normal seeing conditions. In some cases, such as for patients who can't respond verbally or when some of the eyes focusing power may be hidden, eye drops are used. The drops temporarily keep the eyes from changing focus while testing is done.

Eye Focusing, Eye Teaming, and Eye Movement Testing

Assessment of accommodation, ocular motility and binocular vision determines how well the eyes focus, move and work together. In order to obtain a clear, single image of what is being viewed, the eyes must effectively change focus, move and work in unison. This testing will look for problems that keep your eyes from focusing effectively or make using both eyes together difficult.

Eye Health Evaluation

Tonometry measures eye pressure. Elevated pressure in the eye signals an increased risk for glaucoma.

External examination of the eye includes evaluation of the cornea, eyelids, conjunctiva and surrounding eye tissue using bright light and magnification.

Evaluation of the lens, retina and posterior section of the eye may be done through a dilated pupil to provide a better view of the internal structures of the eye.

Measurement of pressure within the eye (tonometry) is performed. Normal eye pressures range from 10 to 21 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), averaging about 14 to 16 mm Hg. Anyone with eye pressure greater than 22 mm Hg is at an increased risk of developing glaucoma, although many people with normal pressure also develop glaucoma.

Supplemental testing

Additional testing may be needed based on the results of the previous tests to confirm or rule out possible problems, to clarify uncertain findings, or to provide a more in-depth assessment.

At the completion of the examination, your optometrist will assess and evaluate the results of the testing to determine a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. He or she will discuss with you the nature of any visual or eye health problems found and explain available treatment options. In some cases, referral for consultation with, or treatment by, another optometrist or other health care provider may be indicated.

If you have questions regarding any eye or vision conditions diagnosed, or treatment recommended, don't hesitate to ask for additional information or explanation from your doctor.

 

x

WE REQUIRE APPOINTMENTS FOR ALL VISITORS. DO NOT ENTER THE BUILDING WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT. You must cancel your appointment if you have any symptoms of illness.

The State of CO, Jefferson County, and the City of Westminster require face coverings within businesses and we will continue to require face coverings be worn tightly fitting over your nose and mouth. Please see our website for detailed safety operations in line with the CDC requirements.

If you have eye trauma, foreign object, scratch, pain, flashes of light, sudden vision changes, or have broken your only pair of glasses, please call us at 303-427-2020 for an urgent appointment. Pink eye symptoms may be related to COVID-19.