Palmetto Eye - Healthy eyes - Exceptional service - Quality products
Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I have an eye exam?
  • Adults and children should have their eyes examined once a year.
  • Contact lens patients should also have their eyes examined once a year.

When should a child's eyes be examined? 
  • Infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 to 12 months of age.
  • Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter the first grade - at about age 5 or 6.  
  • For school-aged children, an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is required.  
  • Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should be examined annually or as recommended by their optometrist.

What should I bring to my eye exam?
  • You should bring all medical and vision insurance cards, photo id and paperwork if needed.  
  • You should be able to provide a list of an prescription medications and any vitamins or dietary supplements you're currently taking or regularly took in the past.
  • You should also bring your glasses or contacts and a copy of your most recent prescription.

Why do I need to provide my medical insurance?
  • Vision care plans only cover routine vision exams along with eyeglasses and contact lenses. Vision plans only cover a basic screening for eye disease. They do not cover diagnosis, management or treatment of eye diseases.
  • Medical insurance must be used if you have any eye health problem or systemic health problem that has ocular complications. Your doctor will determine if these conditions apply to you, but some are determined by your case history.
  • If you have both types of insurance plans it may be necessary for us to bill some services to one plan and other services to the other. We will use coordination of benefits to do this properly and to minimize your out-of-pocket expense.
  • We will bill your insurance plan for services if we are a participating provider for that plan. We will try to obtain advanced authorization of your insurance benefits so we can tell you what is covered. If some fees are not paid by your plan, we will bill you for any unpaid deductibles, co-pays or non-covered services as allowed by the insurance contract.

What is a contact lens fitting and what does it include? 
  • In addition to your regular eye examination, there is a fitting fee associated with trying new contact lenses. There are thousands of types of lenses, and the doctor will need to take special measurements and determine which lens type will work for you.
  • If you have never worn contact lenses before, your fitting will include instruction on insertion and removal of the lenses and proper care and cleaning techniques. 
  • The fee depends on the type of lens you wear; for example, bifocal contact lenses are more difficult to fit and take longer to adjust and fine-tune than standard contact lenses. 
  • Annually, there will be a refitting fee, which covers the cost of new trial lenses and examination time.

Why is there an additional fee for a contact lens exam?
  • Contact lenses are medical devices that can cause serious consequences, such as infection, inflammation, permanent damage and loss of vision if not fit and taken care of properly. Examining a contact lens patient takes additional time and expertise. For that reason there are separate, additional charges for contact lens examinations that patients without contact lenses do not pay.

How long will my dilation last?
  • Dilating drops usually blur the vision for 2 - 4 hours, which may vary from person to person. Typically, reading and up close vision is affected the most. Bright lights may be bothersome; however disposable sunshields are given at the completion of the exam and are recommended to be worn. 

When does my glasses prescription/contact lens prescription expire?
  • Once finalized, your glasses prescription will be valid for up to 1 year.
  • Once finalized, your contact lens prescription will be valid for up to 1 year. This means you can purchase enough lenses to last for 12 months. After 12 months, the prescription expires.
  • If you want to continue to wear glasses and/or contact lenses, you must return for a comprehensive eye examination and/or contact lens evaluation. 
  • To avoid any inconvenience, make sure your annual examination is scheduled on time.
  • If you wear contact lenses, this examination must be done annually, even if your insurance only allows for a 2-year examination interval.

How can I buy contact lenses? 
  • You can buy contact lenses in our office or by telephone.
  • You must have a valid contact lens prescription. 

Do I need a prescription to purchase glasses or contact lenses?
  • Yes!
  • It is illegal to sell glasses and/or contact lenses without a prescription. 
  • A contact lens that is poorly fitted or made from a material not well suited to your eyes can cause distorted vision, discomfort, infection, inflammation, and in rare cases, permanent eye tissue damage.

What is Dry Eye? 
  • Dry Eye is a condition caused by changes in the quantity or quality of your tears. Tears are composed of three main layers that work together to keep your eyes comfortable and protected. If anything affects the balance of these elements, your tears may evaporate too quickly, causing your eyes to feel dry and irritated.

What is myopia (nearsightedness)? 
  • Nearsightedness is a refractive error that makes distant objects look blurry. It typically happens when the eye is longer than normal causing the focal point to fall short of the retina.

What is hyperopia (farsightedness)? 
  • Farsightedness is a refractive error that makes close-up objects look blurry. It typically happens when the eye is shorter than normal causing the focal point to fall behind the retina.

What is presbyopia? 
  • Presbyopia is the hardening of your eyes’ natural lenses. This makes it harder to see sharp images at all distances.

What is a cataract? 
  • A cataract is a cloudiness of the lens in your eye that prevents light from passing to the retina, which can impair your vision. 
  • Cataracts form naturally as you age and sometimes remain small and unnoticeable. But with more developed cataracts, it’s like constantly viewing the world through a foggy window.

What are cataract symptoms? 
  • Cloudy vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in glasses or contacts prescriptions
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Seeing faded colors

How do I know if I have glaucoma?
  • The only way for you to know is to be examined by a doctor. Glaucoma has no symptoms until there is damage to your optic nerve. But there are many routine tests that can identify risk factors and/or presence of glaucoma.

What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, an optometrist and an optician? 
  • An Ophthalmologist (MD) has a medical degree and is licensed to practice medicine and perform eye surgery. An ophthalmologist has had at least 12 years of education and training beyond high school and is qualified to diagnose and treat all eye diseases; perform surgery; prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses.
  • An Optometrist (OD) has a Doctor of Optometry degree and are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye.  An optometrist has completed pre-professional undergraduate education in a college or university and four years of professional education at a college of optometry, leading to the doctor of optometry degree.  Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye.  They prescribe medications, low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and perform certain surgical procedures.  
  • An Optician usually has a combination of college and on-the-job training. An optician is trained to fit and dispense eyeglasses or contact lenses based upon a prescription from a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist.

I'm interested in having LASIK done. What information do I need to know?
  • You will need a special test, called a pachymetry, to test the thickness of your cornea. This test is not usually covered by insurance, so most have to pay out of pocket.
  • Your prescription must be stable for 2 years prior to surgery.
  • The health of your eyes have to be stable for a least 90 days prior to surgery.
  • Contact lens wearers must be out of contacts for 3 weeks prior to surgery. 

Do you accept Care Credit?
  • We're pleased to offer the CareCredit® card, North America's leading patient healthcare payment program. CareCredit® lets you begin your purchase immediately -- then pay for it over time (typically 6 to 12 months interest free) with low monthly payments that fit easily into your monthly budget. Now you don't have to save up for years to get the vision you've always wanted! We'll help you see clearer, sooner.
  • CareCredit® offers: Low minimum monthly payments, Interest free options. Can be used for services (exams, additional testing, procedures, etc.), or materials (glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses, etc.), or both! Pay no up-front costs or pre-payment penalties. An open line of credit for ANY healthcare need
  • Learn more by visiting CareCredit.com or contacting our office. Ready to apply? Apply online for your CareCredit® card today. You'll be seeing clearer in no time.