Why is an eyeglass prescription different from a contact lens prescription?

Contact lenses rest directly on the surface of the eye. A contact lens prescription contains more information than an eyeglass prescription, including the curvature and diameter of the lenses to ensure a good fit. A contact lens fitting, including special measurements and follow-up is required to determine these components of a contact lens prescription.

The pupils are enlarged with eye drops. This gives the doctor an opportunity to thoroughly examine the structures inside the eye:  optic nerve, blood vessels, macula and retina. The effect lasts up to 4 hours and will reduce the ability to focus on near objects. It will be helpful to bring sunglasses and make arrangements accordingly.

My eyes feel dry all the time, what can I do?

If you are suffering from dry eye, make an appointment for a dry eye evaluation. You may not be making enough tears or the quality of your tears may be poor. An accurate diagnosis can lead to successful treatment.

I take Plaquenil (or other high ocular risk medication or systemic condition such as diabetes) and was told I needed to have an “ophthalmological” eye examination, can you do that?

The Westside Optometry doctors can do an “ophthalmological” eye examination and will send a report of their finding to your physician. All patients taking high-risk medications or with systemic condition such as diabetes require regular dilate eye examinations. We will take fundus photos and perform the necessary tests to monitor any condition, which has possible ocular complications.

Can I wear contact lenses?

The world of contact lenses has seen much advancement in materials and designs. If you were unsuccessful with contact lenses in the past, there may be a new product for you. Westside Optometry has expert doctors and highly trained clinical staff to help you succeed with contact lenses if they are an option for you.

Am I a candidate for LASIK?

The doctors at Westside Optometry consider many factors when examining potential LASIK candidates. They access the health and thickness of your cornea, stability of vision, prescription and expectations. Corneal refractive surgery is not for everyone, but we have co-managed many successful cases. Let the doctor know that you are interested or call the office and ask for Margaret, our laser vision coordinator. She can answer your questions and send you information. We are pleased to work with Pacific Laser Eye Center Northbay.

Can I use my allergy drops while wearing contact lenses?

Always use your allergy drops before you put in your contact lenses or after you take them out.

When should I bring my child in for an eye examination?

The American Optometric Association recommends that all children should have an eye exam (not just a screening) between 6 and 12 months of age. The first year of life is one of the most critical stages in childhood development. Early intervention is critical to successful and cost-effective treatment.

How often should I have my eyes examined?

Your eye doctor will determine the best schedule for you. Typically, we recommend a one to two year frequency.

How old does my child need to be to wear contact lenses?

There is not a minimum age for wearing contact lenses. Infants and toddlers wear them, some teenagers and adults should not. It is different in each case.

What is an Optometrist?

An optometrist or doctor of optometry is a primary care provider. At a minimum, optometrists are required to complete a Bachelor degree, then 4 years of clinical and didactic education at a school of optometry.Passing a series of national and state board examinations are required before an optometrist can practice. In California, 25 hours of continuing education are required to maintain licensure.

Westside Optometry is a provider of the following vision insurances: Vision Service Plan (VSP) and Vision Care Plan/Humana(VCP). We also accept assignment for Medicare. If your visit is for a medical reason such as conjunctivitis, glaucoma or dry eye we can bill your medical insurance. If you are unsure, please call the office and we can research your coverage for you. (707)762-8643.