The month of November is Diabetic Eye Disease Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population –have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years. Similarly, Friends for Sight report that 3.6 million Americans ages 40 and older suffer from diabetic retinopathy which is disease in the eye as a result of diabetes. As part of our commitment to maintaining healthy eyes, we are encouraging everyone who has not had their annual eye examination this year to schedule their annual eye exam during this month of diabetes eye health awareness. Likewise, we encourage everyone to schedule an appointment for their family and friends. Our comprehensive eye examination offers the Optomap Digital Retinal Photography which is the best technology to look for active diabetes eye disease and establish a baseline to screen for diabetic eye disease in the future through an annual eye examination. We have appointments available and look forward to seeing you during the November Diabetic Eye Disease Month.
In a previous blog post, we highlighted the importance of having the Optomap digital retinal photography as the best means to check the health of the back of the eyes at your annual eye exam. Perhaps of even greater consideration is focusing on the importance of having an annual, comprehensive eye examination. Not only can our eyes reveal a lot about us as an individual in terms of our overall health but the eyes are our “windows” to the world. In fact, 80% of what we learn is achieved through our vision. As we prepare for our students of all ages to head back to school, this is a perfect time for everyone to consider having an annual, comprehensive eye examination.
10 Things You Can Do To Have A Better Eye Exam
- Schedule an appointment. A comprehensive eye examination usually takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Although we do take “walk-in” appointments, it is always better to schedule an appointment so that you won’t have a longer than expected wait time.
- Know what eye insurance you have. Most major health insurance companies have a secondary company cover optometric and/or dental services. Some coverers change companies yearly, so it is important for you to know what coverage you have. Your company’s HR department or the 1-800 number on the back of your insurance card is a good place to start.
- Bring your photo ID and insurance cards with you. We need to scan them both into our system for billing purposes, to verify correct addresses and avert potential misspelling of your name.
- Be honest with your technician. Trust us, we have pretty much heard it all! If you don’t mention something to the tech but mention it to the doctor in the exam room, it may slow your exam down and cause you to have to repeat some, or all of your exam. Not to mention your tech may get reprimanded for not asking about or noting your new problem, even if it was not their fault.
- Think of why you are coming in for an exam. Are you having trouble seeing? At distance or near? Are you needing an updated contact lens or eyeglass prescription? Are you having trouble with glare or light sensitivity? Do you have frequent headaches? Are your symptoms in one or both eyes? For how long have you noticed the symptoms? Did they come on suddenly or gradually? Does anything that you do help such as squinting, blinking, or putting on your glasses? Try to have a problem list ready for the technician or doctor so that all of your concerns can be addressed.
- Bring your glasses and contact lenses with you. Seems like a “no-brainer” but bringing the glasses you wear most often with you, yes, even those over the counter “cheaters”. You may have a pair of glasses that you got a year or two ago that never worked as well as you’d liked. Bring those too. It is a good idea to let us read the prescription of all your glasses to know what worked and what didn’t. If you wear contacts, bring the boxes in or better yet, take a picture of them, so we can having a starting point with those as well.
- Bring a list of all the medications you take; even over the counter medications, vitamins and/or herbal supplements. Many medications can affect your eyes and vision in different ways, so it is important for us to know exactly what you are taking.
- Know your family ocular history. Many eye diseases and disorders (glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts) run in the family. Knowing your family history helps the doctor to determine which tests you really need to have done during your visit.
- Why so many medical questions? Most medical disorders/diseases can affect your eyes and/or vision. We need to know if you were born premature as a baby; if you have such systemic conditions as hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes; and whether you are taking certain medications like antihistamines, blood thinners and or arthritic medications. All of these things can potentially affect your eyes. Therefore, please tell your eye care team so that we know what to look for during your exam.
- Go with your gut. When the doctor is performing the “refraction” part of your exam and asks such questions as “Which is clearer, here or here” or “Which is better? One or two?” go with your gut. If you can’t tell the difference between the two options, say so. Your eye care provider is bracketing the difference. The difference between the two options can sometimes be very subtle, so tell the doctor what feels best to your eye, not what you think the doctor “wants to hear”. You will get a more accurate prescription this way. It may also save you a trip back for a prescription re-check visit and possibly having to pay for a whole new set of lenses for your new glasses.
In addition to our new practice location at the Forum in Peachtree Corners, GA, Dr. Skeete and Associates, P.C. are seeing patients in the Gainesville area starting January 1, 2017. We look forward to supporting your eye health needs in both of our locations.
Dr. Skeete and Associates of North Georgia, P.C.
150 Pearl Nix Parkway
Gainesville, GA. 30501
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a common but easily correctable condition in which the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea, or the lens have an irregular curvature. Like nearsightedness and farsightedness, it is just another refractive error which prevents light from focusing properly on the retina in the back of the eye. This results in distorted or blurred vision. Some of the most common symptoms of uncorrected astigmatism include headaches, eyestrain, squinting, blurry vision, a ghosting or doubling of letters, and difficulty driving at night. Astigmatism can usually be corrected with eyeglasses, various contact lenses, or refractive surgery. If you experience any of the above symptoms, visit your eye care professional and they will recommend a treatment plan that best suits your individual needs!
We are officially here!!! Hello, The Forum on Peachtree Parkway.