Frequently asked Questions

What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, optometrist and optician?

An ophthalmologist is a doctor – an M.D. – with expertise in medical and surgical eye problems who performs operations on the eyes.

An optometrist is a health care specialist who assists patients with the health of the eyes and related vision. Optometrists are trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision. They also diagnose and treat various eye diseases.

An optician is a specialized practitioner who designs, fits and dispenses lenses for the correction of a person’s vision. Opticians determine the specifications of various ophthalmic solutions – from prescription, to eyeglass frames, to lens technology – that will give the necessary and best correction to a person’s eyesight.

How do I know which type of eye professional to go to?

Several ReFocus locations provide more than one type of service. If not, that provider will refer you to the type of eye care provider you should see.

How do I know if you take my insurance?

Most ReFocus locations accept a wide range of insurance. However, individual practices might differ slightly in the insurance they accept. For more information on insurance matters, click here.

What is the Patient Portal?

The patient portal is a convenient way to keep all your appointments and information in one place—on your desktop computer, laptop, tablet or phone. It can also be a way for you to communicate directly with your doctor via the messaging feature. To sign up, click here.

I’m not computer savvy, how can I use the Patient Portal?

Well, first of all, it’s easy to use. Someone at your ReFocus office can help you. If you’re still having problems, there’s no shame in asking a more computer-literate friend or family member to assist you. Once you get going, you’re going to love how easy it makes everything.

Why is a regular eye exam so important?

An eye exam that includes pupil dilation can reveal conditions or diseases that haven’t yet begun to produce symptoms. This allows for early treatment which can be so important and effective. Also, in patients with chronic conditions like diabetes/diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts, regular exams monitor the progression of the disease to determine if a change in treatment is warranted.

What is dilation and how long does it take to wear off?

Your optometrist may need to dilate your pupils to get a better view of your retinas. This involves a dilation drop that will make your pupils large and return to normal function in 3-4 hours. This will affect your near vision making it blurry to read but still easy to see far away and drive home.

What are you looking for in the back of my eye?

The back of the eye is a crucial part to assess during an eye exam. Your ReFocus eye doctor will look for irregularities that can point to eye related issues like macular degeneration, as well as non-eye related issues like high blood pressure. He or she will also check for diabetic retinopathy, as well as other issues.

Do I need to bring anything to my eye exam appointment?

Do bring any prescription eyewear you may own such as eyeglasses and sunglasses. If you are new to our office and wear contacts, you should bring in a box for each eye, so your optometrist can easily make recommendations.

I’m experiencing blurry vision. What could the problem be?

Where do we start? There are many reasons you could be experiencing this. It can indicate the onset of diabetes, for one. Blurry vision can also be related to a neurological issue. Then again, losing visual acuity can be a simple matter of needing a new or stronger vision-correction prescription. Or, it can be caused by dry eye. The point is, there are a whole range of reasons—from simple to serious—for the onset of blurred vision. So, don’t wait. Schedule a ReFocus appointment today.

I’m having a severe irritation in my eye. It hurts! What could it be?

If the onset was sudden and you’re experiencing stinging, watery eyes and redness, it might be a corneal abrasion. While not necessarily serious, it can cause quite a bit of discomfort. Set up an appointment with your ReFocus doctor to be sure.

My eye is producing discharge and seems inflamed. What should I do?

There’s a chance you might be experiencing conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye. This eye infection can either be viral (no antibiotic treatment) or bacterial (antibiotic eye drops). Sometimes, it is hard to tell so your eye doctor might prescribe antibiotic eyedrops either way. Either way, you need to have it checked.

I’m seeing flashes of light and/or floaters. Should I be worried?

These symptoms could indicate a detached retina. If this is the case, call your ReFocus provider immediately and explain the situation. They will get you in right away. If your doctor diagnoses retinal detachment, he or she will advise surgery as soon as possible to reattach the retina before further damage can occur.