when do optometrist dilate eyes

When Do Optometrists Dilate Eyes?

As part of a comprehensive eye exam, optometrists may dilate a patient’s eyes to better evaluate their ocular health. Dilation involves using special eye drops to widen the pupil, which allows the optometrist to examine the inside of the eye, including the retina and optic nerve.

So, when do optometrists dilate eyes? There are several reasons why an optometrist may choose to dilate a patient’s eyes during an eye exam:

  1. To get a better view of the retina: The retina is the part of the eye that detects light and sends signals to the brain to create visual images. By dilating the eyes, the optometrist can get a clearer view of the retina and detect any abnormalities or signs of disease, such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or retinal detachment.

  2. To check for glaucoma: Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that damages the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss if left untreated. Dilating the eyes allows the optometrist to evaluate the optic nerve for signs of damage, which can indicate the presence of glaucoma.

  3. To evaluate the effects of medication: Some medications can affect the eyes, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, or allergies. Dilating the eyes allows the optometrist to evaluate the effects of these medications on the eyes and make any necessary adjustments to the patient’s treatment plan.

  4. To assess refractive error: Refractive error is a common vision problem that occurs when the eye cannot properly focus light onto the retina. By dilating the eyes, the optometrist can assess the patient’s refractive error and determine if they need glasses or contact lenses.

  5. To check for other conditions: Dilating the eyes can also help optometrists detect other eye conditions, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, or tumors.

It’s important to note that while dilation is a routine part of an eye exam, not all patients may require it. Your optometrist will determine if dilation is necessary based on your age, medical history, and overall eye health.

If your optometrist decides to dilate your eyes, the process is simple and painless. The eye drops used to dilate the eyes may cause temporary blurry vision and sensitivity to light, but these side effects typically subside within a few hours.

In summary, optometrists may dilate a patient’s eyes to better evaluate their ocular health, including the retina, optic nerve, and other eye structures. Dilation is a routine part of an eye exam and may be necessary to detect and monitor various eye conditions. If you have any concerns or questions about eye dilation, don’t hesitate to ask your optometrist for more information.

How to choose the best optometrist

How to Choose the Best Optometrist

Choosing an optometrist is a crucial decision for maintaining good eye health. Your optometrist is the professional who helps you preserve your vision and prevent vision-related diseases. They perform comprehensive eye exams, diagnose and treat various eye conditions, and provide you with a suitable prescription for corrective lenses or contact lenses. Hence, it is essential to choose an optometrist who is experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right optometrist for your needs:

Ask for Recommendations 

The first step in finding an optometrist is to ask for recommendations from friends, family members, or coworkers. Word-of-mouth referrals are an excellent way to find a reputable and trustworthy eye care professional. You can also check online reviews or forums to find out what people are saying about different optometrists in your area.

Check Credentials 

Once you have a list of potential optometrists, it’s essential to verify their credentials. An optometrist should have a degree in optometry and be licensed to practice in your state. They should also be up-to-date with the latest technology and treatments for eye care. You can check their credentials online or through professional organizations like the American Optometric Association (AOA).

Consider Location and Office Hours 

It’s essential to choose an an eye care practice that is conveniently located and has office hours that fit your schedule. Consider the proximity of their office to your home or work, and whether they have early morning, late evening, or weekend appointments available.

Look for Experience 

An experienced optometrist is crucial for a thorough and accurate eye exam. Look for an optometrist who has been in practice for several years and has experience in diagnosing and treating various eye conditions. A seasoned eye doctor can also provide you with a more comprehensive and personalized eye exam.

Insurance and Payment Options 

Before making an appointment, verify that the optometrist accepts your insurance and what payment options they offer. If you don’t have insurance, ask about their fee schedule and whether they offer financing options.

Ask About Technology and Equipment 

An optometrist should have the latest technology and equipment to provide the best possible eye care. Ask about the technology they use for eye exams, such as retinal imaging, digital eye charts, or automated visual field testing. This can help you determine if the optometrist is up-to-date with the latest advancements in eye care.

Evaluate the Office Environment 

When you visit an optometrist’s office for the first time, take a look at the environment and see if it is clean, organized, and well-maintained. You should feel comfortable and at ease in the optometrist’s office, and the staff should be friendly and helpful.

Consider the Optometrist’s Personality and Communication Style 

It’s essential to choose an optometrist who has a good bedside manner and can communicate effectively with you. An optometrist who is friendly, empathetic, and listens to your concerns can make a big difference in the quality of care you receive.

In conclusion, choosing an optometrist is an important decision for maintaining good eye health. By following these tips, you can find an optometrist who is experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate, and who can provide you with the best possible eye care. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to ask your optometrist. They are there to help you preserve your vision and prevent vision-related diseases.

Understanding and Treating Droopy Eyelids (Ptosis)

Understanding and Treating Droopy Eyelids

Do you ever find yourself feeling self-conscious about the appearance of your eyes, despite being well-rested and feeling great? If so, you may be suffering from droopy eyelids, also known as ptosis. This condition can cause the upper eyelid to droop down, obstructing your vision and giving you a tired or sad appearance. In this blog, we’ll delve into the causes, symptoms, and solutions for droopy eyelids, so you can find the help you need to look and feel your best.

Causes of Droopy Eyelids (Ptosis):

There are a number of reasons why someone may develop droopy eyelids, and understanding the cause of your ptosis is the first step in finding the right treatment. Some of the most common causes include:

  1. Aging: As we grow older, the muscles that lift our eyelids can weaken, leading to a drooping upper eyelid. This is one of the most common causes of ptosis, and typically affects people over the age of 40.

  2. Neurological disorders: Certain neurological conditions such as myasthenia gravis and Horner’s syndrome can affect the muscles responsible for lifting the eyelid, causing droopy eyelids and other symptoms such as double vision, muscle weakness, and fatigue.

  3. Injury: Direct trauma to the eye or surrounding area can also lead to ptosis. This can occur from a blow to the eye or from a surgical procedure.

  4. Eye surgery: Ptosis can also be a side effect of certain eye surgeries such as cataract surgery or corneal transplant. This can occur if the eyelid muscles are damaged during the procedure.

  5. Congenital ptosis: Some individuals are born with weak eyelid muscles, leading to droopy eyelids from birth. This type of ptosis can also develop in childhood.

Normal eyelid
Droopy eyelid


The main symptom of droopy eyelids is a sagging or drooping upper eyelid that partially covers the pupil. This can cause reduced vision and be accompanied by other symptoms, including:

  1. Eyestrain or headaches: The extra effort required to see around the droopy eyelid can cause eyestrain or headaches.

  2. Fatigue or eye fatigue: Droopy eyelids can also cause fatigue or eye fatigue as your eyes work harder to see. This can make it difficult to focus or concentrate, leading to feelings of exhaustion.

  3. Blurred or double vision: In some cases, droopy eyelids can cause blurred or double vision as the droopy eyelid partially covers the pupil, affecting your vision and making it difficult to see.


If you’re struggling with droopy eyes, there are several solutions available to help correct the problem. Some of the most common treatments for ptosis include:

  1. Eyeglasses or contact lenses: Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses can help correct your vision and reduce the strain on your eyes caused by the droopy eyelid.

  2. Eyelid surgery (Ptosis surgery): This procedure can correct droopy eyelids by tightening the muscles and repositioning the eyelid. It is performed by an oculoplastic surgeon and can provide long-lasting results.

  3. Botox injections: In some cases, Botox injections can help to temporarily improve droopy eyelids by relaxing the muscle that is responsible for lifting the eyelid.

Droopy eyelids, or ptosis, can cause reduced vision and impact your overall appearance and self-esteem. However, with the right diagnosis and treatment, you can regain confidence in your appearance and improve your vision. Whether it’s through eyeglasses, surgery, or non-invasive options such as Botox, it’s important to seek the advice of a professional to determine the best solution for your individual case. Remember, with proper care and attention, you can restore your eyes to their former youthful appearance and improve your overall quality of life.

Are Eye Doctor Visits Tax Deductible?

Are Eye Doctor Visits Tax Deductible?

Whether you need to get a new pair of glasses, contact lenses, or even surgery to correct your vision, knowing if these costs are tax deductible can help with budgeting. Depending on the type of expenses and who paid for them, the answer is yes – eye doctor visits may be tax deductible. Let’s explore the question in more detail.

Deduct Eye Doctor Visits

According to IRS Publication 502, medical and dental expenses are generally deductible as long as they exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). This means that if your AGI is $50,000 and you spend $3,750 on medical and dental expenses during the year, then only the amount over $3,750 would be deducted from your taxes.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) 

If you are using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), then the money used for eye doctor visits is not taxable at all. FSAs allow employers to set aside pre-tax dollars for employees’ healthcare costs; HSAs are similar in nature but also require that participants have high-deductible health plans. You may also qualify for deductions based on whether or not you pay a Medicare Part B premium; this depends on how much total income you make annually.

Medical vs Non-medical Expenses

The IRS allows a deduction for certain types of eye care services such as corrective lenses or contacts prescribed by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor). However, if you use the prescription to purchase non-prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses then those items are not tax deductible. If any part of the glasses or sunglasses has been prescribed by an ophthalmologist then it can be deducted as a medical expense. Additionally, any surgery performed by an ophthalmologist such as LASIK eye surgery may also be deducted as a medical expense depending on what type of insurance plan was used to pay for it.

Keep Your Receipts!

Eye doctor visits can certainly offer some relief when it comes time to do taxes by providing some valuable deductions that could lower your overall tax bill. In order to take advantage of these deductions however, it is important to remember that only certain types of eye care services qualify such as corrective lenses prescribed by an ophthalmologist and even surgeries like LASIK depending on how it was paid for. Keeping accurate records throughout the year will ensure that all eligible expenses are accounted for when it comes time to file taxes so don’t forget about those important receipts!

FSA 2022 – Use it, or lose it!

The end of the year is fast approaching, and that means your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollars are about to expire. If you’re not familiar with an FSA, it’s a tax-advantaged account that lets you set aside money to cover eligible medical, dental, and vision expenses. The money you contribute to your FSA is deducted from your paycheck pre-tax, which can save you a significant amount of money each year. However, any money that remains in your FSA at the end of the year is forfeited, so it’s important to use up your balance before December 31st. Here are a few tips for using up your FSA before it expires:


Schedule any necessary medical appointments: 

If you’ve been putting off going to the optometrist or scheduling that doctor’s appointment, now is the time to do it. Most FSAs cover a wide range of medical expenses, so there’s a good chance your appointments will be covered.


Stock up on essentials: 

If you wear contact lenses or glasses, take advantage of your FSA by stocking up on supplies before the end of the year. Similarly, if you have a child who uses orthodontic appliances such as braces or retainers, FSA dollars can be used to cover the cost of replacement parts and repairs.


Plan ahead for next year: 

If you know you’ll have eligible expenses next year, consider using your FSA dollars to pay for them in advance. For example, you could schedule trips to the optometrist or dentist now and pay with your FSA card. That way, you’ll have the expense covered when next year rolls around.

With these tips in mind, you can make sure you maximize your FSA benefits and avoid losing out on any of your hard-earned money.

How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Glasses

Glasses are not only a necessity for some, but they can also be a fashion statement. However, with so many different styles and shapes of glasses on the market, it can be difficult to know how to choose the perfect pair. In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to find the right glasses for your face shape, style, and budget.

Face Shape

The first step in choosing the perfect pair of glasses is to determine your face shape. The most common face shapes are oval, round, square, and heart-shaped. To figure out your face shape, take a look at yourself in the mirror and pull your hair back so that you can see your natural features. Then, use a ruler or tape measure to determine the width and length of your face. Once you have your measurements, refer to the descriptions below to find your face shape.


If your face is longer than it is wide, have a round jaw line and chin, and your forehead is the widest part of your face, then you have an oval-shaped face. Oval faces are considered to be versatile when it comes to choosing glasses because almost any style looks good on them. However, avoid frames that are too wide as they will make your face look even longer.


If your face is as wide as it is long and you have full cheeks, then you have a round-shaped face. Round faces often look best in glasses that are wider than they are tall with straight or angular lines. This will help to elongate your face and make it appear thinner. Avoid round frames as they will only accentuate the roundness of your face.


If your face is as long as it is wide with a strong jawline, then you have a square-shaped face. Square faces look best in glasses that are wider than they are tall with soft, rounded edges. This will help to soften the angles of your jawline and make your face appear more balanced. Avoid boxy or rectangular frames as they will only accentuate the squareness of your face.


If your face is wider at the top with a narrow chin, and your forehead and cheekbones are the widest part of your face, then you have a heart-shaped face. Heart-shaped faces look best in glasses that are wider at the bottom with soft, rounded edges. This will help to balance out the width of your forehead and make your chin appear more pronounced. Avoid small frames as they will make your forehead appear even larger.


Now that you know what shape of glasses will flatter your facial features, it’s time to think about what style you want. Do you want something classic? Trendy? Funky? The options are endless! To help narrow down your choices, think about what kind of clothing you typically wear. If you tend to dress more conservatively, then classic styles such as wayfarers or aviators would be a good choice for you. If you like to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, then opt for something more trendy like cat-eye or oversized frames. And if you like to express yourself through fashion, then funky styles such as colored frames or clear lenses would be perfect for you! Just remember to choose something that reflects your personal style so that you feel confident and comfortable wearing them every day.


The last thing to consider when choosing glasses is budget. Glasses can range in price from $15 to over $500 depending on the brand, style, material, and prescription strength (if needed). It’s important to find something that fits both your needs and your budget so that you don’t end up spending more than necessary or being stuck with a pair of glasses that you don’t love because they were too cheap. A good rule of thumb is to set a budget before you start shopping so that you know how much money you have available to spend and can narrow down your choices accordingly without going over budget or breaking the bank!

Choosing the perfect pair of glasses can seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be! By following these simple guidelines—face shape, style , and budget—you can easily find the perfect pair of glasses for YOU! So don’t wait any longer…go out there and find those perfect frames today!

How to Choose the Best Optometry Clinic for You

When it comes to eye care, you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible service. But with so many optometry clinics out there, how can you be sure you’re making the right choice? Here are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing an optometry clinic: 


The first thing to consider is the location of the clinic. You want to choose a clinic that’s conveniently located so that you can easily get there for appointments. If you have to travel a long distance, you may be less likely to keep up with your appointments. 

Services Offered 

Another thing to consider is the services offered by the clinic. Some clinics only offer basic eye exams while others also offer contact lens fittings, vision therapy, and more. Make sure to choose a clinic that offers the services you need. 

Insurance Accepted 

You’ll also want to make sure the clinic accepts your insurance. This will help reduce your out-of-pocket costs. To find out which clinics in your area accept your insurance, simply call your insurance company and ask for a list of providers. 


Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, take some time to read online reviews. This will give you an idea of what previous patients have thought about their experience at the clinic. Be sure to read both positive and negative reviews so that you can get a well-rounded picture of what to expect. 

Ask for Recommendations 

If you know anyone who has recently gone to an optometry clinic, ask for their recommendation. They may be able to tell you about their experience and whether or not they would recommend the clinic to others. 

Making Your Decision 

After considering all of these factors, it’s time to make your decision. Keep in mind that it’s important to choose a clinic that you feel comfortable with as you’ll be spending a lot of time there. Once you’ve made your choice, schedule an appointment and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’re getting the best possible care for your eyes!

Choosing an optometry clinic doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what factors to consider. By keeping location, services offered, insurance accepted, and reviews in mind, you can be sure that you’re making the best decision for your needs.




man with glasses

The Benefits of Routine Eye Exams

It’s no secret that our sense of sight is one of the most precious gifts we have been given. And yet, many of us take our vision for granted and don’t give it the importance it deserves. Scheduling routine eye exams is one of the best ways to protect your vision and ensure that any problems are caught early on. Here are just a few of the benefits of routine eye exams.

Early Detection of Disease

One of the most important benefits of routine eye exams is that they can help to detect diseases in their earliest stages, when they are most treatable. Many eye diseases show no symptoms in their early stages, so you might not even realize there’s a problem until it’s too late. During a routine eye exam, your doctor will check for signs of disease and can refer you to a specialist if necessary.

Evaluation of Vision Changes

As we age, it’s not uncommon for our vision to change. If you’ve noticed that you’re having difficulty reading or driving at night, scheduling an eye exam is a good idea. Your doctor will be able to determine whether these changes are due to an underlying condition or simply part of the normal aging process. In either case, your eye doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment. 

Improved Overall Health

 Believe it or not, your eyes can actually offer clues about your overall health. Conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes often first manifest themselves in changes to the eyes, so routine eye exams can help catch these conditions early on. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to see your doctor regularly, even if you think everything is fine.

Routine eye exams offer a lot of benefits and should be schedule at least once a year. Not only can they help to detect disease in its earliest stages, but they can also evaluate vision changes and improve overall health. So don’t wait – schedule an appointment with your optometrist today!

Older man holding is glasses in one hand

AMD Awareness Month

AMD, or age-related macular degeneration, is a common eye disease that can cause vision loss as you age. The macula is the part of your retina responsible for sharp, straight-ahead vision, and when it becomes damaged, AMD can cause your central vision to blur. AMD doesn’t lead to complete blindness, but losing your central vision can make it difficult to see faces, read, drive, or do close-up work. While AMD can’t be cured, there are treatments available that can help slow its progression. You can also take steps to reduce your risk of developing AMD in the first place. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss for older adults in the United States

Types of AMD

There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. The vast majority of people with AMD have the dry form, which is characterized by a thinning of the macula as you age. Dry AMD usually progresses slowly over several years. There is no treatment for late-stage dry AMD. You can find ways to make the most of your remaining vision. If you only have AMD in one eye, there are steps you can take to protect your vision in the other eye.

Wet AMD is a more severe form of the disease that can lead to rapid vision loss if left untreated. Wet AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing under the retina and leaking fluid or blood into the surrounding tissue.


According to the National Eye Institute, the symptoms of AMD depend on the stage.

Dry AMD happens in three stages: early, intermediate, and late.

-Early dry AMD doesn’t cause any symptoms.

-In intermediate dry AMD, some people still have no symptoms. Others may notice mild symptoms, like mild blurriness in their central vision or trouble seeing in low lighting.

-In late-stage (wet or dry), many people notice that straight lines start to look wavy or crooked. You may also notice a blurry area near the center of your vision.


There is no cure for AMD but there are treatments available that can help slow its progression. Treatment options include prescription medications, vitamins and supplements, and laser surgery. If you’re worried that you may have AMD, it’s important to see an eye doctor for a diagnosis – early detection and treatment is key in preserving your vision.

How can we diagnose AMD?

We invested in Maculogix’ Adapt DX Pro to test patients for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). With 20 years of clinical research behind it, this non-invasive device is one of the most accurate tools to detect early signs of AMD. It automatically aligns with the eye to capture an accurate measurement of dark adaptation speed. Dark adaptation is the automatic adjustment of the eye from bright light to low light, involving reflex dilation of the pupil. Dark adaptation speed is a key metric to diagnose early signs of AMD because the healthy eye adapts relatively quickly from bright light to darkness while the process can be very slow in the eyes with AMD.

Routine tests with Maculogix’ Adapt DX take about 5 min (compared to around an hour or more with other devices).

Older man with glasses on a green background

Glaucoma Awareness Month: The Sneak Thief of Sight

Now is the time to learn more about glaucoma and how it can affect your vision. Although glaucoma is not as well known as other eye diseases, such as cataracts or macular degeneration, it still affects millions of people in the United States and causes irreversible blindness. If you want to know what glaucoma does and how you can protect your eyes from this disease, keep reading!

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve. This can lead to vision loss and blindness, although there are often no symptoms until it’s too late. Once glaucoma damages the optic nerve, it can’t be repaired. This is why regular eye exams are so important! If glaucoma has already damaged part of your optic nerves, you might not notice any changes in vision until a lot of damage has been done.

The National Eye Institute projects that by 2030, more than four million people in the United States will have glaucoma. That’s almost a 33% increase from today!

Who is more at risk?

Glaucoma is called the sneak thief of sight since it damages vision without warning. There are glaucoma risk factors, though. One glaucoma risk factor is family history, especially in people who have had glaucoma previously or glaucoma at an early age. People with diabetes are also at higher risk for developing glaucoma than those who don’t have diabetes.

Glaucoma is more common in African Americans and Latinos than Caucasians. In fact, glaucoma is six to eight times more common in African Americans than Caucasians. If you’re part of one of these populations, it’s important to be especially vigilant about getting screened for glaucoma on a regular basis.

How do you know if you have glaucoma?

In many cases, there aren’t any symptoms to watch out for until a lot of damage has already been done and your eyesight starts getting worse without explanation so regular screening by an eye doctor is important!

Advanced signs of glaucoma can include:

  • Cloudy, yellow vision. This is because glaucoma damages the optic nerve and causes it to swell up. Sometimes people with glaucoma describe this as a cloud or fog that blocks their vision even though they have perfect eyesight.
  • Peripheral vision (the area outside the center of sight) begins to blur over time, making straight lines look wavy – especially when both eyes are affected by glaucoma.
  • Pain in the eye or in the head
  • Seeing halos around lights at night or bright colors like blue as grey.
  • If you are experiencing the above symptoms, contact your optometrist immediately.

What can be done to prevent Glaucoma?

  • Get regular eye exams to catch glaucoma before it catches you.
  • Talk to your eye doctor if you are taking steroid medication. Long-term use of steroids is likely to raise eye pressure and can lead to glaucoma.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Protect your eyes from injury and sunlight.
  • Monitor your gums. Researches show a link between gum diseases and glaucoma.