Contact Lens Health Week

How Often Should I Change My Contacts? 

August 16th-21st is Contact Lens Health Week. So there is no better time than this to discuss the importance of replacing your contact lenses! 

How often should I change my contacts? Especially if you’re a new wearer of contacts, this is a very common question. However, the answer has become more confusing over time as more and more types of contacts have become available. Some contacts are replaced once every two weeks, others are replaced every month, and some are even replaced daily! It’s important to know the lifespan of your contacts so that you can treat them well and keep your eyes healthy.

First, check the box of the lenses that you were prescribed by your optometrist.The manufacturer should have provided a “recommended usage,” which will help you know how long your contacts should last. If you can’t find this information, don’t be afraid to consult your optometry office for help. 

The Basics

All contact lenses must be replaced frequently, even those that are perfectly maintained. If contact lenses are not replaced frequently enough, protein deposits and contamination may build up on the surface of the contact, increasing your risk of developing an eye infection. Most people use soft contacts, which are especially susceptible to deposits and contamination. Gas permeable contact lenses can last a year or longer before requiring replacement.

Remember that the wear schedule provided is for a maximum amount of time. So if your contact lens is beginning to irritate your eye or you notice a tear before you’ve reached the end of the wear schedule, throw the lens out and open up a new lens. Always put the health of your eyes first!

The Lifespan of Contact Lenses

When it comes to lifespan, there are five general types of contact lenses:

  • Daily Disposable: Daily disposable contacts are replaced after one day of wear.
  • Bi-Weekly Disposable: Contact lenses are replaced after two weeks of wear.
  • Monthly Disposable: Contact lenses are replaced monthly. 
  • Gas Permeable/Scleral: With proper care, gas permeable lenses can last for years. Scleral lenses are very similar, except they go over the cornea to bypass irregular amounts of astigmatism.

About 40 percent of Americans who wear soft contacts are prescribed monthly contacts, about 35 percent use daily contacts, and about 24 percent use contacts that must be replaced every one to two weeks. Only 1 percent use contact lenses that can be replaced annually. 

Why It’s Important to Stick to Your Replacement Schedule

We know how easy it is to forget when you need to replace your contacts. For some people, it’s also tempting to continue wearing contacts past their expiration date if they aren’t showing wear and tear. Be sure to mark the date on your calendar or add an alert to your phone because it’s dangerous to wear your contacts past their prime. Even if your contacts don’t feel uncomfortable and your vision isn’t blurry, stick to your contact replacement schedule. In addition, even if you didn’t wear your contacts for the full use period (let’s say you opened up 30-day contacts, wore them once, and then wore your glasses for a week), you should still replace your contacts 30 days after you first used them.

If you don’t change them out, your contacts will accumulate protein deposits over time, reducing the amount of oxygen that can reach your eyes. This will make your eyes more prone to a variety of issues, including irritation, infections, blood vessel growth, and inflammation. Over time, these symptoms can lead to contact lens intolerance, permanent eye damage, or even vision loss.

Sleeping in your contacts is also quite dangerous if your lenses are not designed for overnight use. If it happens once, shrug it off but if you make a habit of wearing your contacts longer than they’re intended to be used, you could experience mild side effects like discomfort, red eye, or more major health concerns like corneal hypoxia (during which the eye is starved of oxygen), which can cause a corneal ulcer. In rare cases, this could even cause a severe infection.

Common Eye Exam Misconceptions

We can all agree that having healthy eyes is important, but did you know that only a little over 50% of people get annual eye exams? Why you might ask? According to a recent survey put out by VSP, a majority of people skip eye exams because they don’t think they need vision correction, think eye exams are expensive, or don’t have vision insurance. Although common, these reasons are often related to misconceptions about eye exams. Let’s clear the air and bust these myths.

Myth: Eye Exams are Unnecessary Those who don’t wear glasses or contacts might think, why would I need an eye exam? It’s a fair question. What most people don’t know is that an eye doctor can help detect early signs of more serious diseases and conditions through a comprehensive eye exam. Diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid diseases, and certain types of cancers can be detected through your eyes.

Although you might not have needed vision correction in the past, your eyes can change as you age. Perhaps when you were younger you could see objects up close, but as you get older those objects start to become blurry. Changes in your vision can be caught early by your eye doctor at an annual eye exam.

Myth: Children Don’t Need an Eye Exam Until They Start School

Children should have their first eye exam when they are six-months old. Most parents are unaware that eye exams should begin so young. Following a child’s first appointment at six-months old, eye exams should also take place at three years old, before starting elementary school, and then yearly thereafter.

Annual eye exams for kids are important because many children may not be able to articulate that they can’t see well. This becomes problematic because although eight in ten parents agree that regular eye exams help kids do their best in school, almost half wait until their child complains about their vision to schedule an eye exam.

Myth: Vision Insurance is Expensive

It’s important to find a vision insurance plan that fits you and your family’s eye care needs but also your budget. Many employers have insurance plans for their employees to select and give them different benefits depending on which plan is chosen. For those who do not have vision insurance, Ocean Eye, along with many other eyecare practices offer ‘self-pay’ pricing!

In summary, it is crucial to understand the importance of eyecare. If you are unsure about anything, please feel free to give us a call or schedule an appointment to speak with one of our eye care providers!

The Importance of Sunglasses

5 Reasons You Should Wear Sunglasses More Often

Have you ever wondered if you actually need sunglasses? 

Summer is right around the corner, so there is no better time to talk about the importance of good quality shades! 

Aside from being known as an awesome style accessory, sunglasses have a load of benefits for your eyes. They cut down on glare, prevent eye conditions, and protect against UV damage. With all that going for them, here are the top five reasons you should get some high-quality shades and wear them regularly!

1. Sunglasses protect your eyes from the elements.

If you love taking part in outdoor activities, such as biking, skiing, or running, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from sand, dust, debris, and UV radiation. Sand, wind, and dust can all irritate your eyes and even scratch the cornea, sometimes causing permanent damage. Even snow, while less abrasive, reflects UV rays from the sun at your eyes. If you’re spending a lot of time in the snow without sunglasses, it can cause “snow blindness,” a temporary loss of vision due to overexposure to the UV rays reflected off ice and snow. 

2. Sunglasses help prevent certain eye diseases related to the sun.

Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium. Cataracts involve a clouding of the eye’s lens that causes blurred vision; macular degeneration results from deterioration of the macula in the retina that destroys central vision; and pterygium involves tissue growth on the eyeball. Studies also report that a number of eye cancers are associated with extreme exposure to UV radiation. You can lower your risk if you wear sunglasses that protect against UVB and UVA radiation.

3. You’ll be able to see more and enjoy the view more than otherwise.

In addition to protecting your eye health, wearing sunglasses will simply help you see better in bright light. They cut down on glare and improve the colors and contrast of your view, so you can better take in your outdoor surroundings or drive more safely. Even on somewhat cloudy days, wearing sunglasses while driving can improve your vision and cut down on glare. If you’re out fishing instead of driving, you’ll also be able to see past the surface of water more easily without that bright, reflective glare! 

4. Sunglasses will help protect your eyes if they are recovering from a procedure.

Corrective eye surgeries are common these days, including LASIK and cataract surgery. It’s important that you continue to wear sunglasses after the procedure to help your eyes heal properly. The sunglasses will help protect your eyes from damage and ensure your eyes heal smoothly and quickly.

5. You’ll be able to avoid headaches and migraines.

For many people who regularly get migraines or bad headaches, bright sunlight can be a major trigger. Wearing sunglasses allows you to soak up the sun without risking extreme pain and discomfort.

Whatever reason appeals most to you, the important message is that sunglasses keep your eyes protected and help you to be more comfortable in the outdoors. So make sure to get a pair of high quality sunglasses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays and wear them regularly! 

Healthy Vision Month

Promoting the importance of healthy vision and yearly eye exams is a daily commitment for optometrists, but it is a message that is especially strong in May. This month we observe Healthy Vision Month, organized by the National Eye Institute (NEI). 

Healthy vision is a very important part of life and taking good care of your eyes should be a priority just like eating healthy and physical activity. To keep your eyes healthy, you should have a comprehensive eye exam yearly where an eye care professional will check for common vision problems and eye diseases. It is the best way to find out if you need glasses, contacts, or are in the early stages of any eye-related diseases.

Vision Health for All Ages

Though people tend to have more vision problems as they age, children need eye exams to ensure healthy vision, too. Only about 40 percent of preschool aged children have had their vision tested. 

Amblyopia (when vision in one eye does not develop properly during childhood. It is sometimes called “lazy eye”) is the most common cause of vision loss in children, affecting 3 of every 100 children.

Other eye conditions, such as refractive errors, which happen when the shape of the eye prevents light from focusing directly on the retina, are common problems easily corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or laser surgery. An estimated 11 million Americans aged 12 years and older could have better vision if they used corrective lenses or had eye surgery. 

Some eye conditions can cause vision loss and even blindness. These include:

  • Cataracts – a clouding of the lens.
  • Diabetic retinopathy – associated with diabetes which causes damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye.
  • Glaucoma – damage to the optic nerve, often with increased eye pressures.
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration – which gradually affects central vision

Eye Exams: How Often?

  • Children’s eyes should be checked regularly by an eye doctor or pediatrician. 
  • The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends vision screenings for all children aged 3 to 5 years to find conditions such as amblyopia or strabismus, which can be treated effectively if caught early.
  • People with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam every year.
  • People that are at a higher risk for glaucoma, including:
    • African Americans 40 years and older
    • All adults older than 60, especially Mexican Americans
    • People with a family history of glaucoma

Nine ways you can help protect your vision

  1. Get annual comprehensive eye exams.
  2. Know your family’s eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition, since many eye diseases are hereditary.
  3. Stay healthy: In particular, eat plenty of dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale, and fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids
  4. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home, such as painting, yard work, and home repairs.
  5. Wear sunglasses that block 99 percent-100 percent of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.
  6. Wash your hands before taking out your contacts and cleanse your contact lenses properly to avoid infection.

Eyes and Overall Health

Taking care of your eyes also may benefit your overall health. People with vision problems are more likely than those with good vision to have diabetes, poor hearing, heart problems, high blood pressure, lower back pain and strokes, as well as have increased risk for falls, injury and depression. Of people ages 65 and older, more than 50 percent of those who are blind and 40 percent of those with impaired vision say their overall health is fair or poor. Only about 20 percent of older Americans without vision problems reported fair to poor health.

In addition to your comprehensive dilated eye exams, visit an eye care professional if you have:

  • Decreased vision
  • Eye pain
  • Redness of the eye
  • Double vision
  • Diabetes
  • Floaters (tiny specks that appear to float before your eyes)
  • Circles (halos) around light sources or flashes 
  • Family history of eye diseases 

For this Healthy Vision Month, take care of your eyes to make them last a lifetime!

The Mystery of Your Eyes Changing Color (Part Two)

The eyes can hold a lot of mystery and intrigue. They might also be telling us more than we might know or understand!

Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to part two of our blog series covering the reasons behind why your eyes change color. As we mentioned in our last blog, many of these reasons can be harmless. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t alert us if these changes appear. Some very serious conditions cause your eyes to change color and need to be looked at right away. If you read through either part of this blog series and have any concerns, please let us know. The majority of the first part of this blog was dedicated to how conditions and changes related to the iris can affect the color of your eyes. In this blog, we will be discussing some serious situations and interesting hypotheses that are linked to the eyes changing color. From famous rock stars with unique eyes to everyday situations, changes in your eye color can happen when you least expect it.


One of the rarest conditions you see in the eyes is called heterochromia. This condition causes the eyes to be two different colors. This can happen in humans and animals alike. There are a few different kinds of heterochromia. The first is partial heterochromia. This condition will cause different parts of the iris to be many different colors. Then, there is central heterochromia. This condition causes the iris to have two different colored rings. If you’re born with any form of heterochromia it’s not a threat to your health but, heterochromia can be caused by many health-related issues such as eye surgery, eye injury, tumors in the iris, and more. These issues can lead to permanent or potentially dangerous effects on your eye’s overall health.


Trauma to the eye can start from a very early age. As we mentioned in the first part of this blog, a child is usually born with blue or grey eyes. According to the Fort Lauderdale Eye Institute, babies can be born with two different color eyes due to trauma that happened in the womb or during birth. It can also be the cause of a genetic disorder or an issue with the pigment in the child’s eyes. Trauma can hurt or damage the iris, which can lead to tissue loss, according to the AAO. The loss of tissue can make the eye color look completely different.


It has been quoted in books from fact to fairy tale that someone’s mood can change the color of the eye. Although this is not exactly true, this ideal isn’t totally incorrect. Your mood can change the size of your pupils, which will either show more or less of your iris. This can sharpen the color or dampen it, affecting how the color looks. Your mood and your body’s natural reaction isn’t actually changing the color of your eyes. This situation is more of a mental mind trick. The effect can still be very interesting. The size of your pupil can also be changed due to stroke, brain damage, or trauma according to the AAO. When the pupil doesn’t return to its normal size, the condition is called anisocoria. Rock star David Bowie had this condition, which was the reason behind the unique look to his eyes.


The color of your eyes is determined by genetics. Over time, as you age, your eyes naturally change color due to the same reason. The color change shouldn’t be drastic, but if it is, it could be a sign of glaucoma. This will need attention right away.  


Of course, there are many other ways to change the color of your eyes if you wish. From colored contacts to surgery, the options are out there. Implant surgery, according to Healthline, can be very dangerous. It was first developed to treat eye injuries and conditions like aniridia, which is when the entire iris is missing. Now, it is a very popular option in cosmetic surgery, even for those who have their irises. Cosmetic iris implant surgery is currently very controversial. There is no current evidence that shows if the procedure is fully safe or not. We, of course, would not condone putting your eyes through treatment that is potentially dangerous. 

Have you ever noticed the color of your eyes changing? Have you noticed your loved ones’ eyes changing color? Now you know why this might be happening. If you have any questions or concerns about the color of your eyes, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Remember, if the color change is drastic, contact us right away. Make sure you have your back to school eye exams planned with us as well. We are taking every precaution to keep our patients and staff safe. We are dedicated to making you feel as safe as possible during your visit! We look forward to seeing you and your family very soon!

The Mystery of Your Eyes Changing Color (Part One)

Eyes have been the subject of writers and artisans alike. They have also captured our attention for hundreds of years. These fragile and powerful organs help us see the world around us and hold a lot of mystery.

Hello Summerville! We might be seeing this school year a little differently, but yearly checkups should still be on your family’s to-do list. We are taking every precaution to keep our patients and staff safe. We look forward to seeing you and your family very soon!

If you are the slightest bit familiar with famous works of art, poetry, and popular music from the 1900s on, you’ll notice that the eye has been a popular muse and inspiration throughout these platforms. There is a reason why Shakespeare wrote his famous line “the Eyes are the window to your soul”. The eye holds a key to our personality, our body language, and lets us see the world around us. They are precious and should be cared for as such. The eyes can also be very mysterious. They can show signs of illness, distress, or undiagnosed conditions. In this two-part blog, we are going to be talking about how eyes can change colors and why this might be happening.

The process of eyes changing color begins as early as infancy. Most babies are born with light blue or grey eyes, due to their lack of pigment. Once pigment does develop, they will grow into their permanent eye color. Many things can make the eyes seem to change color; like the color of your clothing, the amount of light shone on them, and what is surrounding the person whose eyes you are looking at. After you’ve grown into your permanent eye color, your eye color rarely changes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, color changes can be linked to trauma, changes in the iris or other parts of the eye, disease, genes, and medications. If you do notice any changes in the color of your eyes, please contact us right away.

[The Iris]When it comes to the iris changing the coloring of your eye, it can be related to many different conditions. The most common are Fuchs Heterochromatic Iridocyclitis, Lisch nodules, iris nevi, and iris freckles. Fuchs heterochromic iridocyclitis, according to the AAO, is the most dangerous of these four conditions and can lead to glaucoma. It is an inflammation in the front part of the eye, including the iris. The cause is still unknown, and the loss of pigment in the eye and cataracts can be two symptoms of this condition. These two symptoms can cause the iris to change color. Lisch nodules are growths found on the iris. The iris takes on the color of the growths, which will change the original color of your eyes. This condition is linked to neurofibromatosis, which is a disorder of the nervous system. The condition, according to the AAO, has a genetic link between family members. It can change the color of your eyes but it usually doesn’t affect your vision. Iris nevi look like small moles that grow on the iris, also changing its natural color. They are harmless and grow very slowly according to the AAO, but can become a risk for cancer. Lastly, iris freckles can appear on the iris, just like freckles do on your skin. They are caused by exposure to the sun and are very common.

Other serious conditions that can change the color of the eye due to its link to the iris include iridocorneal endothelial syndrome (ICE), pigment dispersion syndrome, uveitis, and Horner’s Syndrome. These conditions can cause the eyes to change color for many different reasons, but their effect on the iris can lead to the biggest changes in color. Pigment dispersion syndrome, also know as pigment loss according to the AAO, is the loss of pigment from the back of the iris. It can lead to the eye changing color, but most of the time those who have this condition might not even feel or see symptoms right away. This syndrome is sometimes not found until a glaucoma diagnosis has been given. Glaucoma treatments can help treat this condition.

There are a few more reasons that could explain the cause behind your eyes changing colors that we want to discuss, but we are going to save them for our next blog! If you have any questions or concerns about the current state of your irises or see a drastic change in the color of your eyes, let us know. Until next time, we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

Your Child and Contacts: What Time Is The Right Time?

Making the transition from glasses to contacts can be a very exciting time for your child. But, is there a right time to do so? 

The topic of your child’s yearly eye checkups might not be the only optic topic of conversation in your household! Your pre-teen or teenager might be wanting to officially make the switch from glasses to contact lenses. As you schedule your next appointment with us, we wanted to share this blog with you. Think of it as food for thought, and something to discuss with your family as you start to plan for contacts. 

A recent study was done by the American Optometric Association (AOA) dedicated to this very topic. The study was focused on finding out what age groups were most likely to be fitted for their first set of contacts and for what reasons these decisions were made. The study focused on children between the ages of 8 and 17. Most optometrists reported that they usually start fitting a child for their first set of contacts between the ages of 10 and 12. Although, most of their patients who wear contacts are 18 years or older. Many of the optometrists in this study felt that the 10 to 12 year age group was a suitable age for a child to take on the responsibility of caring for their contacts. When children required eye correction at age 8 or younger, according to this study, 67% of these optometrists fit them for glasses. But, as the child gets older, the percentages of these same optometrists fitting their young patients for contacts start to overcome that of fitting them for glasses. By the time they are in the 15 to 17-year-old range, they are 66% more likely to fit them for contacts than glasses. To learn more about this study and the specifics, if you’re interested, follow the link below!

There are a lot of reasons why an optometrist would choose to fit a child for contacts over glasses that go beyond their age. It depends on the child’s habits and hygiene, their lifestyle, and their level of responsibility. It can be due to the child’s prescription and overall need, too. If a child has a strong want or motivation to wear contacts, that will be the first consideration. If a child wants to wear them, they are more likely to take up the responsibility to properly do so. Their maturity level will be reflected in this decision, too. Contacts are a much safer option for very active children who are involved with sports, dance, and fast-paced activities. Self-esteem, too, still plays a huge role in the reasoning behind a child’s want in wearing glasses, according to the AOA. Even with how popular glasses are right now in pop culture, children are still bothered by the stigma that wearing glasses can bring.

If you’re hesitant about your child wearing contacts, there are a few things that you might want to keep in mind. According to the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA), some contacts can slow down nearsightedness in your child’s eyes. The growth of the eye and how fast it grows can influence how quickly nearsightedness can appear. Contacts can regulate that speed and help slow the process down. According to the FDA, contacts can help improve your child’s quality of vision compared to wearing glasses. This can be an incredible boost in their overall self-esteem. Don’t worry, if your doctor doesn’t feel that your child is ready for this responsibility, they won’t fit them for contacts until they are. 

Here is some interesting food for thought. According to All About Vision, four million children under the age of 18 wear contacts in the US. A child’s eyes can tolerate contacts very well, some infants are even fitted for them. Infants will be fitted for contacts if they have eye conditions or congenital cataracts that are present when they’re born. Children are also less likely, according to All About Vision, to have or develop dry eye. Dry eyes can cause severe eye irritation when wearing contacts in adults. 

Children can be a perfect candidates for contacts, as long as they understand the responsibility that comes with them. If your child or teenager starts asking for contacts, don’t worry! We are here to help you through this transitionm and to anyswer any questions you have. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you do. We are always here for you and your family! 

Strange Myths About Your Eyes; Debunked!

Everyone has heard at least one strange superstition about eyes, but do these old wives’ tales have any truth to them? 

Just like any body part or strange cough or symptom that we come across, it’s so easy to jump down the rabbit hole of Google to diagnose what’s wrong. It’s even easier to do it now with your phones always right within your reach. Imagine what it was like to be concerned about something in a world without Google? Your parents and grandparents grew up like this and had to spend time doing their research, trying home remedies, and calling their doctors instead of looking up their answers on the internet. Imagine even still what it was like caring for yourself and your eyes before modern medicine and before the American Optometric Association came to be! Pretty scary right? Even as we’ve been comfortably sitting with modern medicine for some time now, there are still plenty of myths and superstitions concerning your eyes that we still hear very frequently. We thought it would be fun to discuss and debunk five of the most common myths about eyes that are very common to hear every day. 

  • Myth #1: You’ll Go Blind If You Sit Too Close To The TV!

How many of us were told while we were growing up that sitting too close to the TV will hurt our eyes? While it’s never a good idea to do one thing for too long, there is no actual evidence that this will cause permanent damage, according to FOR EYES and Vision Services Plan. This rumor has been around since television came into our lives and has become a household rumor ever since. Watching too much TV can cause your eyes strain, make them tired, and cause them to be very dry. If this does happen, close your eyes for a few seconds and let them rest. Or, take a break from watching the TV and turn it off for a while. 

  • Myth #2: If You Keep Crossing Your Eyes, They’ll Stay That Way!

Good news, this myth is very far from the truth. Your eye muscles are made to move in every direction and won’t get stuck there. Sure, you might get a headache if you do continuously cross your eyes, but that’s about it. We think this rumor got its start from an annoyed parent or sibling that was bothered one too many times. Crossed eyes that you don’t control are the sign of nerve damage, affected vision, and possibly blood vessel damage. If you are showing signs of crossed eyes, please call us right away. 

  • Myth #3: Carrots Will Give You Night Vision! 

Sorry Marvel and DC fans. Carrots are great for your eyes and a healthy diet, but they won’t give you the night vision you’ve always wanted. But, according to A Vogel, carrots do give your eyes a ton of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps your eyes convert light even when conditions aren’t great, and they protect your corneas. So we understand where this myth got its start. Some argue, though, that carrots aren’t even the biggest and most important superfood that you need to be eating for good vision. According to the AOA fish, spinach, tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, nuts, beans, and meats are the best for your vision. 

  • Myth #4: As Long As You Can See, You Don’t Need To Get Regular Vision Checkups! 

This myth drives us CRAZY. Even though you think you might have perfect vision, there could be several issues wrong with your eyes that only we can see and notice during an exam using the proper equipment. Like we’ve mentioned before, a lot of eye diseases can go years before appearing. By the time they do, they can be beyond treatment. Glaucoma is one of these issues. Other health issues can be discovered during eye exams like high blood pressure and diabetes that need to be addressed right away. An eye exam is much more than just checking if you need glasses or not. They are an important and necessary part of your overall health! 

  • Myth #5 If You Sneeze With Your Eyes Open, Your Eyes Will Pop Out! 

As terrifying and gross as this story was when we were growing up and loved to say around Halloween, it is NOT true. You close your eyes when you sneeze because it’s a natural reflex, according to the AOA. It actually might be difficult to sneeze if your eyes are open but, if this does happen, you won’t be facing any consequences. 
How many of these myths have you heard before? Did you still believe any of them until you read this blog? Let us know! We’d love to hear your feedback! We are always here to answer any questions you might have and to discuss your best options when it comes to your family’s vision needs. We will see you next time! 

The History of The American Optometric Association

Have you ever been curious about how the rules and regulations that all optometrists follow came to be? It started with the founding of The American Optometric Association! 

Our eyes have been one of the most incredible and delicate organs we’ve had since the dawning of time. The dedication, study, care, and science of our eyes doesn’t have as long a history, and modern medicine was born even later than that. Sure, the care of our eyes does date back to as long as we could care for ourselves or have someone else care for them. But, medieval and ancient practices are not ones we like to look back on, especially when it comes to our eyes. Thankfully, things all changed thanks to the American Industrial Revolution, which not only brought on the birth of modern medicine, it also brought on the birth of the American Optometric Association. 

  • Who They Are 

Founded in 1898, the American Optometric Association has been the “leading authority on quality care” for the care of human eyes since its very beginning. According to their website, the AOA represents over 40,000 doctors of optometry, students, and optometric professionals. Each of these individuals helps provide lifelong care for your eyes’ health. These professionals are responsible to examine, diagnose, and treat any disorder, disease, or injury that appears in the eye. 

  • The History 

 The AOA was founded in New York City, an association that finally represented those who cared for the eyes of American citizens and would help guarantee the quality of care they would now be receiving. To this day, the AOA strives to be an advocate for the quality of eye care and continues to research to improve eye care. When it first began, it was called the American Association of Opticians, with 183 members across 31 states and Canada. In 1910, the name changed to the American Optical Association, to finally reaching its current name of the American Optometric Association in 1919. In its first two years, the association was fairly open for those to join in the medical field. It wasn’t limited to just optometrists until 1900. Not only was it founded to provide the best care and research, but the foundation has also been an active force in raising the bar in the quality of life and in giving back to humanity itself. The AOA is the reason behind the vision tests we have at the DMV and the reason why a code of ethics exists in the industry. They continue to strive to be leaders in education, setting a professional standard, and beyond. They’ve kept this as part of their mantra since day one. 

  • The Impact

One of the biggest steps in giving back came in 2006 when the AOA created Optometry Cares, a nonprofit organization that would change the world of optometry forever. This foundation would change the face of providing care for those in need, too. It led to the founding of the Endowment and a Scholarship fund for future optometric students, InfanteSEE, which we are proudly a part of, and Vision USA. Today, the AOA’s headquarters is in St. Louis and has offices in Virginia. Along with setting a standard for care and research, the AOA fights politically on behalf of those in the profession of optometry and those within its care. It even has its own Journal, “Optometry – Journal of The American Optometric Association” that is now published on their website. 

  • Conclusion

Thanks to the AOA, our eyes will be cared for, protected, and continue to be looked after with new developments. This will be guaranteed all while the AOA continues to set a standard policy granted to everyone who receives care. If anything, the AOA’s mission statement is something that resonates for all of us: “Advocate for the profession and serve optometrists in meeting the eye care needs of the public”. We proudly follow in the AOA’s rich 122-year history and strive to offer the best care we can to our patients based on the principles the AOA has set. We hope this little insight into our history gives you an idea of what importance we put into our standards of care and service. We are always here to answer any questions you might have and to discuss your best options. We are always here to support you and your family! Until next time, we are here for all of your eye care needs!

The Truth About Vision Insurance

Before you decide to get rid of or not have vision insurance, make sure you know the truth about what you could be giving up! 

Insurance can be one of the biggest complications when it comes to taking care of your body. In the past ten years, we have seen a lot of changes in the insurance industry; how to get it, how to qualify, how much we’re paying for it, and if it is required by law or not. Through all of these changes, one very sad fact has remained the same: if you don’t have insurance, your medical expenses can be outlandish. For those who can’t afford or get proper insurance, it has lead to the decline of getting the proper health care they need. Have you also noticed that in the more affordable and very basic plans, vision insurance is often not even included? Along with dental and other specialized insurance, these parts of our bodies are often left with the burden of not receiving regular care. Without regular visits, treatable issues can go uncared for and turn into serious complications with no knowledge. Sadly, if they had been caught early on, no problems would have arisen. This is the truth for both adults and children. With that being said, please don’t let the lack of vision insurance stand in the way of proper eye care. There are plenty of resources for your whole family that can help provide the assistance that you need. We got to thinking about vision insurance, and that idea inspired this blog. We wanted to share some things that you should know about vision insurance before you make any assumptions about it! 

  • Annual eye exams are extremely important. You will hear us say that time and time again. Vision insurance policies can include an annual eye exam that might cost nothing or just a very small copay. 
  • Sometimes staying within your network of doctors can be challenging, but it could be a challenge worth fighting for. Glasses, contacts, and eye exams can be much more affordable when you stay in one insurance network. 
  • If an insurance policy sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Also, not every vision insurance policy covers the same thing as the next. Make sure to pick a policy that specifically covers your family’s needs. 
  • Your eye doctor did not negotiate your benefits, but they will provide you with the best vision care possible under your policy. 
  • Online purchases may or may not be covered online. They usually only cover in-person visits and procedures. 
  • Some vision plans can help with the cost of vision correction surgeries. 
  • Vision insurance can help provide and offer affordable long term eye and physical health care. 

Insurance can be a tricky thing to deal with, but that doesn’t mean it has to be. We are here to talk you through your options if you have any concerns or questions. Also, make sure to speak with your insurance provider and employer to see what vision insurance is available to you. Before you turn it down because you think you can’t afford it, remember how much more you’ll have to pay when an emergency or yearly visit comes up. Insurance can help you save money in the long run. We are always here to support you and your family! Until next time, we are here for all of your eye care needs!