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As the year end approaches, it may be time for you to enroll in insurance benefits for your family’s medical, dental, and vision coverage for the upcoming year. We’d like you to know that we still participate in most major vision and medical plans and would be happy to continue to take care of your family whether you decide to continue your current plan or choose another that we participate in.

We would also like to bring to your attention a new option available at our practice that may be appealing to you instead of vision insurance- and that is our membership plan. The membership plans were constructed because of some major limitations we were finding with vision plans. Specifically, we feel the copays for lenses and lens add-ons are too high. As such, in order to get lenses of good quality, many of our patients still spend hundreds of dollars at check out for a pair of glasses even with insurance.

Other major limitations of vision plans are that they sometimes only cover an exam every 24 months, which leaves many patients lacking proper care. Also, vision plans usually do not cover both glasses and contact lenses in the same year, forcing a contact lens wearer to sometimes pay for one of these entirely out-of-pocket. Additionally, vision plans typically do not cover an OCT wellness scan, which is a 3D imaging procedure which helps to detect glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases. We feel it is important to include the latest technology as part of an eye exam for everyone, however without insurance coverage it has been cost-prohibitive for many.

In some cases when our patients do not have vision plans, we are able to bill comprehensive eye exams to medical insurance, but this also can be troublesome as we commonly encounter high deductibles and frequent denials.

For your consideration, please see details of the “Maltavista Membership Plan” and the

Maltavista Membership Plan + Contacts.”

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Did you know that you have a blind spot? I'll prove it to you.

Close your left eye and look at the plus sign above. Then slowly move slowly towards and away from your screen. At some point, when you are about 12 inches away (depending on the size of your screen that you're using), the black dot disappears. Your literally can't see a very small section of vision! Your brain just "fills in" the space with its surroundings- which in this case is the white background.

The blind spot is there because inside your eyeball, where the optic nerve sits, there are no photoreceptor cells (ie, rods and cones).

The retina is everywhere you see the orange color inside the eye in the photo above. The retina is neuro-sensory which means its part of the nervous system.

The optic nerve is where all of the neuro-sensory information from the retina gets collected and passed to the brain. The optic nerve begins in the back of the eye where you see the yellow circle.

The retina exists just about everywhere in the back of the eye, except for where the optic nerve is. So anytime an image gets focused on the back of the eye, that small piece of the picture that lands on your optic nerve is lost. Luckily, when we have both eyes open, the blind spot doesn't matter. Because what one eye DOESN'T see, the other eye DOES see! Our brain puts the images from both eyes together!

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Updated: Sep 4, 2019

If you've ever purchased glasses online, you probably noticed that in addition to the numbers used for the glasses prescription, you need to enter one additional number. That extra number is called your Pupillary Distance, or PD, and it's a measure of exactly how far apart your eyes are, down to the half-millimeter. Typically when glasses are ordered by an optician, the measurement is taken very accurately with a pupillometer.

So if you are trying to save money by skipping the optician and buying glasses online yourself, what is the best way to obtain this measurement? You could use a ruler and a mirror or try to get a friend to help you- but we don't recommend it. Because if the measurement is off, even by a little bit, it can cause blurry vision, eyestrain, and headaches.

Chances are your PD exists on file already at your optometrists office. So, why not just call and ask for it? Sometimes, its not that easy. Many offices prefer not to give out the PD, or charge a fee for it. Because they know if you need the PD it means you are going to the internet for your purchase. Seems obvious to you that they withhold a PD to force you to buy from them! How rude! Well, let me present their point of view in a slightly different light.

Imagine you need to buy a nice suit. You head over to a specialty shop and try on a few things and get measured with a tape measure by a person who has plenty of expertise. But after hearing the price, you have second thoughts and go decide to compare prices. You check out prices of suits online and the prices are great. So you call the shop and ask for your inseam, waist measurement, etc. and happily place the order online. Pretty savvy right? Some would argue, that's not savvy- that's stealing. Because this person who took your measurements pays for rent, inventory, and employees to be able to provide this buying experience for you. If customers continue to come in and get these services without purchasing, how is this business supposed to stay afloat? By charging a fee for the measurements? By refusing to give them away, while risking spoiling their reputation? There is no good answer. Optometrist and opticians face the same predicament when a patient asks for the PD. After all, they paid a highly trained employee and used an expensive piece of equipment to take that measurement, with the hopes of making a sale.

Personally, I feel differently. I ALWAYS give out PDs because I never want to give the impression that the only reason I am prescribing glasses is to sell them. My prescriptions are genuinely what will work best for you whether you buy them from me or don't buy them from me. I am a doctor first, and a salesperson second. By design, my collection of frames is good quality products, and for that reason they may be out of price range for some. I never want my patients to feel shame if they need to make the financial decision to buy glasses elsewhere. I never want my patients to feel awkward about asking my staff for a copy of the prescription or the PD, so we give it to you before you even ask. After all, it is your medical records, and technically, that belongs to you. Sure, I might be losing a little bit of time and money by taking everyone's PDs and giving them away. But that is a small courtesy I am happy to do because I love helping out my patients.

PS. I do feel the need to warn you that sometimes getting glasses online is not a safe option, especially for kids. By law, glasses in the United States prescribed to anyone 18 and under have to pass safety standards for being impact resistant. Sometimes when glasses are ordered online, they come from countries where those safety standards don't exist- so they could be more prone to shattering. More on this topic another time.

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