Eye Care Services
At North Florida EyeCare, our doctors and our entire optometry team are committed to providing advanced vision care in a professional and comfortable environment. As an optometrist in Lake City and Live Oak, our primary eye care service includes a complete eye exam that analyzes eye health and vision function. In addition to eye exams and vision testing, our doctors and our team of optometry professionals provide testing for glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Our optometrists also offers glasses, contact lenses, and pre- and post-operative care.
The North Florida EyeCare team take even routine eye exams very seriously. During a yearly or bi-yearly examination, our Lake City and Live Oak patients will receive a patient history review, a series of vision and eye tests, assessments of eye focusing and movement, and an eye health evaluation. Our optometrist will discuss any additional testing that may be required to diagnose an eye disease or condition.
Not sure that glasses are for you? Ask our Lake City and Live Oak staff about contact lenses. Advances in the field of optometry have produced a variety of different types of contact lenses with a range of benefits. Rigid gas-permeable (RGP), daily-wear soft, extended-wear, extended-wear disposable, and planned replacement are the various types of contact lens options available today. Our optometrists will discuss the various options with you to determine which type will best fit your needs and lifestyle. They are many advantages to consider when determining if contact lenses are right for you and our knowledgeable staff is here to answer any questions.
Laser assisted in situ keratomileusis, commonly referred to as LASIK, is a corrective alternative to glasses or contact lenses. Like glasses or contact lenses, LASIK is a method for treating refractive conditions including nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. At North Florida EyeCare, our doctors provide pre- and post-operative exams for LASIK and other eye procedures. Call (386) 752-1722 (Lake City) or (386) 362-5055 (Live Oak) today to schedule an examination to see whether you are a candidate for LASIK.
At North Florida EyeCare, we strive to provide comprehensive, primary eye care for the whole family. Preventative and routine eye exams are important to maintaining good eye health. Often, eye and vision problems do not have obvious symptoms or signs, but are easily diagnosed by a licensed optometrist. By diagnosing eye and vision conditions early on, our optometrist is able provide treatment options and in many cases restore or prevent vision loss. The American Optometric Association recommends yearly or bi-yearly eye and vision exams, depending on whether you are at-risk or not.
Eye Exam and Consultation
During an eye exam, Our doctors will ask you questions about any symptoms or issues you are experiencing, medications your are currently taking, any blurry vision, your work environment, and your overall health. Family history and previous eye or vision conditions will also be discussed during this part of the examination. Our doctors will consider this information when determining any treatments or recommendations.
Regular vision testing and evaluations ensure that you always have the clearest vision possible. Our Lake City and Live Oak optometrists provide regular vision acuity test as part of a comprehensive eye exam. Our doctors will measure how each eye is seeing by using a wall eye chart and a reading eye chart. The results of these tests are portrayed as a fraction, with 20/20 being the standard for normal distance and reading vision. Depending on the results of your vision test, Our optometrists may prescribe corrective glasses, contacts, or eye exercises.
Eye Function Testing
In addition to vision testing, an eye exam in our Lake City and Live Oak office includes testing eye functionality. Our optometrist performs several tests to evaluate depth perception, color vision, eye muscle capabilities, peripheral vision, and responsiveness to light. Several other simple tests are completed to determine whether the eyes are focusing, moving, and working together properly. The test results enable the doctors to diagnose any underlying conditions that may be impairing the eyes ability to focus or work together.
As part of a comprehensive eye exam, our optometrists examines the overall health of the eye through a visual examination and tonometry. Our doctors evaluate eye health by visually inspecting the eye and eyelids using magnification and a bright light. To examine the internal structures of the eye, we may dilate the pupils. Increased eye pressure may be an indicator of glaucoma, so we utilize tonometry to measure eye pressure. After completing these short tests, our doctors review the results and discusses any necessary treatment options with you. Contact us at (386) 752-1722 (Lake City) or 386-362-5055(Live Oak) today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.
At North Florida EyeCare, we strive to meet all of your eye and vision care needs. Corrective lens evaluations and prescription management are provided by our optometrist in Lake City and Live Oak. After a comprehensive eye and vision evaluation, our doctors will discuss the variety of contact lens options with you to select the type that best fits your vision needs and lifestyle. If you suffer from dry eye, allergies, or recurring eye infections, speak with our staff to determine whether contact lenses are right for you.
Prior to prescribing contact lenses, our doctors determine what level of vision correction you require. Refractive error (commonly known as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism depending on the error) is evaluated by measuring how the eyes focus when a series of different lenses are placed in front of them. An optometrist may use either a phoropter or an automated instrument to take these measurements. To schedule an appointment for a vision evaluation with our Lake City and Live Oak optometrists, call (386) 752-1722 (Lake City) or 386-362-5055(Live Oak) today.
After determining the level of refractive error, our doctor works with you to determine whether contact lenses or glasses are best for your lifestyle. If you suffer from certain conditions, such as dry eye or allergies, glasses may be the most comfortable corrective solution. Contact lenses are available in either soft or rigid gas permeable form. Contact lenses need to be changed daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, depending on what type of lens you select. Specialized contact lenses, such as bifocal contact lenses, are also available for patients with special eye conditions.
Advances in contact lens technology have created great options for cosmetic and prosthetic lenses. Custom contact lenses can be created to camouflage any color variation or irregularity and produce a natural eye color. Cosmetic lenses are also available to transform your eye color. Call us at (386) 752-1722 (Lake City) or 386-362-5055(Live Oak) and speak to our knowledgeable staff if you are interested in modifying or changing your eye color with contact lenses.
At North Florida EyeCare, we provide comprehensive care to meet the vision needs of our patients. As an optometrist, Our doctors offer pre- and post-operative care for patients undergoing LASIK eye surgery or other eye surgical procedures. Our goal is to help you attain the clearest vision possible using advanced technologies.
Evaluation and Referral
LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) surgery uses the latest advancements in technology to provide faster recovery times and precise results. LASIK surgery has been effective in treating myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and other eye conditions. At North Florida EyeCare, we provide evaluations and referrals for patients interested in LASIK surgery. Our doctors perform a complete review of your patient history as well as a full assessment of your eye health and vision. A current exam is important to determining if you are a candidate for LASIK surgery and if there are any other factors that may affect your results. The history review enables our optometrist to determine if your prescription is stable and you are healthy enough to consider surgery.
Once our doctors have performed the evaluation and determined whether you are a candidate for LASIK, you will be given a referral to the LASIK surgery center we have worked with on an ongoing basis. The center will perform advanced diagnostic testing and will evaluate your eligibility for surgery. Various surgery options will be discussed with you if you are determined to be a surgical candidate. We will be in correspondence with the center regarding your evaluation and surgical determination. If you are considering LASIK surgery, call us at (386) 752-1722 (Lake City) or 386-362-5055(Live Oak) to schedule a consultation.
Once your surgery is scheduled, we will schedule follow-up appointments for you in our Lake City or Live Oak office. Typically, you will begin these follow-ups the day after the surgery and continue at prearranged times over the following six months. After 1 year, a full exam is recommended to determine the long-term results of your procedure. Our doctors are experienced in working with patients pre- and post-operation and will answer any questions that you have along the way. If you have questions about LASIK surgery, call (386) 752-1722 (Lake City) or 386-362-5055(Live Oak) to speak with our knowledgeable staff or email us.
Advantages of LASIK
If you have worn glasses or contact lenses for a long time, you may have wondered if LASIK surgery is a good choice for you. While not everyone is a candidate for LASIK, it does have some great advantages. People who play sports, have allergies, or who are looking for simplicity will all benefit from LASIK. To learn more about LASIK and your vision, call North Florida EyeCare today at (386) 752-1722 (Lake City) or 386-362-5055(Live Oak).
Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every person suffering with vision problems. Some eye conditions make wearing contacts a difficult proposition. However, it does not rule out wearing contact lenses altogether. It just means patients need to discuss options with their eye care provider and obtain specialized hard to fit contacts for their specific vision problems.
Reasons for Hard to Fit Contacts
Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses in general can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:
- Dry eyes
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
Astigmatism: Astigmatism develops when the front of the eye curves into a bulge or oval shape. It causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular contacts cannot account for the bulging.
Dry Eyes: When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is stuck in your eye.
GPC: This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse.
Keratoconus: This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. The bulge forms into a cone shape.
Presbyopia: Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 40 or older.
Solutions for Hard to Fit Contacts
Wearing contacts is not impossible if you suffer from one of the above conditions. You do need to meet with an eye care professional, however, and get prescribed contact lenses that are tailored to deal with your specific vision condition.
Gas permeable lenses are a good solution for patients who suffer from GPC or Keratoconus. A GP lens will limit protein deposits from accumulating which will reduce GPC symptoms. It is also effective in containing corneal bulging and relieving pressure on the tissue for a Keratoconus sufferer.
Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align with the bulge it is correcting, toric lenses must not rotate in order to fit on the eye. They are typically custom made to correct a specific astigmatism. For that reason, this type of lens takes longer to make and costs more than a traditional contact lens.
Bifocal and multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. This type of lenses can have one fitted for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects.
Medicated eye drops can be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more bearable, although a punctual occlusion also must be done to plug the ducts in some extreme cases. GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops. They flush out protein deposits and reduce inflammation.
Many vision problems do not require surgery for correction. In these situations, vision therapy is typically an option. Vision therapy is a form of physical therapy used on the eyes and brain. It is designed to resolve vision problems that can contribute to learning disabilities. This therapy can also be used an effective treatment for problems like lazy eye, crossed eyes, or double vision.
Common Questions about Vision Therapy
There is more to vision therapy than simply strengthening the eyes. It also enhances the neurological connections between the eyes and the brain. Eyes are the windows of the brain. It directly influences sight based on how it interprets images received. A healthy connection between the eyes and the brain is essential for good eyesight.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the nature of vision therapy:
How does vision therapy work?
It uses progressive vision exercises performed under the supervision of your eye care provider. Each set of exercises is tailored to meet the individual visual needs of a patient. These exercises are done 1-2 times per week in sessions lasting 30 minutes to a full hour. The exercises are designed to continue until visual processing problems show improvement.
What is the purpose of the vision exercises?
Vision exercises are designed to help patients improve basic visual skills that connect the eyes with the brain. These exercises can improve visual efficiency by changing how a patient interprets images. This helps them see and understand images correctly.
Do these exercises simply strengthen eye muscles?
Nothing about vision therapy is centered on strengthening eye muscles. These muscles can be strengthened through orthoptics if they need strengthening. This therapy is all about improving vision problems that may interfere with learning by strengthening the neurological pathways between the eyes and the brain.
What is the first step in a vision therapy program?
A comprehensive vision exam is necessary before starting therapy. Following the exam, your eye care provider can determine whether or not this type of therapy is the recommended treatment for your vision problems.
Is there scientific evidence that it really works?
It does work. Studies on vision therapy show it is effective in improving the lives of patients. Data shows that this therapy can improve visual function enough to keep it from interfering with a patient’s ability to absorb information and learn. In its own sphere, this therapy is as effective as physical therapy or occupational therapy..
Who typically needs vision therapy?
It can be a useful tool for helping children and adults alike. Children with learning or reading problems can benefit from the vision boost these exercises provide. Eyeglasses are not the solution when the problem is visual processing. These problems can’t be detected without tests done by an eye doctor. Adults can see vision improvement through this therapy as well. It can help curb eye-strain related vision processing problems brought on by working with computers all day.
Many patients with vision problems heartily embrace the idea of enjoying vision correction without having to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. Not all of these patients, however, are good candidates for PRK or Lasik surgery, the two standard surgeries used to alter the way the cornea of the eye refracts light. If that describes you, don’t fret — because here at North Florida EyeCare, we offer an advanced corneal reshaping technique known as orthokeratology, or Ortho-K. This non-surgical technique can produce changes to the way your cornea refracts light.
To understand the benefits of Ortho-K, let us first consider how the cornea works. The cornea is a transparent, spherical bulge that sits over the lens of your eye. In addition to protecting the inner parts of the eye, the cornea also performs some lens-like tasks of its own. The shape of cornea causes incoming light rays to be refracted, or bent, in such a way that the lens can focus them into a clear, sharp image before they pass on to the retina and optic nerve. Ultimately, the optic nerve transmits the image to your brain.
Deformations in the shape of the cornea cause refraction to go wrong in various ways, producing the fuzzy images characteristic of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Glasses and contact lens are curved to “pre-refract” incoming light to compensate for your personal degree of corneal deformation. Laser surgery actually corrects the shape of cornea itself, eliminating most of all of the visual errors that might otherwise call for corrective lenses.
Corneal Reshaping While You Sleep
While you might leap at the thought of permanently correcting vision problems, laser surgery isn’t always the best eye care option. For instance, if you suffer from thin corneas, untreated cataracts, diabetes, certain autoimmune diseases, or a corneal disease called keratoconus, you should avoid laser eye surgery.
Some of our patients simply don’t like the idea of any kind of surgery, or they want a reversible procedure. Orthokeratology may be an ideal choice for these individuals. Our Doctors will map the shape of your corneas precisely and then fabricate special contact lenses. Unlike standard contacts, you’ll wear these lenses at night. The lenses perform a subtle corneal reshaping as you sleep, meaning that you can take them out the next morning and enjoy perfect or near-perfect vision.
Ortho-K can help you see clearly for one or two days at a time, or possibly even longer. By wearing them regularly at night, you can maintain your clarity of vision for as long as you decide to continue using them. If you decide to use another form of vision correction, simply stop wearing the Ortho-K lenses and your corneas will assume their previous shape once again. Talk to our knowledgeable staff to see whether Ortho-K makes sense for you.
Squinting at computer, tablet, or mobile screens for hours at a time is a normal part of our lives in the 21st century. Unfortunately, eye problems associated with this activity are also on the rise. Even if you have never had eye problems before, you may have noticed computer vision syndrome symptoms after two or more hours of screen time.
- Blurry vision
- Eye strain and discomfort
- Dry, scratchy eyes
- Neck and/or shoulder pain
Even if your symptoms are mild, they can worsen and cause other vision problems if not addressed. Our optometrists can help.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Computer Vision Syndrome
The severity and length of computer vision syndrome symptoms depends on how long you stare at the computer, your posture, lighting, glare, the angle of the monitor, and whether or not you have other diagnosed or undiagnosed vision problems. If you already suffer from astigmatism, farsightedness, presbyopia, aging eyes, and/or diabetic eye problems, your computer vision symptoms may worsen. This can even be the case if you already have prescription contacts or glasses. Many regular eyeglasses and contact lenses are not designed to deflect the problems caused by computer screens.
Our doctors will take your symptoms, pre-existing conditions, and potential undiagnosed conditions into account as he performs the following eye tests:
- Visual acuity—Measures the quality of your current vision.
- Refraction—Tests the potential lens prescriptions that would optimize your vision.
- Focus and Eye Coordination—Tests how well your eyes work together and how quickly and accurately your eyes are able to focus on objects and varying distances.
From these measurements, our doctors can design a treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms. For people with otherwise normal eyes and vision, a set of specially-designed glasses used during the time you are working on the computer can be very helpful. For patients already wearing contacts or glasses, new, more computer-friendly prescriptions are available. In addition to these treatment options, there are many things we can suggest to cut down on computer eye strain problems:
- Computer setup—Adjust your monitor so that it is about 15-20 degrees lower than your eye level when seated between 20-28 inches away from the screen. Reference materials can be placed on a document holder between the monitor and keyboard, or to the side, but positioned for as little head movement as possible. Also invest in an anti-glare screen for your monitor to help reduce glare from surrounding lights. Be sure to sit and work with proper posture.
- Adjust Lighting—If you can, reposition any lighting (or your computer) to minimize glare and use natural lighting whenever possible.
- Eye Rest and Blinking Breaks—Every 20 minutes during your work, look away toward a distant point for 20 seconds to refocus your eyes, and give them a 15-minute break after each 2-hour computer session. Also remember to blink more frequently to keep your eyes moist.
With a combination of the proper optometry care and self-care, you can minimize computer eye syndrome and other modern-day vision problems. Contact us for an appointment today.
Sports vision testing helps athletes determine how well their eyes perform. These tests go beyond standard eye tests that only evaluate the ability to see letters and objects clearly on a standard eye chart. Sports vision testing takes eyesight evaluation one step further, which is vital to overall athletic training as well as specifically enhancing visual function.
While sports vision testing can vary greatly depending on an athlete’s specific needs, in general, sports vision testing can be beneficial for assessing athletic abilities associated with hand-eye coordination, eye tracking, and depth perception. If you are a local athlete looking to improve your performance, our optometrists can help.
Sports Vision Training Enhances Athletic Performance
Our Lake City and Live Oak optometrists offer several different vision tests for assessing athletic performance and capabilities. The first test is the classic Snellen Eye Chart. Patients are asked to read lettering on a standard eye chart that is placed 20 feet away. You must identify the letters along the lines of increasingly smaller sizes until the letters can no longer be identified. Usually the 20/20 line is the fourth from the bottom; if you can correctly read this line, you have 20/20 vision. If you can read the smallest line, then you have 20/15 vision. This basic eye test is very important for identifying an athlete’s visual acuity.
While correcting visual acuity can seem like an obvious step, some athletes are unaware that they suffer from an undetected refractive error. Refractive errors are any number of different size and shape abnormalities that affect the eye’s ability to focus light on the retina, affecting vision. Depending on your athletic goals, you may wish to undergo a vision correction procedure like LASIK, which could eliminate the need for glasses and contacts.
Contrast sensitivity is also important for athletic performance. During a contrast sensitivity test, you will be asked to identify the orientation of parallel gray stripes against backgrounds of various colors. The backgrounds gradually begin to match the shades of the stripes. Low contrast sensitivity, especially in low-light conditions, will make it more difficult to track objects. A variety of solutions can be effective for addressing contrast sensitivity concerns. These solutions include wearing eyeglasses with a special lens tint to increase visibility, depending on your vision needs.
Ocular alignment tests, like the Hirschberg test, evaluate how well both eyes work together. Alignment problems are detected by analyzing specific points on the cornea where reflections occur. Our doctors also recommend eye dominance tests. Dominance is determined by focusing on an object as it moves closer; when one eye diverges or loses focus, this means that the other eye is dominant. If one eye loses focus too soon, you may be suffering from binocularity, a condition where both eyes struggle to work together to manage depth perception and visual coordination.
Athletic performance is not only enhanced in the gym; it also requires excellent visual processing speed and hand-eye coordination. Contact our local optometrist to learn more about the benefits of sports vision training and to schedule your sports vision test today.
Many people are cheered by a bright, sunny day, but the effect of all that sunlight on the eyes is a less sunny proposition. UV and glare can create a variety of issues, from dangerous “snowblindness” to irreversible disorders that threaten your eyesight. Here are some frequently asked questions about the role of sunglasses in protecting the eyes from harm. If you want to know more about choosing the right sunglasses, call our doctors at (386) 752-1722 (Lake City) or 386-362-5055(Live Oak) today.
What are UV rays? UV stands for ultraviolet, a band of spectrum invisible to the eye. Ultraviolet light consists of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. UVC rays are stopped in Earth’s atmosphere before they reach the eye, but UVA and UVB can both reach the eye and potentially damage it.
How does UV affect unprotected eyes? UV rays can cause proteins inside the lens to become opaque or cloudy, a condition known as cataracts. Cataracts can make interfere with night vision, reduce your ability to see colors, and make reading difficult; they cannot be reversed, only removed. UV exposure can also cause retinal damage, changes in the eye tissues, and a temporary but irritating “sunburn” of the cornea called photokeratitis.
How do I know my glasses will protect my eyes? Choose glasses that claim to block at least 99 percent of UV rays — UVA as well as UVB. Look for label reading “UV 400,” since this designation means that the glasses block UV rays as small as 400 nanometers, providing 100 percent eye protection. Of course you need to protect your eyes from the glare caused by the visible spectrum as well. To accomplish this, select products that block 75 to 90 percent of visible light.
What are polarized lenses? Polarized lenses are specially designed to filter out certain types of glare that tend to radiate upward from horizontal surfaces when sunlight bounces off of these surfaces. They are recommended for tasks such as boating, fishing, skiing, golfing, jogging, and driving. Most polarized lenses will bear a label identifying them as such.
What types of glasses can I choose from? We are able to provide you with a wide range of sunglass options. If you normally wear glasses to correct your eyesight, you may be happy with a non-prescription pair of clip-ons or wraparound glasses that simply fit over your lenses. If you’d rather not wear that much equipment on your head all at once, you can order a pair of prescription “shades,” or you can order glasses that darken when exposed to bright light.
What additional types of protection should I consider? If you worry about light, including harmful UV, leaking in through sides or top of your sunglasses, wear a broad-brimmed hat to reduce some of this exposure. If you use prescription eyewear to correct your eyesight, you may also want to think about getting a pair of UV-blocking contact lenses in your prescription. These lenses may be worn alongside a non-prescription pair of sunglasses for optimum eye protection.
For more information on choosing the right sunglasses, contact our office today.