We accept Medicare and most major insurance plans. Some insurance carriers require a referral from your primary care physician. The majority of our services are covered, and it's easy to determine if your specific treatment is eligible. First, contact us for the applicable medical code(s) that apply. Then, call the number listed on the back of your insurance card to see if you qualify. If necessary, we can help you complete the appropriate insurance forms. If you are self-paying or co-paying, Betz Ophthalmology Associates accepts most major credit cards.
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Vision Disorders

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Nearsighted individuals typically have problems seeing well at a distance and are forced to wear glasses or contact lenses. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant images appear blurred. There are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness.

 

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Farsighted individuals typically develop problems reading up close before the age of 40. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye and may have a flatter cornea. Thus, the light of distant objects focuses behind the retina unless the natural lens can compensate fully. Near objects require even greater focusing power to be seen clearly and therefore, blur more easily. LASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange and Contact lenses are a few of the options available to correct farsightedness.

 

Astigmatism

Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses.

 

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a condition that typically becomes noticeable for most people around age 45. In children and young adults, the lens inside the eye can easily focus on distant and near objects. With age, the lens loses its ability to focus adequately.

Although presbyopia is not completely understood, it is thought that the lens and its supporting structures lose the ability to make the lens longer during close vision effort. To compensate, affected individuals usually find that holding reading material further away makes the image clearer. Ultimately, aids such as reading glasses are typically needed by the mid-forties. Besides glasses, presbyopia can be dealt with in a number of ways. Options include: monovision and multifocal contact lenses, monovision laser vision correction, and new presbyopia correcting implant lenses.

 

Strabismus

Strabismus (also called cross eye or lazy eye) is a disorder that caused by a lack of coordination between the eyes. Each eye looks in a different direction and does not focus simultaneously.

Childhood strabismus is much more likely to occur if one or both parents are affected. However, many cases occur without any family history of the disorder. About three percent of children are born with the condition or develop it in their early years. In children, when the two eyes fail to focus on the same image, the brain may learn to ignore the input from one eye. If this is allowed to continue untreated, the eye that the brain ignores will never see well. This loss of vision is called amblyopia.

Adult strabismus can be caused by injuries to the eye or brain, and strokes. Diabetes is also a risk factor, as are other diseases causing limited vision loss. Loss of vision in one eye from any cause will usually cause that eye to gradually turn outward (exotropia).

In addition to the uncomfortable symptoms (lack of vision in one eye, double vision, lack of depth perception, and more) which may cause problems at work and everyday activities, people with strabismus may suffer from self-esteem problems due to their appearance.

The treatment selected depends on the patient's age and specific conditions. Eye patches, prisms and eye muscle exercises can all be effective for some patients if the condition is treated early. Surgery is the best option in other cases. The procedure involves detaching one of the six muscles attached to the eye, then reattaching it to a new position. Depending on which direction the eye is misaligned, the muscles are attached in a strengthened or weakened position. In some cases, surgery on both eyes is required for best results.

Generally, once a patient develops manifest strabismus (significantly crooked eyes), there is no treatment that will perfectly straighten the eyes... the goal is to realign them as close to normal as possible. In some cases, especially with younger patients, follow up surgery is needed, sometimes many years after the initial procedure. A general anesthetic is required for children, while a local anesthetic is an option for adults. Recovery time is rapid and the patients usually resume their normal activities within a few days.

 

Dry Eyes

Dry eye syndrome is characterized by a number of symptoms, most commonly a burning or scratching sensation, or a feeling that there is a foreign substance in the eye. Dry eyes, which occurs most often with older adults, usually affects both eyes.

The syndrome is caused by a chronic lack of moisture and lubrication in the eyes. Tears are essential for healthy eyes. They bathe the eyes, washing out dust and debris and protecting against infection.

Insufficient lubrication can be caused by many factors. Excessive wind, sun, or dust can be contributing factors, as can autoimmune diseases and certain medical conditions such as diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Long-term contact lens use can exacerbate dry eyes, as can medications such as antihistamines, and diuretics.

Some people (especially those with a thyroid condition) develop “wide open eyes,” or one wide open eye and another that opens normally. Eyelids may not close completely or become diseased. Sometimes a deficiency of the tear-producing glands occurs, and a lack of omega three oils is thought to be a contributing factor.

Great strides have been made in treating dry eyes in recent years. Artificial tears (lubricating eye drops), which in many cases help alleviate mild symptoms, are now more effective and long lasting. Fatty oil dietary supplements, such as flax or fish oils, may also provide relief.

Depending on your specific condition, surgery may be the most effective treatment. For example, eyelids can be lowered when patients suffer from “wide eyes,” or they can be raised to enhance the clearance of tears. The tear ducts can also be artificially plugged to conserve the available tears. In many cases, surgery for dry eyes can also provide improved aesthetics to the patient.