Category Archives: Eyecare


Like Glass Slippers, Eyeglasses Need to Fit to Make the Magic Happen

If you want your eyeglasses to function, you need to have all sorts of technical measurements taken when they’re made.

Getting the proper fit in eyeglasses isn’t like trying on a pair of shoes until one feels good. Eyeglasses actually require a very precise and technical fitting to work properly and keep your vision crystal clear without headaches or strain. An improper fit is wasted money.

What’s the big deal? For your eyeglasses to accurately correct your vision, a specific point in the lens itself has to fit right over your pupil. “Otherwise, you end up with eye strain, fatigue and headaches rather than clear vision,” says Irwin Fingerman, OD, the optometrist at Dr. Optical in Pinson, Alabama.

Crucial measurements. “It’s not just an accurate prescription that makes for good eyeglasses, it’s the making and fitting of the lenses to the frames and to your eyes,” says Dr. Fingerman. That’s why you need to see a professional, like an optometrist, who can take accurate measurements, such as the distance between your pupils and how far the lens will rest from your pupil in the particular frames you choose.

Why an optometrist? Optometrists specialize in vision correction with lenses of all kinds, including contacts. They spend four years in post-graduate training studying the human eye. They learn to examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the entire visual system.

Want some extra punch in your lenses? Then consider an anti-reflective coating. They allow about 12% more light to reach your eye. “The greatest advantage to anti-reflective coatings is headlights at night don’t look so much like starbursts, and you can see your computer screen more clearly,” says Dr. Fingerman.

Try some color. Tinted eyeglass lenses can aid in all sorts of activities or help with light sensitivity. “If you’re light-sensitive, grey tinted lenses darken but don’t distort color,” explains Dr. Fingerman. “Yellow tints work well for hunters, because it allows them to differentiate the target from the surrounding area. I use a yellowish-brown tinted lens. If you put them on while driving, you can really differentiate the hues, and better see things, like if a grey squirrel runs onto the grey road.”

No matter what eyeglasses you choose, remember to have an eye professional do the fitting for you. “This is important,” says Dr. Fingerman. “Because of all your purchases, your eyeglasses are the one thing you use every single day.”

by Jane Ehrhardt

To read more about Dr. Irwin Fingerman, click here.
For more on Dr. Optical in Birmingham, click here.

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How to Pick Your LASIK Surgeon

How to Pick Your LASIK Surgeon

Deals on lawn mowers are good. But deals on surgical vision correction?

Pilots and astronauts who’ve had LASIK vision correction surgery now gain flight approval from the FAA and NASA. It’s that good. But it’s still eye surgery and not everyone holds the same abilities and credentials. So be smart when shopping for a surgeon to perform your LASIK surgery.

What is it? LASIK is a two-step procedure. First the surgeon cuts a flap in the eye and then sculpts the cornea to correct your eyesight.

Go for all lasers. Find a place that uses lasers for both steps. “Using the laser to cut that flap is a much more precise technology,” says Price Kloess, MD, a board-certified corneal specialist with Alabama Vision Center. “The need for future enhancements with all-laser LASIK surgery falls to 2% to 3% of cases. When a blade is used, that can be as high as 25%.”

Ask about add-on fees. The average LASIK surgery costs $2,300 per eye. If a place offers half off the price you’re finding at other clinics, beware. “Always ask what additional costs might occur,” warns Dr. Kloess. Cut-rate clinics add fees for things that really shouldn’t cost more, like the exams or if your lens prescription falls out of a certain range.

Go to a corneal specialist. “After their medical residency, corneal specialists spend at least one extra year training just on the cornea,” says Dr. Kloess who’s performed more than 15,000 LASIK surgeries. “So if you end up with something other than a great outcome, than a corneal specialist is the most equipped to take care of it.”

Guarantees. Ask if the clinic requires or offers a lifetime guarantee. “There’s no such thing as a guarantee,” warns Dr. Kloess who’s performed more than 15,000 LASIK surgeries. But only a small percent of LASIK patients need touch-ups in the future, and your corneal specialist typically charges a couple hundred dollars for that. So why buy a $500 guarantee with such a small chance of needing to use it if the procedure’s done by capable hands?

Buy local. “You only have one pair of eyes, so pick a place where the surgeon’s successfully performed LASIK on at least 2,000 patients and lives in town. It only makes sense,” says Dr. Kloess.

by Jane Ehrhardt

To read more about Dr. Price Kloess, click here.
For more on Alabama Vision Center in Birmingham, click here.

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