Frequently Asked Questions about Westlake Hills Vision Center
When visiting a new doctor’s office, there are often things we’re anxious or curious about, or even features of an office that are deal-breakers.
We hope this page answers your most pressing questions, and if it doesn’t, shoot us a message!
We book our eye exams in 45 min appointment slots. This allows enough time to spend with patients and clean in between. The actual time in the office will vary. If you wear contacts the exam will take the ~45 minutes plus about 5 minutes for check in and about 5-10 minutes to check out. Picking out glasses in the optical usually takes about 30min. If you are unable to complete the online paperwork before the appointment please add an additional 15 minutes. If you choose to dilation vs. optomap to check the health of the back of the eye add an additional 45min-1hr onto the exam.
At Westlake Hills Vision Center, we check medical insurance because some insurance providers offer a routine eye checkup every year at a lower co-pay than with vision insurance. Checking also allows us be ready if you have a medical issues such as allergies, a stye, or other health conditions you would like addressed. It can take 30-45 minutes to verify benefits so doing this beforehand is ideal. Depending on the insurance we can often coordinate benefits with the vision plan so all a patient’s concerns can be addressed at the same visit.
Vision insurance only covers a routine eye exam. This means that a prescription is updated and there are no other issues that the patient would like addressed. For example, if a patient come in because they would like to address a known eye health issue and would like a letter written to another doctor, for example diabetes, this would fall under medical.
We only perform comprehensive eye health exams. We start with a detailed history through our pre-exam on-line paperwork. This lets us know what to take a closer look at when we get to the eye health portion of the exam. Many systemic medications can also have eye side effects.
We will always check your vision when you arrive, get a rough estimate of your prescription from our autorefractor, measure and document any glasses or contact lenses brought in, and check eye pressure.
Next you get to decide how you want to check the health of the back of the eye. We have 2 options: Dilation vs. Optomap. The optomap gives a panoramic view of the back of the eye and has no side effects but there is a $40 fee. Sometimes less with insurance. Another advantage is the picture can be compared year to year. This is Dr. Elizondo’s preferred method. If you choose dilation, it will happen later in the exam but also gives a view of the back of the eye. It involves 3 sets of drops that will cause the pupil to open and be fixed for 4-6 hours. It adds an additional 45min-1hr onto the exam as we do have to wait for the pupils to dilate and will see a patient in between. After the exam the patient will be blurry and have light sensitivity for roughly 4-6hrs.
Once in the room we review your medical history and go over your main reasons for coming in. Once everything has been entered into the chart the doctor will come in.
She check to make sure some basic neurological functions of your visual system are intact with what are called entry tests. Then we move on to checking the prescription if you chose to have it checked. At this point we’ll discuss your best lens options for giving you the vision you want.
Then we’ll check the front surface of the eye with the slit lamp. This gives a magnified 3D look at the front of the eye. If a patient wears contacts this is the point where we would discuss options and chose some trials to try on. We may also do a few additional tests to check the front surface of the eye.
Finally we’ll go over the optomap photos or put in drops to begin the dilation. If you took the photo the exam is over, we’ll discuss any final questions and then head up to optical to check out. If you chose dilation we’ll head up to the front to begin waiting for 45 minutes. After you are fully dilated we’ll return to the room and I’ll use bright light and a lens to take a look around the retina.
After the exam we can take care of any glasses or contact lens ordering needs.
Our mission is to provide easy, comprehensive, and educational eye care in an eco-conscious environment. We switched to on-line paperwork to save paper. We eliminated plastic bottles, and offer recycling for contact lenses.
We also focus on whole body health and overall education to improve eye health and meet your needs. Healthy vision for life is our motto and we believe to achieve this it’s important to think of the body as a whole, eyes included.
Many systemic diseases increase your risk for eye diseases or have adverse visual side effects. If we understand the relationship between the two we understand why whole body health is so important.
Even in our optical we choose to work with frame companies that have a philosophies that match ours such as Modo. They have a frame line that for every frame purchased they plant 2 trees and donate glasses to a child in need.
Zeiss, who manufactures the lenses for the frames, offers sunglass level UV protection in their clear lenses as the standard for no additional cost.
We offer cutting edge lens technology in high quality frames. We carry both well known designer brands and independent lines. And most importantly we a highly knowledgeable optician that can explain what the lenses are and what different options can do for you.
In our office we are constantly striving to change and improve in how we do things. We believe that good customer service should just be baseline expectation at your visit. We genuinely want to get to know all of our patients as people and grow with them and their families over the years.
There are a couple parts of the eye exam that everyone hates. Paperwork, the air puff, and the dilation. From the very opening of the practice we brought in technology to streamline the exam process while making it comfortable and convenient for our patients. Instead of the air puff eye pressure test, we use another much less invasive device. We also brought in a retinal camera known as the optomap so that for most of our patients we no longer have to dilate. We can get a good thorough look at the health of the back of your eyes without the torture of dilation.
Last but not least we made it so appointment can be booked on-line and all the paperwork can be done on-line before one gets to the appointment. We just need to set the passcode if you are an established patient. Passcode not working… TEXT us.
We also switched our phone system so you can now text our office. It’s a quick easy way to get your questions answered.
Myopia (nearsightedness) is a blurring of vision when you try to look far away. It is caused by either your cornea being too steep, your eye too long, or a combination of the two. Glasses, contacts, or refractive surgery easily correct for this condition.
Hyperopia (farsightedness): While one might think this is the exact opposite of myopia that isn’t exactly the case. It is caused by either the cornea being too flat or the eye too short. This causes the eye to constantly be in state of focus, constantly working, to keep objects at all distances clear. It mainly affects vision when trying to see up close, but hyperopia eventually affects your vision at all distances. Glasses, contacts, or refractive surgery easily correct for this condition.
Presbyopia is the inability of the eye to focus at near-distance. This frustrating and inevitable part of aging is caused by a thickening of the lens inside the eye and the fatigue of the muscles inside the eye responsible for focusing. While the onset is gradual, many patients swear they woke up on their 40th birthday unable to read their cell phones.