INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR EYE EXAM
Appointments may be arranged during the hours of 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. After hours emergencies are routed to the physician on call. When you call our office for an appointment, briefly tell the receptionist about your eye problem so that the proper amount of time can be allotted for your appointment. Also, please tell the receptionist if you will require any special help for your visit. Please plan to spend about 60-90 minutes with us during your visit, possibly longer if diagnostic studies or treatment are needed. Typically, your first visit will take at least two hours and will consist of a complete eye examination. Because your eyes will be dilated, it is necessary for someone to drive you home after your appointment.
Please be sure to bring:
- All insurance information
- An insurance referral
- Picture ID (eg: driver’s license)
- A list of all medications you are taking
- Names and addresses of any other physicians you are presently seeing
- Any prescription eyewear
- Any eye drops you are currently taking
- Sunglasses to wear home after your visit
The determination of what is wrong with your eye and what is the appropriate treatment is based mostly on your history. Try to notice as much as you can about your vision problem so you can tell the doctor. Below are some guidelines that will help with the visit.
- Duration: How long has the vision been abnormal? If vision loss is intermittent, how long do episodes last and how frequently do they occur?
- Location: Which eye(s) is abnormal? Where is the vision abnormal, the center, side vision, all over?
- Situation: When is the vision abnormal? All the time? In the light or in the dark? Morning? Evening?
- Type of Loss: Is the vision dark, wavy, blurry, hazy, out of focus?
- Recent: Fevers, rashes, joint pain, diarrhea, headache, focal neurological problems.
- Ongoing: Diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, rheumatic problem.
We carefully examine BOTH eyes. Even if only one eye is bothering you, we need to look at both eyes, since often the second eye can hold important clues about your eye disease. We look at the retina through a microscope, a headset and sometimes with a contact lens. We usually make a careful drawing of the retina during the initial visit.
To see the retina we need to dilate your pupil. When we look at the retina, the macula, retinal vessels, optic nerve, and retinal periphery, we use a light and special lens system. Without pupillary dilation, your pupil constricts in response to the the light and blocks our view of your retina. The dilation usually lasts four hours (occasionally longer) and can make your eyes light sensitive and blurred. Bring sunglasses. If you don’t have them, we have plastic sunglasses for you. Plan to bring a DRIVER with you for your appointment, as it may not be safe for you to drive home.
We want you to get all of the benefits you are eligible for from your health insurance coverage. We work with all major insurance companies including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Please be sure to bring your insurance cards and referral forms for your first visit. If you are a member of an HMO, you must have an authorization number and/or your physician referral with you. Otherwise, your examination could be cancelled or delayed. Also, expect to pay your co-payment and any deductible amounts at the time of your appointment.
Most plans also require preauthorization before any type of surgical procedure. If you are uncertain about your coverage, please call your plan’s customer service representative. If you need assistance, we would be glad to help you.
Because we also file all private insurance forms for the convenience of our patients, it is important that you bring your insurance cards with you at every visit so that we have accurate information about your coverage. Medicaid patients need to bring their current card along on each visit as well.
We require 24 hour notice for all cancelled appointments or you may be subject to a cancellation fee of $25. If you are ill, we prefer that you reschedule your appointment so our other patients and staff are not exposed. We will be glad to reschedule your appointment on a priority basis as soon as you are feeling well.
Due to the length of your visit, limited waiting room space, and the fact that delicate procedures/surgeries are being performed in the office, we ask that you bring only your driver with you to your appointment. Please do not bring children or other people to your appointment.
Retina Centers has 3 offices located in southern Arizona. All of our offices are on public transportation routes, are located on the first floor, and are handicap accessible.
Northwest office: Off Oracle, one block north of Orange Grove, on Suntran bus route #16. The address is 6585 N Oracle Rd, 85718.
East office: Located in the El Dorado Medical Plaza, east Wilmot between Speedway Blvd and Pima St. The address is 1500 N Wilmot Rd, A110, 85704
Green Valley: Off 1-19 go east on Continental Road exit 63 to S La Canada Drive. The address is 1151 S. La Canada, 85614 in the Continental Professional Plaza.