Comprehensive Eye Examinations
We perform thorough comprehensive eye examinations on every patient we encounter. We will cooperatively address every symptom that is bothersome to you as well as investigate your risk for developing other sight-threatening conditions that may or may not present with obvious symptoms, such as:
- Macular degeneration
- Retinal detachments or retinal disease
- Ocular manifestations of systemic disease
- Dry eye
- Corneal degeneration or disease
- Contact lens complications
- Refractive error or blurred vision
- Computer eye fatigue
Cataracts, or clouding of our natural lens, are inevitable. As we age, the lens fibers harden and become less flexible. This also leads to a gradual progression of lens discoloration. Initially there are no symptoms but eventually your best vision even with glasses becomes decreased to the point of causing limitation on normal visual activities such as night driving. Glare, halos, and blurred vision will start to decrease quality of life activities until surgical correction is warranted. Our doctors will guide you through this decision and help you determine when is the right time for you to consider starting the process of surgical intervention.
The appropriate time to have surgery is different for everyone and depends on the grade of the cataract, the effect on your vision, and the severity of your symptoms. When the time is right, we will discuss with you what to expect, the short-term limitations after surgery, and the lens implant that is right for your lifestyle. Our cataract specialist, Dr. Nathan Hesemann, will meet with you before the surgery and confirm your choices. All of your post-operative visits will be done with your regular CECO eye doctor in one of our offices. And your visual clarity will be restored! Cataract surgery is only needed once in each eye in your lifetime and the doctors of Columbia Eye Consultants Optometry will be with you the whole way.
Contact Lens Fittings and Examinations
The doctors of Columbia Eye Consultants Optometry have experience fitting contacts all the way back to the time the first contact lenses were approved on the market. Whether you have been wearing contacts for decades or wanting to try them for the first time, we will discuss with you the latest developments in lens technology and give recommendations for lenses that will fit your active lifestyle and visual demands. As with any medical device, complications can arise. We will give you frequent consultation on how to avoid these potentially serious complications and appropriately treat problems that may occur.
Depending on your needs, we may recommend different modalities of contact lenses including:
- Daily disposable contact lenses
- Bi-weekly or monthly disposable contact lenses
- Astigmatism contact lenses
- Multifocal or bifocal contact lenses
- Rigid gas permeable contact lenses
- Monovision contact lenses
- Cosmetic or prosthetic
Specialty Contact Lens Fittings
Some of our patients have corneal conditions that may not be adequately corrected with standard contacts to achieve satisfactory vision. These conditions may include:
- History of trauma or scarring
- Congenital malformations of the anterior eye
- History of corneal transplant surgery
- Very high prescriptions
- Pediatric contact lenses
The doctors and staff of Columbia Eye Consultants Optometry have extensive experience fitting all different types of specialty contact lenses. Each one of these cases needs to be treated as a unique presentation with the contact lens solution tailored to the individual’s visual and lifestyle needs.
Diabetic Eye Examinations
The dramatically increasing prevalence of diabetes is our country is one of the most serious problems facing our health care system and the well being of our patients. Diabetic eye disease is a common complication of long-standing or poorly controlled blood sugar levels. Because the back of the eye (retina) has many blood vessels in a small area, it is especially susceptible to diabetic damage. When this damage occurs in the retina it is called diabetic retinopathy. Our doctors have extensive experience in examining eyes where this may occur. We work with your primary doctor or endocrinologist to help you keep your eyes safeguarded from this growing epidemic. We will counsel you on ways to avoid problems and when these problems are discovered during our examinations, we will discuss with you the severity of your condition along with recommended treatment options.
Pediatric Vision Examinations
Many parents are surprised to find that we can routinely evaluate their child’s vision as early as 6 months of age. In fact, the American Optometric Association recommends your child’s first eye exam occur at 6 months of age. Our doctors are trained to perform a complete eye exam that requires little or no input from the patient. During your child’s examination, his or her eye alignment, prescription, and ocular health will be evaluated. Most exams will include eye dilation, which allows the doctor to get the most accurate results on a potential glasses prescription as well as to better visualize the internal health of the eyes.
Low Vision Consultation
In some cases, eye conditions such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, among others, may cause a significant impact on a patient’s ability to see well. In most of these cases, standard glasses prescriptions do not have an adequate effect on visual task efficiency improvement. Our doctors will provide assistance in determining the best way for you to obtain the visual aids necessary to improve vision doing the tasks you need to perform on a daily basis. Prescription strength magnifiers, telescopes and electronic devices are available for this purpose. In many cases, we can demonstrate these aids in our office at your examination. Impaired vision can have a drastic impact on your or a loved one’s quality of life. We will ensure that all avenues are investigated to pursue optimization of remaining visual acuity and offer suggestions for lifestyle adjustments that attempt to minimize the negative impact of the condition affecting vision and maximize independence.
Dry Eye Clinic
Dry eye and its accompanying symptoms are one of the most common chronic problems our patients frequently confront. Unfortunately, the prevalence of the condition increases dramatically with age. Often the condition presents in long term contact lens wearers who can no longer wear their lenses as long and frequently as they previously did. Other times, the symptoms occur in non-contact lens wearers who have trouble maintaining comfortable vision at the computer, in work situations, or normal daily activities. In mild cases, a change of contact lens design or supplementation with artificial tear lubrication drops is sufficient to return to normalcy. More often, additional measures must be prescribed.
At Columbia Eye Consultants Optometry, we have advanced technological equipment to diagnose, quantify, demonstrate the causative mechanism behind the condition and offer proven treatment options. These treatments may include:
- Lubrication eye drops
- Prescription eye drops
- In-office procedures
- Autologous serum eye drops
- Lifestyle changes
- Omega 3 supplementation
- Punctal occlusion
- At-home eyelid gland therapies
Refractive Surgery Co-Management
A very large proportion of the general population is interested in, or at least curious about, refractive eye surgery. Depending on your eyes, you may or may not be a good candidate for these procedures. Some procedures may be a better fit for you than others. At Columbia Eye Consultants Optometry, we will discuss with you whether your eyes appear to be good candidates for one or more of the available refractive technologies or not. If so, we will perform a full, in-depth refractive surgery evaluation to confirm that there are no issues that may decrease your likelihood of a successful procedure. After the evaluation, we will recommend the procedure that best fits your needs and expectations. As your primary eye care provider, we will be there with you to guide you through the pre-operative and post-operative process, answer any questions that arise, and help resolve any problems that may rarely occur.
Vision therapy (VT) is the process of recommending, demonstrating, and monitoring the progress of prescribed eye exercises that strengthen and improve the efficiency of your eyes. Vision therapy may be useful to an adult with eye fatigue, among other symptoms. But VT is most commonly used with our younger patients. Parents or teachers will often notice a young student struggling to keep up in school or process their visual tasks. VT can be useful in improving the focusing issues that are often the underlying issue preventing these students from exceling in school. Other conditions that respond well to Vision Therapy are convergence or divergence problems, eye turns (strabismus), “lazy eye” (amblyopia), eye fatigue, computer eyestrain, visual perception deficiencies, and others. If you think that you or your child may benefit from visual therapy, call our office and we will set up an evaluation with one of our doctors specializing in Vision Therapy.
Retina Specialty Services
Some of our patients will occasionally require specialty evaluation and treatment performed by a retina specialist. This is the case with urgent conditions such as retina tears and detachments or more chronic cases, such as wet macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. To care for these patients, our office offers a retina referral clinic on a regular basis. These appointments are scheduled at our Columbia Keene Street office. Your optometrist will discuss with you if there is a need for you to see a retina specialist, schedule your appointment, cover what to expect, and provide any post-treatment follow-up care, if needed. In many cases, your evaluations, treatments, and follow-ups can be completed all in our office.
24-Hour Emergency Care
We treat a wide variety of acute and chronic eye conditions. Sometimes these conditions require attention outside of normal working hours. Our doctors are always available to treat problems that require urgent treatment, whether its morning, day, or night. Call our main office phone number at (573) 874-2030 and you will be immediately connected to our on-call eye doctor.