Eye Exams - Dilation vs. Eye Photos

1,349 Views | 17 Replies | Last: 14 days ago by Average Joe
mtec
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Is there anywhere in town that does just a standard eye exam? In previous years, they did not require me to get my eyes dilated. Last year was actually the first time I had ever had my eyes dilated in all my years of eye exams. My eye doctor is insisting that, with every eye exam, patients get their eyes dilated or pay $39 for a "photo of the eye" on some machine they have. Can anyone recommend an eye doctor where this is not required? TIA.
Esteban du Plantier
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AG
Crystal vision? They push this there.

Can you just deny either service?
motherrunnersBCS
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TSO on Wellborn offers the picture but you do not have to. I do it occasionally, following a problem. Otherwise, dilation. I wish they would give drops to undilate afterwards, but apparently that is not a thing any more. I very much like that office.

Also, Scott and White, but my insurance no longer covers going to them.
gettingitdone
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This last year was the first time I opted for the retinal photos. Every time in the past I would just have my eyes dilated. Insurance will not cover the photos but for me the $39 was worth it. I hate the amount of time it take for my pupils to get back to normal after being dilated.

I could be mistaken, but I think either option is the only way to ensure good retinal health.
Koko Chingo
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AG
Here is what I hate. They snap the picture during the initial pre-screen. Then you get to the exam room and do the complete exam. Finally the doctor brings up the pictures on the computer screen and says there is a fee to keep the photos or perform dilation for free.

The service was already performed. It is an up-sell. This is a good money maker for them with most of the proceeds getting split between the doctors.

Even though it is a straight up-sell and not really needed in most cases; i hate getting my eyes dilated so get get the cash for the whole family every year.
ratfacemcdougal
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I would pay 100 per eye if I had to to avoid dilation, fortunately it is not that much. I don't do well with drops. I don't do well with dilation. The reverse drops were having bad reactions with people a number of years ago, so they just don't do them any more. Now the only problem with the photo....I am super sensitive to bright lights, so it usually takes 2 or 3 pictures per eye to get a good one. I will take the dentist any day over the eye doctor.
JMac03
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AG
I haven't had my eyes dilated in years. I think the last time was at Scott and white. I've been going to Dr. Shini at Eye Trends for the last 5-6 years and he is fantastic. I was just there yesterday for my annual exam.

Yesterday they took the photos in the beginning and again during the exam. I didn't pay extra. (I have TAMU insurance though).
AggieBarstool
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To answer the OP: MyEyeDr (formerly TSO) does the retinal scan. They try to up-sell while you're in the consultation with the eye doctor, but they've never used high pressure tactics. That said, I always do it because I've had a couple questionable spots in past exams and $50 to take a look is a no-brainer for me.
MiMi
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S
I see an optometrist at BS&W and have always had a dilated exam. After seeing this post, I did a little online research to learn more about the imaging option. This link has some interesting information regarding the importance (or not) of yearly dilation and the pros and cons of imaging.

The Dilated Exam in the Age of Ultra-widefield Imaging
1.618
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I've had both and for about 3 years in a row, I went with the imaging. The doc was using the images from prior years to compare to current as there was an unusual area being watched. I assumed that we would keep up with the imaging but then one year it was suggested that I do the dilation in about year 4 since I had had the imaging done for several years. I was surprised at the suggestion but the eye doc seemed adamant in doing it the old fashioned way that year. So for the last 2 years, it has been dilation. I wonder if next year it will be suggested that I do the imaging again.
KidDoc
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AG
I get the retinal picture because it is less annoying for me personally than dilatation AND they can compare the photos year by year which they cannot do with noting the results of a dilated retinal exam. Directly comparing the pictures is MUCH more sensitive and specific.

I am a high myopic, around -4.5, now perfect for distance due to lasic back in 2004 or so but still high risk of retinal separation so I get this done yearly. At Crystal vision and now @ Precision eye they tell me up front it costs extra. Just this year my eye plan started to cover it anyway. Basically my orbit is more football shaped than round.

I left Crystal vision not due to a bad outcome but due to > 1 hour wait in the exam room without explanation. That is a pet peeve of mine leaving patients waiting with no explanation or apology.
No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See full Medical Disclaimer.
Slocum on a mobile
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AG
That's cute. I'm a -10.5 and -12. That's high. I go to the eye doctor and people run. I used to see Dr. Kuhl, but haven't had any floaters in the past few years. I go to the guy at the mall and he keeps me in contacts.

FWIW, the pictures don't work on me.
KidDoc
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AG
Slocum on a mobile said:

That's cute. I'm a -10.5 and -12. That's high. I go to the eye doctor and people run. I used to see Dr. Kuhl, but haven't had any floaters in the past few years. I go to the guy at the mall and he keeps me in contacts.

FWIW, the pictures don't work on me.
WOW I have never seen over -6 haha. That is impressive.

Imagine if you were born 300 years ago, you would just be blind. Crazy.
No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See full Medical Disclaimer.
Slocum on a mobile
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AG
I was an extreme preemie in the 70s. My glasses are coke bottle bottoms. First time I saw Kuhl, he asked if I played contact sports. Me: yep. Middle linebacker. Him: You need to go buy some lottery tickets.
ddpg
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Slocum on a mobile said:

That's cute. I'm a -10.5 and -12. That's high. I go to the eye doctor and people run. I used to see Dr. Kuhl, but haven't had any floaters in the past few years. I go to the guy at the mall and he keeps me in contacts.

FWIW, the pictures don't work on me.
That's nothing... my last glasses prescription before cataract surgery was -23.50 and -25.00.
Slocum on a mobile
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AG
How close did they get you with the new lenses? I had a retinal tear a few years back and had to have cataract surgery on one eye from the gas. They got me to -0.5 with a little less astigmatism. I won't let them do the other eye, because there's no problems with it, other than the myopia.
ddpg
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I had mine done in Houston at Baylor. They got one to -2.25 and the other to +0.25 with a little bit of astigmatism. Actually works out well since the -2.25 is perfect for reading. I did one eye first but had to have them do the other due to the vast imbalance between +0.25 and -25.00.

To answer the OP question... if it were me and I was at a very low risk, I'd still want dilation every three or four years. I've been told that the imaging is a good tool but not a complete replacement for the good old fashion dilated exam. Of course, if you are in a higher category then I'd want a dilated exam at least once a year. Best thing is to talk to your optometrist or ophthalmologist and go with their recommendation.
Average Joe
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AG
I got to Urban Optics and have never had them dialated. They do photos every time. I asked about it one of my first trips and the response I got was "we don't really do that anymore."

I have pretty good insurance, so it might just be covered. I have never paid for it, though.
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