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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Optometrist Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Mt. Tam Optometric Center (2015)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an optometrist that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified optometrist. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated optician and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Marin County – Optometrist CATEGORY

Dr. Lassa Frank is a 30-year veteran of the eye care industry and owner of Mt. Tam Optometric Center, a Diamond Certified practice since 2013. He can be reached at (415) 843-1986 or by email.

Dr. Lassa Frank

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Dr. Lassa Frank: Helping the World to See

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN ANSELMO — Long before he was a veteran of the eye care field, a young Lassa Frank didn’t know the meaning of the word “optometrist” until he met with one following a sports-related injury. “While playing on the UCLA water polo team, I was poked in the eye during a scrimmage and ended up in the exam room at the campus eye institute,” he remembers. “A male doctor walked in and told me he was an optometrist. I asked him what an optometrist did and he proceeded to explain it to me. A couple months later, we crossed paths again when I got poked in the eye a second time. It turned out he was one of the head optometrists at the institute. He ultimately got me a job at the institute and later helped me get into the optometry program at UC Berkeley.”

After graduating from Berkeley’s optometric program in 1986, Dr. Frank began practicing alongside a veteran optometrist in Mill Valley. Not long after, he purchased his colleague’s satellite practice in San Rafael. Today, as owner of Mt. Tam Optometric Center, Dr. Frank expresses his passion for a career that all started with a minor eye injury. “I’ve always believed that if you have to work, you’d better enjoy what you do,” he says. “Before getting involved with optometry, I’d always made a living doing things I enjoyed, whether it was as a raft guide, kayak instructor or bartender. Optometry is just a continuation of that, and today I’m one of the few people who can truly say they love what they do.”

As a resident of San Anselmo (where he lives with his wife, Kristel, and their son, Toren), Dr. Frank says while he enjoys many attributes about his locale, there’s one in particular he favors. “I love my three-block commute,” he laughs. “For many years, I lived in Point Richmond and dealt with the hassles of driving across the bridge to get to work, so I really like being closer to my practice, as well as being situated amongst the community I serve.”

Outside of work, Dr. Frank enjoys a variety of pastimes, from being a spectator at his son’s sports events to pursuing his own activities. “My son is very involved in hockey and plays for a local team, so during the season our lives sort of revolve around that,” he says. “We do enjoy Telemark skiing when we get the chance, and during the summer we love to go windsurfing at the delta.”

In addition to his seeing patients at his office, Dr. Frank devotes time to practicing his profession in a charitable capacity. “I’ve been involved in charity work since I was in college, when I led a team of volunteer students on a trip to the Dominican Republic,” he explains. “Some years back, a couple of colleagues and I started Help the World to See, an organization designed to make it easier for eye doctors to do volunteer work. It wasn’t long before we became the largest processor of used eyeglasses in the western United States. We’ve since joined forces with the Lions, the largest collector of used eyeglasses in the western United States, which has enabled us to significantly increase our impact.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Dr. Frank says he would put more time and effort into charity work. “It’s said that optometrists never retire, they just work less days,” he laughs. “So, in that vein, I would probably spend more time doing eye care abroad, helping those in need while seeing more of the world.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could immediately master a musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: The guitar.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Café Lotus in Fairfax.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The future. I’m a pretty optimistic person, and I think some pretty amazing things are going to be accomplished going forward.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
A: Bacon.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Relax by the fire and read a good book.

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How to Remove a Stuck Contact Lens

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SAN ANSELMO — Eye care professionals often receive calls from patients who are unable to remove contact lenses that are stuck in their eyes. By following a simple series of steps, you can deal with this problem yourself. Given the… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Contact Lens Tips

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SAN ANSELMO — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you experience difficulty removing your contact lens, there's a simple solution that can help. Today, we’re in San… Read more

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

INDUSTRY INFORMATION - Marin County – Optometrist
  • Coach

  • Dior

  • Fendi

  • Maui Jim

  • Oakley

  • Ray-Ban

  • Adidas

  • Christian Dior

  • Flexon

  • Gucci

Optometrists who are members of optometry associations may show a greater commitment to their trade than others, because being a member of an optometric association often requires additional dedication.

The following associations below may also have additional information about choosing among optometry clinics near you and recent advances in optometry and eye care.

American Optometric Association  (AOA) (www.aoa.org)
National Optometric Association (NOA) (www.nationaloptometricassociation.com)
American Optometric Society (AOS) (www.optometricsociety.org)
California Optometric Association (COA) (www.coavision.org)
American Academy of Optometry (AAO) (www.aaopt.org)
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) (www.opted.org)
Opticians Association of America (OAA) (www.oaa.org)

Know What You Want
Discover What You Want from Your Marin County Optometrist

Most optometrists in Marin County offer a similar range of eye exams, vision care, diagnostics and treatments. There are differences, however, in the way each optometry office operates and the care you can expect to receive.

So before you visit any optometrists in Marin County, whether in Fairfax, Tiburon, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Mill Valley and Larkspur or another area, ask yourself the following questions so you’re sure to find the best local optometrist for your needs.

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified optometrist that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  2. Do I need Marin County optometrist that is skilled in treating glaucoma, farsightedness, nearsightedness, dry eye, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or another eye condition I have? Or do I simply need an optometrist to provide annual vision checkups and eyeglasses or contact lenses?
  3. Do I have a particular brand of contact lenses, eye glasses or prescription sunglasses that I want my Marin County optometrist to carry (such as Lucky brand, Dolce and Gabbana, Candies eyes, Oakley, Bausch and Lomb, Ray-Ban, Vogue, Coach, Burberry, Converse, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Prada, etc?)
  4. Do I want an optometrist office near me in Novato, Mill Valley, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Larkspur and Corte Madera or another local area? Or am I willing to drive a longer distance to see my eye doctor?
  5. Are there specific vision care services I want from Marin County optometrists? (For example, walk-in appointments, emergency care, preoperative or postoperative care, glaucoma treatment, treatment for macular degeneration, diabetes eye care, special vision therapies, etc.)
  6. What personal and professional traits do I expect from my optometrist and his/her office staff? (This might include kindness, empathy, longer appointment times so you don’t feel rushed, a commitment to continuing education, thorough eye examinations, honesty and trustworthiness.)
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What To Ask In Person
What to Ask Marin Eye Doctors in Person

It’s a smart idea to schedule an eye exam with optometrists you like before you see them for more in-depth vision treatments. This may confirm that they can meet your needs and give you peace of mind that the optometrist you’ve chosen is the right one for you before you begin a longer working relationship with them.

You may also want to take a friend or family member with you when you visit your Marin County optometrist. This person can help you take notes about advice and information your optometrist gives you, and they can remind you about questions you want to ask and answers to questions your eye doctor asks you.

In any case, you’ll want to have a written list of questions handy so you’re sure to have all of your questions answered when you meet with Marin County optometrists in person, whether you’re living in San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross and Belvedere, Almonte, Muir Woods, Santa Venetia, Tamalpais Valley, Nicasio, Kentfield, Lagunitas and Black Point or another city. Take notes or ask if you can record the conversation so you’ll have access to the information you gleaned during your eye exam.

The following sample questions will get you started:

  1. What kind of tests are involved in a routine eye exam?
  2. What kind of tests do you recommend for my particular age or possible eye problems?
  3. What do you expect to find out from these tests and when will I know the results?
  4. What is the cause of my vision loss or vision problems?
  5. If I am nearsighted or farsighted, can my vision problems be easily corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses?
  6. Do I need prescription lenses, or can I use reading glasses instead?
  7.  Are there treatments for my eye condition or vision problems?
  8. If so, what do you recommend?
  9. When should I begin treatment and how long will it last?
  10. Are there any side effects related to the eye treatments you recommend? If so, what are they?
  11. Are there any new symptoms I should watch for?
  12. Will you send my eye exam test results to my primary care physician?
  13. What can I do to preserve or care for my vision and my eyes?
  14. Can I schedule my next eye exam for a year from now, or do you want to see me sooner than that?
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  • What To Ask References
    Interview References Who Have Visited Your Marin County Optometrist

    All Diamond Certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a optometrist in Marin County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company.

    Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified optometrist within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your optometrist. While eye doctors have to abide by the same patient privacy laws as other medical doctors, some local optometrists in Marin County, including those in San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Mill Valley and Larkspur and other areas, may be willing to give you a list of patients who have agreed to serve as references.

    Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by optometrists are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. Optometrist clinics will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied and who have given the Marin County eye doctors permission to share their patient information.

    This means that you should use these reference calls as a chance to refine the information that you already know about the optometrists you’re considering visiting, all the while knowing that the information you’re receiving is most likely biased in favor of the eye doctors.

    Questions you may want to ask Marin County optometry clinic references include the following:

    1. Were you satisfied with the eye care you received from Dr. (Marin County optometrist’s name)?
    2. If you didn’t know what was causing your eye pain or vision problems, was the eye doctor able to accurately and quickly diagnose the cause of the problem?
    3. What eye health or vision tests did this optometrist perform or recommend?
    4. Are you able to book appointments for eye exams and vision care visits in a reasonable time frame? Or do you have to wait a long time before being able to see the eye doctor?
    5. Have you ever had to visit this Marin County optometrist for an eye care emergency? If yes, how satisfied were you with the care and treatment you received?
    6. Were you happy with the billing arrangements used by this Marin County optometry clinic?
    7. Did the office staff help you understand your vision care invoices? Did they assist you in billing your vision insurance company?
    8. Did the Marin County optometrist you visited explain the recommended treatment options to you? Did he or she let you ask questions and carefully answer your concerns?
    9. Was the optometry clinic clean and tidy?
    10. Would you return to this optometrist?
    11. Have you recommended or would you recommend friends or family members to this Marin County optometrist for eye care and vision testing and treatments?
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  • Review Your Options
    Only Trust Your Eyes to Good Optometrists in Marin County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Now that you’ve talked to Marin County optometrists in Ross, Belvedere, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito and Fairfax and your area and considered your eye care needs, you should have a good idea which local optometry clinic can best suit your vision needs.

    Ask yourself these final questions to review.

    1. Can an optometrist in Marin County, including those in Fairfax, Tiburon, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Mill Valley and Larkspur or another area, meet your needs for eye exams, convenient hours and scheduling, insurance coverage, friendly staff, convenient optometry clinic location, and knowledgeable optometry services?
    2. Do you trust that this local eye doctor has your best interests at heart when it comes to identifying eye problems, vision irregularities and eye diseases, and treating you appropriately?
    3. Does the optometrist’s office communicate clearly with you regarding you eye exams, vision treatments and other needs?
    4. Do you feel this Marin County optometrist was as dedicated to preserving and caring for your vision for life as you are?
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  • How To Work With
    Protect Your Eyes Between Visits to Your Marin County Optometrist

    Your optometrist can help keep you seeing more clearly by making sure you have glasses or contact lenses that meet your vision needs, and they can verify that your eyes are healthy.

    But it’s your job to keep your eyes healthy in between annual eye checkups. The tips below will help you protect your eyes in between visits with optometrists in San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross and Belvedere and other Marin County cities.

    • Wear sunglasses and hats when you’re outside to protect your eyes from UV light, which can cause eye injury, eye cancers and contribute to glaucoma and other eye disorders.
    • Don’t smoke. The chemicals in cigarettes damage blood vessels, including the tiny vessels behind your eyes. This can contribute to eye diseases, cancers, and age-related issues such as macular degeneration.
    • Wear goggles or protective glasses when working with machinery, tools, chemicals or debris that could injure your eyes.
    • Wear your glasses or contact lenses as directed by your eye care professional. Wearing contacts for too many hours, not changing or rinsing your contacts, or wearing glasses for activities other than what they are prescribed for can damage your eyes and your vision.
    • Take frequent eye breaks when working on your computer or doing close-work such as reading or crafts. Give your eyes a break from focusing on close objects by looking away for several seconds every few minutes.
    • Take care to blink often when you are working on your computer, reading or looking at a smart phone. Eyes lubricate themselves every time you blink, but individuals automatically blink less when focused on computers and other close objects.
    • Schedule an annual eye exam with your optometrist to check your prescription and rule out any eye diseases or problems. Most eye diseases are asymptomatic, so you may not experience vision changes or problems even if you have eye trouble.
    • Visit your eye doctor any time you have an eye injury or experience vision changes. Annual eye exams are good for preventative care, but you shouldn’t wait to see your optometrist if you are worried about vision changes, eye pain, or other potential eye problems.

    Make Your Marin County Optometrist’s Job Easier
    Optometrists in Marin County and across the country have to complete years of schooling and keep up on continuing education in order to serve patients in Novato, Mill Valley, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Larkspur and Corte Madera and beyond. So they should easily be able to test, diagnose, and treat vision problems and eye issues.

    As a patient, benefit by bringing your best self to each optometry appointment, whether it’s your annual eye exam, eyeglasses fitting, contact lens fitting, glaucoma testing, preoperative or postoperative visit, or eye treatment.

    Some tips for getting the best care from your Marin County optometrist include these:

    • Be on time or a few minutes early for each appointment. Don’t keep your optometrist waiting.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask your eye doctor any and all questions you have about your eyes, your vision and your eye health. Optometrists are doctors, and they are there to answer your questions and help you maintain and improve your eyesight.
    • Ask for clarification if there’s anything you don’t understand during your optometry appointment. You deserve to completely comprehend what your doctor is telling you, whether it’s regarding your eye health, your vision, or treatment suggestions.
    • Be sure you understand how to wear and use your glasses, contact lenses or any vision correction devices prescribed by your Marin County optometrist. Your optometry clinic should have a staff member dedicated to showing you how to use and get the best from your eyeglasses, contacts, readers, bifocals, prescription sunglasses or other items.
    • Bring a friend or family member with you if you find it helpful to have another person to take notes or help you remember what your Marin County eye doctor said.
    •      Call your eye doctor any time you feel that your condition is worsening or not getting better as         expected, or if you have any questions about your eyes, vision or treatment. Your optometrist is there to treat you and care for your vision, so don’t hesitate to call them with questions or for advice
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  • Be a Good Customer
    Ways You Can Be a Good Optometry Clinic Patient

    Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good patient when visiting Marin County optometrists in San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross and Belvedere or near you.

    • Be clear and honest with the optometrist and his or her staff. Let them know what you want from your eye checkup, what you hope to learn from your vision tests, the long-term outcome you’re expecting from your new glasses or contact lenses, and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations while you’re in the office.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way in creating and maintaining a positive patient-doctor relationship.
    • Be clear about your expectations and those of your optometrist to avoid most conflicts and misunderstandings. Having realistic expectations and goals and understanding your doctor’s expectations can help you communicate better.
    • Ask your optometrist if you should call to check on test results or if they will call you with updates.
    • Ask how often you should come back for checkups. Annual eye exams are enough for many patients, but those undergoing treatment or getting fitted for eyeglasses or contact lenses may need to schedule interim appointments.
    • Make sure your Marin County optometry clinic has accurate contact information for you. Your optometrist may need to reschedule an appointment or reach you regarding diagnostic tests or changes in your eye care treatments. Having your correct phone number on file will ensure that you get the follow-up information you expect and deserve.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the optometrist on schedule.
    • Return calls right away when your Marin County optometrist office contacts you. Keep all scheduled appointments or give at least 24 hours notice if you are unable to keep your appointment to avoid cancellation charges and allow other patients to take your place.
    • Pay for each optometrist visit, including any co-pays, invoices, service charges or vision correction device fees when promised.

    Why would you want to be a good patient? Optometrists in Marin County, including those throughout Ross, Belvedere, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito and Fairfax and beyond appreciate patients who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good patient behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship that benefits you, your health and your optometrist.

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Check The Work
Make Sure the Marin County Optometrists Bill Fairly for Services Rendered

If your Marin County optometry clinic bills your insurance company, you may never see an invoice for services rendered, or you may only be asked to pay a copay. In other instances, you may receive an invoice for optometry services rendered.

If you receive an invoice for your eye care, it should include the following items:

  • The optometry clinic’s name, the name of the optometrist you’ve seen, the clinic’s physical address and state license number.
  • A list of all tests and examinations performed and billed for.
  • An itemized list of all items purchased; including eyeglasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution, visual aids, prescription sunglasses, and other eye care products.
  • The total cost for the optometrist services, including the itemized amount charged for the doctor’s time.
  • A written explanation of any warranties or guarantees provided by the product manufacturers and the optometrist contractors.
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Written Warranties
Check for Written Warranties on Eyeglasses, Contact Lenses and Other Eye Care Products

New glasses, contact lenses and prescription sunglasses can be an investment in your eye health. But some brands and items can be expensive, and you have a right to expect your new eyeglasses, sunglasses or other eye products to last.

Some Marin County optometrists in San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Mill Valley and Larkspur and other areas offer guarantees or warranties on the eyecare products, vision aids, eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses, contact lenses and other products they sell in their offices.

If you are purchasing new vision aids or products from your Marin County optometrist, verify that they come with appropriate warranties to protect your investment.

The following items should be included in any written guarantee document:

  1. The Marin County optometrist’s name, physical address and license number.
  2. A description of exactly what the warranty covers, and whether the optometry clinic or manufacturer will repair or replace faulty products.
  3. Any exclusions to the guarantee must be explicitly stated.
  4. Your responsibility in the case of a problem with your new optometry products and what you need to do in order to redeem the warranty.
  5. How long the warranty is valid, and whether it expires on a specific day or is prorated (meaning, the warranty coverage and amount owed for repair or replacement diminishes over time).
  6. Any actions on your part that may invalidate the warranty (such as physical damage to your eyeglasses, not keeping your prescription sunglasses in a protective case, mishandling your hard contact lenses, etc.).
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Top 10 Requests
Most Common Reasons Patients Visit Marin County Optometrists

Good optometrists in Marin County and beyond, including those in Fairfax, Tiburon, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Mill Valley and Larkspur, Terra Linda, Stinson Beach, Strawberry Point, Lucas Valley, Marinwood, Greenbrae, Marshall and Point Reyes Station and other areas, tailor their services and treatments to the needs of their patients.

However, most optometry clinics offer a similar set of eye care examinations and services, including those listed below.

Dry Eye Treatment at Marin County Optometry Offices
Dry eye is when the eyes don’t have sufficient tears to lubricate the eye. Dry eye may feel like gritty eyes, a foreign body is in the eyes, a burning sensation, and may erode conjunctiva and the cornea surface. Local optometrists may treat dry eye with eye drops, other medications, or changes in lifestyle.

Eye Fatigue Assessment
Eye fatigue results from overuse of the eyes, prolonged computer use, weak vision and eyes with low vision problems. Marin County optometrists can test to discover the reasons why eye fatigue occurs and can prescribe treatments or exercises to keep patients more comfortable.

Treating Farsightedness
Farsightedness occurs when patients can clearly see objects that are far away but objects that are close appear blurry or unfocused. Optometrists usually treat farsightedness by prescribing glasses or contact lenses.

Eye Examinations
Eye exams and vision tests include annual eye exams, vision tests to determine visual acuity, vision problems, eye problems and even eye diseases and illnesses.

New Eyeglasses
New eyeglasses from Marin County optometrists include new eyeglasses frames and new lenses. Many local optometrists sell inexpensive glasses frames along with designer frames from Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Converse, Versace, Oakley, Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch and more.

Contact Lens Fitting
Whether or not you’ve work contact lenses before, it’s wise to have a professional contact lens fitting whenever you start wearing a new style or getting a new prescription. Most Marin County optometrists are skilled in and have staff that are skilled in helping patients comfortably fit their new contacts, care for their contact lenses and protect their eyes while wearing contacts.

Glaucoma Testing
Glaucoma testing is a simple, painless procedure that most local optometrists perform glaucoma testing as a routine part of annual vision tests. Glaucoma is a series of eye diseases that all include increased inner eye pressure. Glaucoma can cause damage to the optic nerve and retinal nerve fibers, and is a common cause of preventable vision loss. Glaucoma is usually treated by prescription drugs or surgery, and catching the disease early can ease treatment and healing.

Astigmatism Treatment
Eye astigmatism occurs when eye cornea (the lens inside the eye) is misshapen, causing uneven light refraction in the eye. This prevents the eye from seeing a sharp image. Astigmatism may be minor or more serious, and the more misshapen the cornea, the more treatment is required. Some individuals with astigmatism rely on glasses to correct their vision problems while others rely on contact lenses specially fitted to their unique eyes.

Nearsightedness Treatment
Patients who can see objects that are close or near to them clearly but have trouble seeing clearly object that are far away are referred to as “nearsighted”. Nearsightedness is correctable with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Pediatric Eye Examinations in Marin County 
Children can have an eye exam around the age of six months, and all children should have an annual eye exam starting at age three. Pediatric optometrists in Marin County can examine and treat children of all ages, including prescribing corrective lenses and eye treatments.

 

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Optometry Terms and Eye Care Definitions

You deserve to completely understand the diagnosis and treatment options given to you by your optometrist. The terms and definitions below will help you understand some of the more common eye problems, eye diseases and treatment options available to you. As always, talk with your optometrist about your specific vision problems, eye care needs and treatments.

after-cataract
The remainder or remnants of a cataract that has been removed, or a new opaque layer that forms after the removal of an extra capsular cataract from the eyes.

Also known as: secondary cataract, after cataract

amblyopia
Also known as lazy eye, amblyopia is when one or both eye has decreased vision and often does not track in concert with the other eye. There is no detectable damage to the eye or eye pathways, and the lazy eye is usually not correctable by contacts or glasses. Amblyopia may sometimes be treated in childhood by wearing an eye patch over the “good” eye to correct the eye with decreased vision.

Also known as: lazy eye

aqueous humor
The aqueous humor is the watery, clear fluid that fills the eye between the cornea and the vitreous humor. The aqueous humor washes over the eye lens to keep the corneal, iris and lens hydrated and maintain the pressure within the eye.

Also known as: humor, eye aqueous humor

asthenopia
Discomfort of the eye that occurs with eye use. Asthenopia may present as eyestrain, headache or general minor pain in, around or near the eyes. Asthenopia may be caused or exacerbated by poor eyesight or refractive problems.

Also known as: eye pain, headache caused by vision

astigmatism
Astigmatism occurs when eye cornea or the lens inside the eye is misshapen, causing light refraction to be uneven in the eye. This prevents a sharp image from focusing on the retina. Minor astigmatism may not cause problems or be noticeable. However, major astigmatism problems may cause blurred vision and headaches, among other eye problems.

bifocals
Eye glasses or contact lenses that have two different prescription powers in each lens. Bifocal lenses allow for correction of vision both near and far in one lens.

Also known as: bifocal contacts, bifocal glasses, bifocal lenses

blepharitis
Inflammation of the eyelids and/or eyelashes that causes red, itchy, irritated eyelids. The formation of scaly skin that resembles dandruff is also common.

Also known as: red eye, itchy eyes

cataracts
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque. This cataract forms on the retina and may require surgical removal to prevent vision loss. Cataracts may be caused by age, disease, trauma or congenital conditions.

Also known as: eye cataracts, cataract removal

cataract removal
Cataract removal is the removal of the cloudy or opaque lens of the eye. Extra capsular cataract removal leaves the rear lens intact, while intracapsular cataract extraction completely removes the lens.

Also known as: cataract extraction, extra capsular cataract removal, intracapsular cataract removal

chalazion
A lump that forms in the eyelid due to blockage and swelling of the oil glands. Chalazions are slowly growing and sometimes dissolve on their own. Severe inflammation or cases that don’t resolve on their own may need to be removed surgically.

Also known as: internal hordeolum, hordeolum, eye sty, stye

color blindness
Individuals who are color blind have a reduced ability to see and determine differences between colors. Red and green are most often confused. Color blindness is usually a hereditary condition and may possibly be corrected by specialty glasses or contact lenses.

Also known as: color vision deficiency

computer vision syndrome
A range of eye problems and vision-related issues that occur with prolonged computer use. Individuals who spend their working hours behind a computer screen may experience headaches, vision changes, eyestrain and other symptoms related to their computer use.

Also known as: computer eyes, headache after computer use, computer-related eye strain

conjunctivitis
Inflammation of the conjunctiva, the transparent mucous membrane covering the surface of the eyeball and inner eyelids. Conjunctivitis usually presents as eye discharge, gritty-feeling eyes, redness and swelling of the eyes. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria or allergic reaction, and may be contagious.

Also known as: pink eye

cornea
The cornea is the transparent part of the eyeball that covers the pupil, iris and anterior eye chamber. It provides most of the eye’s vision power.

Also known as: eye cornea, corneal layer

corneal abrasion
Any cut, scratch or abrasion on the eye cornea.

Also known as: eye scratch, eye abrasion, eye cut

crossed eyes
When the eyes don’t look in the same direction at the same time, especially if they both focus inward toward the nose. One eye may deviate inward toward the nose while the other focuses normally, or both eyes may look inward.

Also known as: estropia

diabetic retinopathy
Individuals with diabetes may experience progressive damage to their eyes, particularly the retina, which is the light-sensitive lining on the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy may present as early stage background retinopathy and may advance to proliferative retinopathy, where new blood vessels and fibrous tissue grow abnormally and create vision problems.

Also known as: diabetes retinopathy, diabetic eye problems, background retinopathy, proliferative retinopathy

dry eye
When the eyes don’t have sufficient tears to lubricate the eye, a condition known as dry eye occurs. Dry eye may feel like gritty eyes, a foreign body is in the eyes, a burning sensation, and may erode conjunctiva and the cornea surface. Dry eye may be treated by eye drops, other medications, or changes in lifestyle.

Also known as: dry eyes, computer eye syndrome, dry eye syndrome

farsightedness
Farsightedness occurs when objects far away are seen clearly but objects that are close are blurry or unfocused.

Also known as: hyperopia

floaters
Small particles that float in the vireous humor and cast shadows on the retina that appear as cobwebs, spots or dots in the vision. Floaters are usually related to aging, vitreous detachment, retinal damage or eye inflammation.

Also known as: eye floaters, eye spots

glaucoma
A series of eye diseases that are all related by increased inner eye pressure. Glaucoma can cause damage to the optic nerve and retinal nerve fibers, and is a common cause of preventable vision loss. Glaucoma is usually treated by prescription drugs or surgery.

Also known as: eye pressure changes

macular degeneration
Eye disease that affects the macula or center of the retina at the back of the eye. Macular degeneration causes the loss of central vision and may cause complete blindness. It is usually a genetic condition.

Also known as: macular blindness

myopia
Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a focusing defect of the eye that affects focusing on objects in close range is easy, but objects farther away are blurry.

Also known as: nearsightedness

optometrist
A doctor of optometry that specializes in vision problems, treating vision problems with eyeglasses and contact lenses, and can prescribe medications for eye diseases.

Also known as: doctor of optometry, OD, eye doctor

photophobia
Sensitivity to and discomfort from light. Photophobia may occur from inflammation of the cornea or iris of the eye, and may be accompanied by excessive tears.

Also known as: light sensitivity, sensitivity to light

retinal detachment
When the retina at the back of the eye separates from the underlying tissue.

Also known as: detachment of the retina, torn retina, retinal tears

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Frequently Asked Questions
Questions Commonly Asked of Local Optometrists

The following questions are those that patients often ask of their optometrists and eye doctors. While answers may vary based on the difference between patients and optometrists, the responses below can be helpful in advising you of your choices and basic information about eye glasses, contact lenses and to other optometry questions.

Q: Why choose Diamond Certified optometrists?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose an optometrist with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local eye care companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only optometrists rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most optometry clinics can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified optometrist for you and your family.

Q: What is the difference between optometrists, opticians and ophthalmologists?
A: Opticians are trained and licensed to fit patients with eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses. While they are not doctors, they use prescriptions written by optometrists or ophthalmologists to help patients see better. Optometrists are doctors of optometry and can examine eyes for diseases and vision problems, and can fit glasses and contact lenses. They can prescribe medications and provide pre- and post-operative eye surgery care. Ophthalmologists are known for treating eye conditions, treat eye disease, prescribe medication, perform surgery and perform eye exams. They also write prescriptions for medication, eyeglasses and contact lenses.

Q: Why should I get a regular eye examination?
A: Annual eye exams can provide early detection of vision problems, eye diseases, and other  health related problems before they become a problem. Identifying and treating eye problems can prevent worse eye problems in the future. Likewise, contact lenses and eyeglasses that correct vision can help patients with vision problems see more clearly.

Q: Do I need to worry about my eyes if I have perfect vision?
A: Yes. Eye diseases and vision disorders may not impact your vision, so you should have an annual eye examination to test for eye diseases and disorders annually even if you have perfect 20/20 vision and don’t require eyeglasses or corrective lenses.

Q: Is an eye screening or vision screening equal to an eye examination?
A: No, eye screenings that are provided by school nurses, general care doctors, pediatricians, and other health care individuals may be helpful as general eyesight checks, but these individuals are not trained to identify eye diseases and vision problems. You should see an optometrist for an annual eye examination even if you’ve had a normal report from an eye screening.

Q: Can I prevent my vision from getting worse?
A: Taking care of your eyes may allow you to prevent or delay changes in your vision. Wear sunglasses with adequate UV protection every time you go outside, take frequent eye breaks if you are using a computer or performing close-work, blink often, don’t hold your reading materials too close to your face, practice eye-focusing exercises recommended by your optometrist, and wear the correct prescription in your glasses or contact lenses. Talk with your optometrist about ways you can take care of your vision that are specific to your lifestyle and needs.

Q: When should children start having annual eye exams?
A: Children can have vision exams at six months of age, and an eye examination is recommended by age three and again before they start school. Children should have an annual eye exam just like adults. Babies under six months of age can have eye exams if a problem is suspected, and you can have your child’s eyes tested more than once a year if you suspect vision changes or eye problems.

Q: Will wearing glasses make my eyesight worse?
A: Your optometrist will give you guidelines for the safe use of glasses and contact lenses. However, most corrective lenses will not make your eyesight worse or make you more dependent on your glasses. Keep in mind, though, that you should only wear your glasses or contacts when recommended; wearing them when you don’t need them or for the wrong activity may make your eyes work harder than needed and may cause eye strain or eye problems.

Q: How do I know if my child is experiencing eye problems or vision issues?
A: You can tell that children are having vision problems if they rub their eyes frequently, squint, turn or tilt their head to see better, use a finger to follow along with their reading or lose their place when reading, complain of headaches, have red or watery eyes, or complain of blurred vision. See an optometrist right away if your child complains of vision problems or you suspect vision changes. All children should have eye examinations by age three.

Q: What are cataracts and why do they occur?
A: Cataracts are a thickening, whitening or opacity of the eye lens that is usually brought on by aging. Genetics, UV light exposure, smoking, diabetes and poor health may also contribute to cataracts. Your optometrist should check for cataracts as part of your annual eye exam.

Q: How often should I replace my contact lenses?
A: That depends on your lifestyle and the type of contacts you wear. Your optometrist will be able to recommend a replacement schedule for you. Contact lenses may include hard or disposable lenses that should be replaced daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually.

Q: Is there an age limit for wearing contact lenses?
A: No, individuals from early childhood through mature adulthood can wear contact lenses as long as their eye condition, lifestyle, vision and other factors make them a good candidate. Contact lens wearers must be responsible enough to care for their contact lenses appropriately.

Q: Can I wear contact lenses and glasses interchangeably?
A: Yes, many people with less-than-perfect vision use both eye glasses and contact lenses. Some wear contacts during the day and glasses at night, while others only wear their contact lenses for special occasions. Talk with your optometrist to find out if you are a good candidate for glasses and contact lenses.

Q: Can I wear contact lenses if I have astigmatism in one or both eyes?
A: Patients with astigmatism used to have to rely solely on glasses for vision correction. However, recent advances in contact lenses now allow for many people with astigmatism to wear contacts instead of eye glasses.

Q: What is Lasik co-management?
A: Optometrists cannot perform Lasik or other eye surgeries, but many provide pre- and post-operative care. This co-management includes checkups before and after laser eye surgery, including helping you decide whether you are a good candidate for Lasik surgery.

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