We are trained to comprehensively examine the eyes and visual system of infants to the elderly. We recommend that infants have their first eye exam at 6 months , then children at age 3 and just before entering kindergarten or first grade. Children need not know the alphabet to have their eyes examined.
We evaluate the eyes for any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) and determine if glasses or contact lenses are needed.
We test how well the eyes work together and change focus from distance to near. This type of testing is especially important with children as early detection can prevent developing a lazy eye (amblyopia).
Children also are using their visual system heavily to learn during school, so alleviating eyestrain with the proper prescription, or in some cases vision therapy, is crucial.
We carefully check for eye diseases including glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. Many eye diseases are more prevalent as we age. Our practice has invested key equipment that provides valuable information in detection and evaluating progression in important diseases. We are able to treat and manage many of these conditions, so you don’t have to travel out of town unnecessarily.
We have access to all types of contact lenses and can often help even if you have had difficulty in the past with contact lenses. Please let us know when you schedule an exam if you wear contacts or are interested in trying them. We will show you how to insert and remove your lenses properly, and can usually provide you with trial period with the contacts to make sure you like them before you buy them.
Diabetes can affect the eyes in several ways. We carefully check for any diabetic-related changes and can communicate our findings with your diabetes doctor after discussing them with you. It is recommended diabetics have their eyes examined every year.
We do our best to help you as soon as possible for urgent situations like something in the eye, an eye infection or acute vision loss. Please call our office for immediate assistance. Chemical splashes in the eye should be irrigated with clean water for several minutes before calling, and metal in the eye should be taken care of quickly to minimize the amount of rust that can form in the eye tissue. Always wear safety glasses when appropriate, especially hammering metal. The doctors can often be reached after hours for emergency care if needed. Try Dr. Slusser at 208-431-8189, or Dr. Lehr at 715-579-2042.
We work with the best refractive surgery centers in our region and can tell you if you are a good candidate for LASIK. We are able to do the pre and post-operative care here in Rupert, minimizing your out- of-town time and expenses.
We have developed a great working relationship with the cataract surgeons in our area and can tell you if you are a good candidate for surgery. We can arrange your consultation and send a report ahead of your visit with the surgeon. We can help with the post-operative care as well.
Myopia (nearsightedness) makes distance vision blurry. It means that the eyeball is too long or the curvature of the front of the eye is too steep. About one third of Americans are nearsighted and the condition is likely caused by a mix of genetic and lifestyle factors. Anyone can become nearsighted, but having one myopic parent doubles the risk and having two myopic parents increases the risk by five times. We are seeing an increase in the rate of myopia lately probably due to spending less time outdoors. Myopia increases the risk for sight-threatening conditions like glaucoma and retinal detachments.
Recent research is showing techniques that slow the progression of myopia in young patients:
Atropine is a prescription eyedrop that is in the same family of drugs that we use to dilate the pupils in the office. One drop per day of a special diluted form of this medication has been shown to slow the progression of myopia by about 59%. Side effects are minimal at this low dose. Cost is approximately $700 per year including the eyedrops and a 6-month follow-up appointment. Glasses may still be needed to see clearly while using the eyedrops.
Patients wear a special rigid gas permeable contact lens on the eye every night while they sleep. The front of the eye, called the cornea, is reshaped overnight. In the morning, the lenses are removed and the patient enjoys clear vision without glasses or contacts all day. Kids who wear ortho-k lenses end up about half as nearsighted as adults compared to kids who wear glasses or regular soft contacts. Cost for the first year of ortho-k is about $1410 including the initial fitting fee and a pair of lenses. Spare lenses can be purchased within the first 90 days at half price. A pair of lenses lasts about a year. Estimated ongoing annual cost would be around $600 for the exam, contact lens evaluation, and a new pair of contacts.
Multifocal Soft Contacts
Research is showing that a certain type of multifocal soft contact lens design can slow myopia progression by about 50%. These lenses are worn just like regular soft lenses during the day and removed at night. Patients may notice some blur in the peripheral part of their vision, especially in dim light. Cost for a new fitting and a year supply of these daily disposable contacts is about $850, and a $100 rebate is currently being offered by the manufacturer if you buy the annual supply all at once.
We offer all three of these techniques and can discuss which, if any, may be appropriate for your child.
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