Frequently Asked Questions by Topic

Booking and Preparing for Appointments 

  • Q: What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
  • A: Please bring your insurance card(s), driver’s license and the completed new patient forms that can be found on our Patient Forms page.

Information about Pediatric Ophthalmology 

  • Q: What is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?
  • A: If your child has an eye problem, difficulty with reading, learning, or fails a vision screen, your child’s primary care doctor may recommend that your child see a pediatric ophthalmologist. Just as children are not little adults, your child’s eyes are different from those of adults. When problems occur, a pediatric ophthalmologist has the subspecialty training and expertise to address the unique needs of children.
  • Q: What kind of training does a Pediatric Ophthalmologist have?
  • A: A pediatric ophthalmologist is a physician who has completed:
    • 4 years of medical school
    • 1 year of a surgical or medical internship
    • 3 additional years of residency training in ophthalmology
    • An additional full year of subspecialty fellowship training in pediatric ophthalmology
  • Q: What services do Pediatric Ophthalmologists provide?
  • A: Pediatric ophthalmologists diagnose, treat, and manage all aspects of children’s eye problems. Pediatric ophthalmologists generally provide the following services:
    • Perform surgery, microsurgery, and laser surgery when necessary for problems such as misalignment of eyes, blocked tear ducts, infections, eye injuries, and eye lid disorders
    • Diagnose eye conditions caused by diseases of the body, such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and other medical diseases.
    • Aid in diagnosing general medical, genetic, and neurological diseases in children by detecting abnormalities on an eye exam.
    • Diagnose visual processing disorders.
    • Treat and manage eye injuries.


  • Q: Why is Refraction Important?
  • A: More than 154 million people worldwide suffer from reduced vision due to uncorrected refractive error. The remedy to this situation starts with an accurate measurement of the refractive error. Then to be truly effective, this effort must result in the patient receiving glasses, but it is refraction that determines if the glasses are right. *
  • In addition, refractive errors often influence the alignment of the eyes in children. Significant farsightedness frequently results in crossing of the eyes and the correction of nearsightedness may help outward drifting of the eyes. Therefore, an accurate cycloplegic refraction (using dilating drops) is a very important part of the pediatric eye exam.
  • * from Orbis Cyber-Sight

Information for Parents about Strabismus

  • Q: Is there a good resource or book for parents to better understand crossed-eyes or strabismus?
  • A: Yes. There are many resources including information located at the AAPOS (American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus) website www.AAPOS.org.
  • Perhaps the best book for parents on the subject was written by Windsor and Hurtt (1974) and has been updated and made available by Dr. Burt Kushner at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/eyemusclebook
  • We are deeply grateful to Dr. Kushner for providing this excellent resource.

Information about Adult Strabismus 

  • Q: Can anything be done for adults with misaligned eyes?
  • A: Yes. Recent treatment advances allow most adults with misaligned eyes to have surgical correction.
  • Q: Is eye straightening as an adult strictly cosmetic?
  • A: No. Eye alignment surgery improves eye function in most adults and can lead to social and economic benefits.
  • Q: Does my insurance cover the expense of this surgery?
  • A: Although eye muscle surgery is reconstructive (not cosmetic), you should check with your insurance carrier regarding specific coverage.
  • Q: Is eye muscle surgery risky for adults?
  • A: No. However, every surgical procedure has some risks. For strabismus surgery, the most common risks are residual misalignment and double vision (usually temporary). Fortunately, the more serious risks of anesthetic complications, infection, bleeding, retinal detachment, and decreased vision are rare. Health risks vary with the general health of the individual. For those in poor health, surgery under local anesthesia (instead of general anesthesia) or botulinum toxin injection may be considered.
  • Q: How successful is eye muscle surgery?
  • A: Most individuals have significant improvement in eye alignment with one surgery. Occasionally the surgery is only partially successful and additional surgery may be indicated.
  • Q: How painful is this type of surgery?
  • A: Discomfort after eye muscle surgery is usually a foreign body sensation in the eye, lasting several days. Over-the-counter pain medication often reduces the discomfort, although stronger medication is sometimes prescribed. Most patients return to full activity in several days. Some surgeons limit swimming and heavy physical activity for several weeks after surgery.
  • Q: What age is “too old” to have eye muscle surgery?
  • A: Eyes can be straightened at any age and should be considered as a treatment alternative if it enhances quality of life.
  • Q: I am embarrassed by my misaligned eyes and avoid looking people in the eye. It seems to me that people are distracted by my wandering eye causing problems with social interaction and difficulty getting the job I want. Can this really be true?
  • A: Yes. Recent studies confirm these observations. Misaligned eyes can hinder social interaction, self-confidence and employment opportunities. All individuals deserve straight eyes if possible.
  • Q: Is hospitalization required for eye alignment surgery? How will this affect normal activities?
  • A: Eye alignment surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure although the need for hospitalization varies depending upon general health and surgeon preference. Following surgery most individuals return to nearly all normal activities within a few days.

Insurance and Payments 

  • Q: Do you accept my insurance?
  • A: We participate in most major insurance programs. Please click here to see a list of insurance programs.
  • Q: Do you have payment plans?
  • A: Payment is due at your preoperative appointment unless other arrangements are made with our billing office ahead of time.

Transferring Medical Records 

  • Q: We have moved and I or my child has been seeing another Doctor. How do I get medical records transferred from my previous Doctor?
  • A: If you are visiting us for the first time, please download the medical release forms at this link, complete them and send them to your previous Doctor.

Contact Lenses 

  • Q: Can the Doctor prescribe contacts for me or my child?
  • A: While they do not dispense contact lenses, the doctors can assist you in obtaining a prescription and a referral for contact lens fitting

Pre-Surgery Questions 

  • Q: What does my insurance cover?
  • A: The information about your surgical procedure and the location of the surgery are forwarded to our insurance department and they will call you to let you know what you owe. The Anesthesiologist will bill after surgery for any balance owed. The hospital will contact you separately about their charges.
  • Q: Where is my preoperative appointment?
  • A: At the surgeon’s office. Click here for our location.
  • Q: Do I or Does my child need to fast before surgery?
  • A: Yes. No food or drink after midnight the night before surgery unless otherwise specified by the hospital or anesthesiologist.
  • Q: Can I take my medicines before surgery?
  • A: Blood thinners like aspirin, ibuprofen and Coumadin must be stopped a minimum of one week before surgery. Other medications may be taken with a sip of water the morning of surgery at the direction of the anesthesiologist. Ask this question when they contact you about your surgery the day before.

Lab Work 

  • Q: Will my child need to have blood work done prior to surgery.
  • A: No; unless there are health issues. The Doctor will discuss this with you prior to surgery.
  • Q: I just had a physical last month. Can I use the blood work and EKG information from that appointment for my surgery?
  • A: The test results must be within 30 days of your surgery date to clear you for general anesthesia.
  • Q: Where do I get my lab work and other tests done?
  • A: At your (PCP) primary care physician’s office. (PCP = pediatrician, family practitioner, internal medicine doctor)
  • Q: Will I need to fast for my blood work?
  • A: Your primary care doctor will let you know.

Surgery Questions 

  • Q: Where can I find more information about strabismus surgery?
  • A: You can find more information about strabismus surgery at this link: (click here for more info)
  • Q: What kind of anesthesia is used?
  • A: In most cases general anesthesia is used. In selected adult cases local anesthesia may be used.
  • Q: What kind of clothing should I/my child wear on the day of surgery?
  • A: Comfortable clothing like pajamas for kids and sweats for adults.
  • Q: I am allergic to latex. Is the surgical facility/staff prepared to handle that?
  • A: Yes.

Post-Surgery Questions 

  • Q: Where is my postoperative appointment?
  • A: At the surgeon’s office.
  • Q: How long do I need to be off work?
  • A: 1-3 days is usually sufficient.
  • Q: How long does my child need to stay home from school?
  • A: 1-2 days is usually sufficient.
  • Q: When can I/my child fly.
  • A: Within one day.
  • Q: How long do I/my child have to wait after surgery to go swimming?
  • A: 5 days for pool water and 7 days for pond, lake, river or ocean water.