Total vision care refers to eye care providers who offer a wide range of services. Many eye care boutiques offer eyeglasses, contacts, and optometrist evaluations — this means the patient can receive only a routine vision exam and basic eye evaluation. Total vision care centers, on the other hand, usually have an ophthalmologist, a doctor specifically trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, on staff and can provide any care that a patient may need or require.
Optometrists typically perform only routine eye exams. At an eye care boutique, a patient can have his vision evaluated and be fitted for corrective lenses in eyeglass or contact form. Businesses that offer total vision care not only provide these services, but usually many others as well.
Total vision care centers can provide a patient with laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery as an option to correct vision problems, rather than using traditional eyeglasses or contact lenses. LASIK eye surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Not only are these corrections permanent, but most patients recover quickly and are reported to have about a 95% satisfaction rate worldwide.
Various eye diseases can also be treated at total vision care centers. Glaucoma, a common eye condition that affects about 3% of the population and is characterized by high pressure within the eyeball, can be diagnosed and treated. Diabetic retinopathy, a disease that can destroy the retina of the eye, can also be diagnosed and cared for. Diabetes often damages blood flow to the eye, which can starve the retina of blood and can cause blindness if the condition is left untreated.
Total vision care centers often also perform various eye surgeries. Cataracts are very common, particularly among people over the age of 52 who have a 50% chance of developing the condition. As a cataract progresses, the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and gradually obscures the patient’s vision. Ophthalmologists can surgically remove the cataract and restore vision for the patient. Eyelid plastic surgery is another procedure performed at vision care centers, mostly for patients with drooping skin that blocks the line of sight.
Some health insurance providers include total vision care in subscriber coverage packages. Often, people can purchase a vision care plan separately, if necessary. Such coverage usually helps to pay for routine eye exams, treatment of medical conditions, and the cost of eyeglasses and contact lenses. Such insurance can vary and consumers should read all policies thoroughly to determine which services and costs are covered.