Patient Resources

Learning Resources

Eye Exam
A comprehensive eye examination should occur early in life to insure proper eye and vision development. An eye exam at regular intervals is equally important as many eye diseases and vision changes can occur without warning signs.

During a comprehensive eye exam, we will use eye charts to measure the sharpness of your vision. The classic example of an eye chart is the Snellen eye chart, and although there are many variations, in general they show 11 rows of capital letters. You will be asked to find and read the smallest line of text that you can make out. The standard vision acuity is 20/20, which is the fourth line from the bottom. If you can read either of the bottom two rows, your visual acuity is better than most people.

At Silverbell Eyecare Center, we believe in a thorough eye exam, which means we also check for color vision deficiencies and test your eyes to see how they work together. To ensure your eyes are healthy, we recommend seeing an eye doctor for your comprehensive eye examination on a regular basis.

How The Eye Works
At Silverbell Eyecare Center, we believe education is one of our best tools. Your eyes are fascinating and intricate organs that allow you to see the world around you. Dr. Richard Baim and the entire staff at Silverbell Eyecare Center want to share with you how your eyes detect and focus light to create images.
OPTOMAP
Did you know that many health-related issues can be discovered during a thorough eye exam that includes a screening of the retina? Early signs of diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes can be detected by looking at the retina. The retina, which is located in the back of the eye is the only place that blood vessels can be directly seen.

The Optomap ultra-widefield retinal image is a unique technology that captures more than 80% of your retina in one panoramic image while traditional imaging methods typically only show 15% of your retina at one time. The process is painless, quick, and you will not experience any discomfort. You will simply look into the special device one eye at a time and will see a small flash of light which signifies that an image has been taken of your retina.

In most cases, dilation drops are not necessary but your eye doctor will make that decision upon administering the test. The entire process takes only a few seconds, and the images are available immediately. You will be able to see a picture of your retina in 3D, just as your eye doctor sees it.

Diabetic Retinopathy
An ocular manifestation of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy is the result of weakening blood vessels within the lining of the inner eye, called the retina, and is the leading cause of blindness in American adults.

Vision symptoms are usually rare in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, however, intermittent blur and seeing spots in the vision can be warning signs. Risk factors for the disease include poorly-controlled diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and being diabetic for ten years or more. Typically affecting patients who have had diabetes for ten years or more, the longer a person has diabetes, the higher his or her chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Annual eye exams are strongly recommended for all diabetic patients. At Silverbell Eye Care Center, we use retinal photography methods to detect retinal blood vessel problems and to monitor changes from exam to exam. There are multiple forms of diabetic retinopathy, and Dr. Richard Baim can determine your particular form. With one form, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In another, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. If you have diabetes and are concerned about diabetic retinopathy, schedule an appointment with Dr. Baim for a comprehensive eye exam and be sure to include it on your patient history form.

Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration, often referred to as AMD, is a medical condition which usually causes central vision loss in older adults. AMD can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.

AMD is not painful, which may allow it to go unnoticed for some time. Risk factors for macular degeneration may include smoking, obesity, Caucasian, female, and family history.

Having an annual eye exam is important for adults to allow Dr. Richard Baim to examine the macula and to measure vision. New research has shown that certain vitamins and proper sunglass protection for ultraviolet sunlight exposure may be helpful to lessen the risk of AMD. Early diagnosis and continued observation by an eye doctor is crucial to protecting eyesight in macular degeneration patients.

Cataracts
A cataract is a clouding of the internal lens of the eye that leads to a decrease in vision. As the lens becomes cloudier, vision becomes blurry and distorted. People with a cataract commonly experience difficulty in appreciating colors and changes in contrast, driving, reading, recognizing faces, and coping with glare from bright lights. Common risk factors for developing cataracts are aging, medications, eye trauma and surgeries, smoking, and unprotected excessive sunlight exposure.

Most people will have a slight cataract in one or both eyes by age 60. Most cataracts progress slowly over 5-15 years. An annual eye exam is recommended for people over age 60 to measure eyesight and evaluate overall eye health.

If you have questions regarding cataracts, call our office or ask Dr. Richard Baim at your next appointment.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. Once thought to be only a high eye pressure problem, the disease is now known to be a more complex condition. The most common form of the disease occurs when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time.

People with glaucoma rarely experience symptoms, but risk factors include aging, African ancestry, family history, diabetes, hypertension, and certain anatomical eye features.

With glaucoma, each day vision will become less and less clear. For this reason, routine eye examinations are important to help identify symptoms. Dr. Baim may become suspicious of glaucoma during this exam and order special tests to help in making the diagnosis. From there, the best treatment option will be decided.

Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis can be either an irritation or an infection of the membrane that covers the white of the eye and the inside lining of the eyelid. It has become commonly known as “pink eye” due to the significant blood vessel inflammation that can occur.

Allergies and other irritants like air pollution, eye make-up, and contact lenses cause irritation conjunctivitis. Infection conjunctivitis has two categories – viral and bacterial. The viral type usually accompanies a cold, fever, sore throat, or flu and is characterized by eye redness and a watery discharge. The bacterial type presents with eye redness, a mucous-like discharge, and is usually caused by a staph or strep bacteria.

Dr. Richard Baim is trained and equipped to make the correct diagnosis of the type of conjunctivitis. In some cases, conjunctivitis can progress to more serious eye conditions and vision damage, so professional evaluation is important.

Contact Lenses
Every day, millions of people wear contact lenses to help them see clearly. There have been numerous advancements in both lens materials and designs, allowing most individuals to wear new types of contact lenses successfully. As a result, there are more contact lens choices available than in the past.

If you have worn contact lenses in the past but discontinued use due to discomfort or unacceptable visual results, it may be time to revisit your options. At Silverbell Eye Care Center, we will help you select the best option for you based on the health and shape of your eyes, the type of correction you require, your previous contact lens experience, your tear production and your lifestyle.

Contacts & Children
While some children enjoy the fashion statement of eyeglasses, others prefer their appearance without them. For young children or teens who refuse to wear their glasses, many parents are left with the plaguing question, “What is the right age for contacts?”

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. Physically, the eyes can tolerate contact lenses at a very young age. In rare cases, some babies are fitted with contact lenses at birth. Similarly, in a recent study that involved fitting nearsighted children ages 8 to 11 with one-day disposable contact lenses, 90 percent had no trouble applying or removing the contacts without the assistance from their parents.* The decision of whether a child is ready to wear contact lenses is directly related to their maturity and should be determined by the parent, child and your eyecare professional.

If you’re considering contact lenses for your child, take a look at how they handle other responsibilities. If your child requires frequent reminders to do their everyday chores, they may not be ready for the responsibility of wearing and caring for contact lenses. On the contrary, children who dutifully handle their responsibilities may be great candidates for contact lenses.

On average, many eye care professionals begin to encourage contact lens wear between the ages of 11 to 14. Compared to adults, children develop fewer complications with contact lenses, have stronger immune systems and usually heal faster. In addition, children who want contacts instead of glasses are often more willing to adapt their schedules and follow the instructions to properly care for their lenses.

In addition to being great self-esteem builders, contact lenses are also great for student athletes. Contact lenses are not a complete substitute for sports that require protective eyewear. However, some contact lenses used for recreational use can provide better optics than eyeglasses. Compared with eyeglasses, contact lenses provide better peripheral vision, which may improve your child’s athletic performance.

It’s important to establish a dialogue with the parents when determining if a child is ready for contact lenses, and to remember the decision to switch from glasses to contact lenses does not need to be a permanent one. If a child does not adjust well or is not able to handle the added responsibility of wearing and caring for their lenses, it is no problem to recommend glasses as an alternative for vision correction. Contact lenses can always be tried again when the child is older.

To determine if contact lenses are right for your child or teen, please call us to schedule an appointment! Our doctors will help you and your child make this important decision.

*”Daily disposable contact lens wear in myopic children.” Optometry and Vision Science. Vol. 81, No. 4 (April 2004); pp. 255-259.

Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome, also known as keratitis sicca, is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears.

Risk factors for dry eye are low humidity conditions, medications, eyelid problems, rosacea, and contact lens use. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults. Common symptoms include irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes, a feeling of something in their eyes, excess watering, and blurred vision. Vision can be subsequently blurred when flare-ups occur. Advanced dry eye may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision.

Dr. Richard Baim will examine the tear film on the eye. Special eyedrop dyes are employed to help the doctor to detect dry spots, measure tear quality and volume, then make a diagnosis. Treatment of dry eye may include certain over-the-counter eyedrops, eyelid hygiene methods, prescription eyedrops including mild steroids, dissolving tear implants, and punctal plugs. If you believe you are suffering from dry eye syndrome, make an appointment with Silverbell Eye Care Center today.

Allergies
Because allergies are very common, Dr. Richard Baim would like to share with you some background information regarding eye allergies. Symptoms of allergies may include red, watery and itchy eyes, a runny or stuffed nose, sneezing, sinus pressure, a sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightening and, in severe cases, an asthma attack.

An allergy is an overreaction by the immune system by normally harmless subjects known as allergens. Although there are many potential allergens, eye allergies are most commonly caused by pollen, dust, and pet dander. Food allergies and allergic reactions to insect venom typically do not affect the eyes as severely as airborne allergens.

Blepharitis
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. Redness, swelling, styes, cysts, and flaky crusts at the eyelid margin characterize it. Symptoms include scratchy, swollen, tender, and irritated eyes. The disease can be caused by various bacteria and be chronic or acute in presentation. People with skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and eczema are more prone to having flare-ups. Poor facial hygiene can also be a contributing factor.

Dr. Richard Baim will diagnose the specific type of blepharitis during an eye exam. Treatment options are abundant and include over-the-counter remedies and prescription eyedrops and ointments. Occasionally, minor eyelid surgery is necessary to remove cysts when topical treatments are unsuccessful. Blepharitis, in some cases, requires ongoing treatment along with eyelid hygiene to maintain eye comfort and appearance.

Retinal Tears and Detachments
Retinal tears and detachments are conditions where the inner lining of the eye, called the retina, is damaged. A retinal tear describes a small break in this lining whereas a retinal detachment describes a much larger separation of the retina tissues. Aging, eye trauma, eye surgery, or being quite nearsighted may cause retinal tears or detachments.

Symptoms of these retinal conditions may include seeing flashes or floaters, sudden blurry vision, and seeing an area of dark vision. An eye exam is very important when these symptoms occur as permanent eyesight loss may occur if the retina problem is not treated in a timely manner.

Computer Lenses
Do you get headaches or eyestrain from staring at your computer monitor? At the end of a long day in front of your computer screen, is it difficult to focus on distant objects? You may be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). With most of the population working on computers for multiple hours a day, Dr. Richard Baim wants to share information on Computer Lenses. Special computer task lenses can be used to supplement your primary pair of eyewear to solve computer specific vision requirements. For example, computer task lenses can help relieve the symptoms of computer vision syndrome, such as blurry vision, sore and tired eyes, and headaches, by enhancing vision at the near and intermediate distances.
High Definition Lenses
In today’s high tech world, many of you have heard the term “high definition.” The quality of a high definition lens is similar to the quality of a digital camera. They allow for sharper, clearer, crisper vision throughout the whole lens, giving you the best vision possible!

High Definition lenses are made of the same materials as conventional lenses. What makes digital lenses different is the process by which they are made. To create these lenses an advanced digital technology is used to resurface the lens allowing for greater precision over the entire lens surface. Surfacing the lenses this way provides you with more visual comfort, improved peripheral vision, sharper definition and less eye fatigue.

These lenses are ideal for all patients who want to experience the latest in lens technology, while those with high prescriptions and large amounts of astigmatism will experience the greatest wow factor.

Non-Glare Lenses
Non-glare lenses, also referred to as anti-reflective lenses, are specially calculated to eliminate the glare on your lenses and increase the amount of light entering your eye. This is an important safety benefit for driving at night as non-glare lenses reduce annoying reflections and halos around lights.
Progressive Lenses
Progressive lenses, sometimes referred to as no-line bifocals, are the most natural form of vision correction available. These multifocal lenses provide a full range of focus distance without any separations or interruptions from a lined segment meaning they look exactly like single vision lenses. They provide the ability to see at all distances, including arm’s length for computer use and up close for reading. These lenses are perfect to give you a more youthful appearance.
Thinner & Lighter Lenses
Do you desire thinner, lighter-weight lenses? A variety of new plastic materials are available to provide thinner and lighter lenses. This means less lens material can be used to correct the same amount of prescription. In addition to looking thinner, your lenses will also reduce the magnified “bug-eye” or “coke bottle” look often caused by thicker lenses.
Scratch Protection
For lenses that do not include an anti-reflective treatment, it is important to protect them with a scratch-resistant treatment. Lenses that are treated on the front and backside with a clear, hard coating show increased resistance to scratching. A two-sided scratch-resistant treatment is the best choice for optimal scratch-resistant protection.
Sunglasses
To protect your eyes and your vision, it is important to wear sunglasses when outside enjoying the sunshine.

Ask Dr. Baim to make sure your sunglasses provide 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays. Watch the video for more information on sunglasses and polarized lens options. Remember, you don’t need an appointment to stop in and check out our sunwear!

Safety Eyewear
Hazards exist in every home in many different forms – sharp edges, falling objects, chemicals, and a variety of other potentially dangerous situations. Whether you’re working on a weekend project in the garage or participating in recreational activities, wearing eye protection can significantly reduce the chances of sight damaging injuries. Be sure to explain your personal and work habits at your next eye exam to ensure you receive the best protection for your eyes.
Proper Lens Care
At Silverbell Eyecare Center, we understand that your eyewear is not just a medical necessity; it’s a fashion accessory too! Protect your investment and keep looking your best by following our proper lens care instructions. Schedule an appointment to learn the best way to keep your glasses looking and working great for years.

Payment Options

Silverbell Eyecare Center believes in the value of eyecare for you and your family. We have products and pricing to accommodate all budgets. Our office participates in most insurance programs. For patients who have little or no vision insurance coverage, flexible payment programs can be arranged. To learn more about our payment options, please call our office directly.

Our office accepts Care Credit, Flex Spending, cash, check and all major debit and credit cards including MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.

Don’t forget to use your:

  • Flexible Spending Plans
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
  • Medical Savings Accounts (MSA)
  • Cafeteria Plans for most of your eye care needs

All of the above plans can be used for all your eyecare and eyewear needs, including eyeglasses, contact lenses, routine office visits and medical office visits.

Insurance

Most insurance plans are accepted at our office. Since there are so many plans and coverage varies widely, please call us to find out if your plan covers care in our office. Our staff will verify and explain your benefits before your visit at no charge.

Insurance plans we accept include: VSP, EyeMed, AVESIS, Caremore, CMDP, Arizona Pipe, Principle, Superior Vision, Vision Care Direct, United Health Care and many more. Please call to see if we accept your insurance.

No Insurance

For patients who have little or no vision insurance coverage, flexible payment programs can be arranged. If you have no insurance or do not have vision benefits, there is still a way for you to receive the care you need. To learn more about our payment options, please call our office directly.

Learning Resources

Knowing what it takes to maintain healthy vision is important. As leading eye health providers, we have selected the resources in this section of the website to educate our patients about eye health, eyeglass lenses and frames, and contact lenses. We are committed to protecting your eyesight. Learn More

Address:

2500 N. Silverbell Road, Ste 180
Tucson, AZ 85745

Phone: 520-884-9600
Fax: 520-623-8148

Practice Hours

Monday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Wednesday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Thursday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Friday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday 8:30 am - 1:00 pm
Sunday Closed

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Silverbell Eyecare Center is partnered with Alvernon Optical. This partnership allows us to share resources and to serve even more Arizona communities. Our mutual goal is to provide our friends, families and neighbors with the finest vision care.