What is a Refraction?

A refraction is the most important measurement of your eyes. It describes the measurement performed on the eyes to determine the best possible vision. It can be used to assess the need for eyeglasses (or contacts). It will tell our doctors the power of the lens that is necessary, and is the starting point for any contact lens fitting. This can also be used to determine if existing glasses are adequate by comparing the new refraction with the reading of your current pair of glasses. A refraction tells our doctors what your best vision can be.

How is a Refraction Performed?

Our doctors and staff use a combination of methods to most accurately measure your eyes. Primarily, we utilize the EPIC refraction system. This is a sophisticated set of computers that measures several aspects of the eye to determine the refraction with precision. However, each of us (and our eyes and vision) is more complex than any computer can measure. Therefore, we also take the time to refine these computer values by asking the patient which choices they prefer the best. The accuracy of the EPIC system is widely regarded as the best available, and we proudly offer it to you through our commitment to superior technology.

When should a refraction be performed?

It may not be necessary to do a refraction on every visit to our office. However, there are several good reasons to obtain a refraction. A refraction is the only way that doctors can tell what your best vision is or if your current glasses are correct.

  • Therefore, if you have had a change in your vision we recommend a refraction be done. Indeed it is a relief when something as simple and straightforward as a change in glasses can relieve visual symptoms.
  • If you are planning on buying new glasses, we recommend a refraction. Glasses are an investment, and you should have the latest and best measurements to make the most out of a new pair of glasses.
  • Finally, we recommend a refraction if it has been three or more years since your last measurement. Our eyes, just like our bodies, change over time, and an accurate refraction is the only way we can ensure that our patients are seeing the best that they can.

A word to our patients with cataracts

A refraction is an important component in cataract evaluation. Cataracts often change the power of glasses needed. If a change in glasses will afford a patient better vision, then this becomes an option in considering cataract surgery. Even if cataract surgery is decided upon, the refraction measurements play an important part in your doctor’s surgical planning for your eyes.

Is a Refraction covered by my insurance?

Unfortunately, most medical insurance plans do not cover this necessary component of the eye exam. Our fee for refraction is $30.