Questions and Answers about Eye Care

Want to know more? Here are some common FAQs from our clients about eye exams:


Are you accepting new patients?

Yes! Invision continues to grow each year as new patients discover our offices. Some find us from driving past (easily noticeable thanks to Dave Wertz’s Happy Fish sculpture installed right outside our Christiansburg location), and others from the web (especially from reviews). Because of our strong, local roots, many of our patients are referred from family or friends.

How much is an eye exam?

Out of pocket cost varies, depending on insurance coverage and your specific needs: contact lenses, eye disease treatment, your last exam, etc.

Call or email us at either Salem or Christiansburg, and we can quickly determine your needs and give you the information you need.

How long is an eye exam?

Allow yourself 30 to 45 minutes for your tests and about 1 hour overall. That may seem like quite a chunk out of your day, but trust us: patients often tell us it’s the best eye exam they’ve ever had!

A quick breakdown of a standard appointment:

  • Minimal wait time, as you complete your paperwork (which can be done in advance if you prefer.)
  • Time with our staff for preliminary tests to assist the doctor and to determine your needs, wants and goals for the visit.
  • As much time as needed with the doctor to make sure all your test results, questions, concerns and goals are addressed.

Need new eyeglasses? You can select frames in advance or wait until after your exam. We’re flexible to your needs and preferences.

How often should I have an eye exam?

For contact wearers and younger patients with a glasses Rx that might change over time, annual eyes exams are recommended.

For patients over 40, an annual exam is recommended for eye health reasons (tests for cataracts and glaucoma, etc.)

Patients younger than 40 with no prescription and no symptoms can go 2 years between eye exams.

Where do I get an eye exam?

There are many choices out there, but we believe we offer the ideal combination of expertise, convenience and care for those in need of an eye exam. We guarantee an excellent visit, with our friendly, professional, efficient staff and state-licensed opticians whose goals are to listen and care for you. Our on-site eyewear boutique carries over 1000 frames, with styles and brand names suited for all styles and budgets, and our in-house optical lab provides high quality service for our patients. Our doctors, staff, and our eyewear boutique have all won awards–both locally and nationally–affirming our patient-focused approach to eye fitness and fashion.

What happens at an eye exam?

After a brief check-in, a team member will take you back for a few quick and easy preliminary tests. You will be asked your goals for the visit, and about any questions concerning you & your family’s eye health. We will take images of the retina inside the eye, check your eye pressure and have you read the eye chart. The doctor will then measure your prescription and test you for eye health problems (cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc). All results will be reviewed with you, along with advice for your specific visual needs.

If needed, opticians are available to help you find your perfect pair of eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses. If not, our friendly receptionist will check you out and help with insurance billing or questions.

And then you’re done! You can make any necessary follow-up appointments with the receptionist; otherwise, we’ll send reminders when it comes time for your next check-up.

Do you have to do that air puff test, and what is it for, anyway?

We do the air puff test for all exams to check the amount of pressure inside your eye. This helps us check for glaucoma. We use a new instrument that’s fully automated and uses a softer, gentler puff than older instruments. In fact, we wrote an entire blog about the infamous air puff test— we encourage you to read it for more details and to better understand why this test is so important.

Do I have to get my eyes dilated?

Typically, we dilate pupils by default unless you request otherwise. You can “opt-out” of pupil dilation, no problem. Before making that decision, here’s a few quick facts:

  • Pupil dilation is a more thorough way to examine the retina inside the eye.
  • The newer drops we use are “friendlier” and milder, with less blurry vision afterwards.
  • The drops last several hours. During that time, your pupils will be larger than normal, and you will be extra sensitive to light. There is minimal effect on close vision.
  • Most people can drive afterward, but feel free to bring a driver if you prefer.
  • Since you will be more sensitive to light, we suggest bringing your favorite pair of sunglasses for the ride home.

While some offices charge extra for this procedure, we do not charge an extra fee. We are committed to providing all our patients with the highest level of care and are committed to keeping your eyes healthy and vision clear.

What are retinal images?

Retinal images are detailed images of the structures inside the eye. It helps document eye health and can find hidden eye diseases, including changes from glaucoma, diabetes and high blood pressure. Further, it becomes a permanent part of your file, providing a baseline health record for future reference. It’s a quick, easy and comfortable process.

Do most patients have retinal images taken?

Yes! The majority of our patients choose to have this test. Patients love seeing inside their own eye. These images provide us with a wealth of information about your eye health, they are very important!

Do you take my insurance? What insurance plans do you accept? What does my insurance cover?

This topic is so important it has its own pages for our Christiansburg location and our Salem location. Click either link to find our policies for the respective locations. It you still have questions please give us a call.

How soon can I get in to see a doctor?

We try to see all our patients within a week of scheduling an appointment, although at peak times it can be a little longer. You can schedule your appointment at either our Salem or Christiansburg offices. We will do our best to reserve a time that suits your schedule in a timely manner.

If this is an emergency, let us know; we will try to work you into one of our dedicated emergency time slots, always reserved just in case.

Do you allow walk-in exams?

We do see walk-ins, however most days are fully booked in advance. We don’t want you to be stuck in our reception area. Book ahead to ensure an appointment that works for you!

Do I need an appointment to look at glasses?

You are welcome to drop in anytime to browse our optical boutique–no appointment needed! Our optical boutique is open the same offices hours as the Christiansburg practice and Salem practice. We do encourage you to consider having your routine eye exam before purchasing frames in order to ensure your lenses will have the proper prescription.

State licensed opticians are available to assist you with eyeglasses selection, pick-up, repair, or just to browse. Learn more about our optical services here.

Will my information be kept private?

Yes! We will only release your personal information per your written request, using a signed records release form.