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Tricare Changes for 2019 – Attention Military Patients

tricare logoTricare is giving its enrollees the option to sign up for one of four different vision plans starting in 2019. These plans are not mandatory and enrollees can leave their Tricare exactly as it is currently. We wanted our patients to know we evaluated these new vision plans and determined that we cannot participate with any of them. These plans want to lower the eye exam reimbursement rate by more than 50 percent. This low reimbursement rate would not allow us to continue offering the same level of services and quality of care that we have offered in the past.

If you sign up for one of these vision plans, you will have to pay a monthly fee to the plan, and you will have to find a new eye care provider who accepts your vision plan and follow the vision plan stipulations as to what type of glasses and frames are covered.

We wanted to be sure to share this information before the mid-November enrollment period. We will continue to accept Tricare Prime, Tricare Standard, and Tricare For Life for eye exams and medical eye problems just as before. However, we wanted everybody to know that if they sign up for a vision plan, the vision plan will replace their current Tricare plan and they will no longer have the freedom of choice to come to our office. We encourage you to call your Tricare representative to get more information about the new options that are being presented to you so you can make an informed decision.

Pollen, Pine, & Eye Allergies

man sneezing due to allergiesHaving allergies can mean more than the sniffling and sneezing that most people associate with it. It’s Red, swollen, itchy eyes may also be a significant sign of allergies that can come whether you are sneezing uncontrollably or not.

While we may see all the coating of yellow from the local pine, the actual large substances don’t lead to eye allergies. Rather, the small, unnoticed pollen causes eye allergies and are the true problem.

Allergic conjunctivitis is the scientific name for this condition. It is caused, like any allergic reaction, by a mistaken triggering of your body’s immune system. Allergens cause your immune system “panic” causing it to react negatively to things which actually pose no harm to the body at all. Allergens such as pet dander, pollen and dust can trigger this reaction. This allergic reaction releases a chemical called histamine, which makes your eyes dry out and produce more tears. This reaction is meant to flush out foreign objects. The blood vessels in your eyes also become inflamed, which is what gives your eyes their bloodshot look.

Generally, for those patients who face itchiness, redness, and irritation around the eyes may benefit from a lid cleaning through Blephex. Although eye drops help reduce the symptoms, cleaning the eyelids will actually treat and clean around the eyelashes for lasting effects.

As symptoms of an allergic reaction can be quite varied, not treating the eyes properly will continually lead to more irritation, light sensitivity, and even swollen eyelids. In more severe cases, you may even notice a painful, sore or burning feeling in your eyes or suffer from excessive tearing or a runny nose. You may also experience sneezing and stuffy nose.

Many things may cause an allergic reaction. Grass, weed and tree pollen, as well as dust and pet dander, are among the best known allergens. Less well known is that it is also possible for a person to be allergic to everyday items such as makeup or perfume, and even contact lenses. Also not well know is that, while it is very common for allergic symptoms to come out immediately upon contact with the allergen, it is also possible for an allergic reaction to present itself as much as four days after original contact with an allergen.