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phone iconNewton-Wellesley: (781) 263-7360

Eye Care FAQs

What is the difference between a comprehensive eye exam and a contact lens evaluation?

A comprehensive eye exam determines your visual acuity (how well you see) and clinically assesses the health of your eyes to detect evidence of cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye disease.   Evidence of systemic health issues can also be present in your eyes including hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.

A contact lens evaluation is in addition to an eye exam.  Your eye doctor performs additional tests to make sure your eyes are healthy for lens wear, that your lenses fit properly, and to ensure you are seeing as well as possible. Contact lens professional fees are for the extra testing and time taken by the staff and doctor each year to properly evaluate your lenses.  Patients who do not wear contact lenses do not undergo these extra tests.

Most vision insurance does not cover the professional fee for a contact lens evaluation because contact lens wear is considered cosmetically optional.

What is the OptoMap® eye exam?

The Optomap® is a quick and painless diagnostic tool that produces a digital scan of your retina – the back of the eye where evidence of macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, retinal tears and detachments, and general health problems can be seen.

The retina is the only place in your body where your blood vessels can be viewed directly. In addition to detecting early signs of eye disease, health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure can be detected in your retina long before you experience any symptoms.  That’s why a thorough professional eye exam is not just important to your vision but to your overall health.


The Optomap® produces an ultra-wide field view of your retina and creates a digital image as unique as your fingerprint for your doctor’s evaluation. 

  • To have the Optomap® retinal scan, you simply look into the device one eye at a time and you will see a comfortable flash of light to let you know the image of your retina has been taken.
  • Retinal scanning is comfortable and appropriate for all ages, and can be useful for children, who can sometimes be challenging to thoroughly examine.
  • Your retinal images are uploaded to a computer screen for reviewing and discussing with your eye doctor where he or she will confirm the health of your eye or point out areas of concern that might need further evaluation.
  • Since your retinal images are captured and recorded digitally, your eye doctor can retrieve and compare your results with prior exams to detect changes from year to year.


The OptoMap exam is often used to assess your eye health without the need for eye dilation.  However, it is optional and requires a small fee. Most patients consider it worth the minimal expense to avoid the inconvenience of eye dilation so they can immediately return to work, school, or driving.

What Is the difference between an ophthalmologist, an optometrist and an optician?

  • An Ophthalmologist (MD) has a medical degree and is licensed to practice medicine and perform eye surgery. An ophthalmologist has had at least 12 years of education and training beyond high school and is qualified to diagnose and treat all eye diseases and perform eye surgery.
  • An Optometrist (OD) has a doctorate in optometry and must pass state exams to achieve licensing to practice optometry. An optometrist has had at least six years of education and training beyond high school and is qualified to determine the need for glasses and contact lenses; prescribe optical correction; diagnose and manage ocular health complications, and treat conditions such as dry eye, conjunctivitis, corneal abrasions, debris removal, and seasonal eye allergies.
  • An Optician usually has a combination of college (or two years of opticianry school), on-the-job training, and must pass a state-administered exam to be licensed to fit and dispense glasses and contact lenses.

Two Boston Locations to Serve Your Vision Needs—Financial District & Newton-Wellesley

NEWTONEye is now State Street Eye, Newton-Wellesley—New name. Same great doctors you know and trust.

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