General FAQ

What care is recommended for diabetics?

Patients with stable blood sugar should have an annual visual evaluation with dilation. Dr. Kepp will advise patients if more frequent visits are needed.

What emergencies options and after hours care is available?

Please call (406) 596-2020 to reach Dr. Kepp directly. If he is not available, contact the emergency room or call 911.

Do I need an optometrist and or an ophthalmologist?

Both are eye doctors that diagnose and treat many of the same eye conditions. The American Optometric Association defines Doctors of Optometry as: primary health care professionals who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions. They prescribe glasses, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy and medications as well as perform certain surgical procedures.

The main difference between the two, is that ophthalmologists perform surgery, where an optometrist would not, preferring to specialize in eye examinations, as well as eyeglass and contact lens related services.

Optometrists would be involved in all of the pre- and post-operative care of these patients; collecting accurate data, educating the patient, and insuring proper healing after the procedure. An ophthalmologist is more of a medical related specialist, who would need only to be involved if some kind of surgery were being considered. An optometrist can treat most any eye condition, including the use of topical or oral medications if needed. This might include the treatment of glaucoma, eye infections, allergic eye conditions and others, to name just a few.

A third “O” that often is overlooked, is the optician. An optician is not a doctor, and they cannot examine your eye under their own license. However, a highly trained optician plays an indispensable role in the most successful eye doctors’ offices. An optician most often handles the optical, contact lens, and glasses side of things. Based on their vast knowledge of lenses, lens technology and frames, they manufacture eyeglasses, as well as assist in the selection of eyewear, based on the requirements of each individual patient.

I see fine, why do I need an Eye Doctor?

Regular eye exams are the only way to catch “silent” diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma and other conditions in their early stages, when they’re more easily managed or treated. Many conditions can be discovered in a thorough eye exam at Precision EyeCare & Optical.

What if I have flashes of light or floaters in my eyes?

Flashes and floaters can be signs of retinal problems and therefore you should be seen by an eye care doctor immediately.

What is Refraction?

Refraction is a clinical test our doctor performs to determine the eyes refractive error and the best corrective lenses to be prescribed.

Why is dilation recommended?

Dilation is recommended to assess the retina and back of your eye. Advancements in technology have helped limit the need for dilation, but nothing replaces this direct observation that can be made by your doctor. (Citation: Mayo Clinic)

What over-the-counter drops do you recommend for allergies?

Zaditor and Allaway are brands of the same medication and should be taken as directed on the label. Dr. Kepp does not recommend any other over the counter medication due to the potential for problems. If your symptoms are still present, Dr. Kepp recommends you see your eye care provider.

What over-the-counter treatments do you recommend for red eyes?

In general, good quality artificial tears such as Systane, Genteal, Theratears, and Refresh are good choices. Take only as directed on the label. Stay away from any product that says, “Get the red out”. If symptoms persist or worsen, please see your eye care provider.

Am I a candidate for Lasiks or Corrective Vision Surgery?

There are many options for elective refractive surgery. Dr. Kepp can make recommendations in your best interest.

What can be done to stop glare at night or from my office lighting and computer?

The most common way to alleviate glare is to wear antireflective (AR) lenses. See the opticians at Precision EyeCare & Optical for more information.

Why do I get a reaction on my skin by my glasses?

Some people have allergies to certain metals and silicone. The opticians at Precision EyeCare & Optical can direct you to hypoallergenic frames and nose pads that will alleviate reactions to your skin.

Why do I suddenly need reading glasses or bifocals?

As we age, our ability to focus our eyes diminishes. Whether we wear distance prescription or not, there are many options that will allow you to see in the distance and near. The opticians at Precision EyeCare & Optical are trained on the most current options in progressive add lenses (PAL) and reading lenses and will help you find the best solution for your lifestyle.

How can I stop glare at night or at a computer?

There can be many causes for this condition. However, many times this problem can be alleviated, or even dismissed, with the use of “AR” (Anti Reflective) Lenses. First and foremost, however, annual or semi annual eye exams are the ONLY avenue to your eye health and the ONLY resource to ascertain the correct reason or cause for any eye ailment! That being said and once any medical or physical condition is removed as a possibility of cause, then the perfect solution for glare on computer screens, or glare from night driving would be AR (Anti Reflective) Lenses.

How often should I get a new pair of glasses?

This is a personal concern that can address many issues. You should change your eyeglasses when you feel that your existing eyeglasses no longer are supporting your needs, lifestyle, or taste.

In any case a visit to your doctor should not be only considered when you feel it is time for new glasses. You should visit your eye doctor at least once every year, unless otherwise instructed by your eyecare provider.

Do sunglasses really help to keep my eyes healthy?

We cannot stress this enough…YES!

You know how the sun’s UV rays can harm your skin-wrinkles; premature aging and skin cancer are some of the dangers of unprotected sun exposure. The same rays that age and damage your skin can and will hurt your eyes as well. Strong sunlight, and artificial light from sources like welding arcs or tanning lamps can burn the surface of the eye, much like sunburn on the skin.

Reflected sunlight (from the water, for example) is particularly dangerous. There is also evidence that exposure to UV light can contribute to the development of eye diseases that commonly occur as we age, such as cataract and macular degeneration.

Visible Light

Visible light is the part of the sun’s energy that you can see. It is made up of a spectrum of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The eye is not equally sensitive to all of these colors. It is most sensitive to yellows and greens which it can see the best. The eye is less sensitive to reds and blues. Different ultraviolet rays have shorter wavelengths and more energy than visible light rays. They can have a harmful effect on the eyes immediately or cumulatively from regular exposure over a number of years. The industry has set standards for how much UV may be transmitted (passed) by types of sunglasses. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are strongest at high altitudes, low latitudes, and in open or reflective environments (like sand, snow, or water). They are also strongest at midday. Scientists divide UV rays into three bands according to wavelength: UVA, UVB, and UVC.

UVA-short wave

UVA rays have been shown to penetrate the under layers of the skin, causing damage and contributing to the skin’s aging and cataracts. Therefore, it is certainly wise to require protection from them in sunglasses.

UVB-long wave

UVB rays, the sunburn rays, are the ones that cause the most concern. They can cause keratitis, which is similar to sunburn on the eye, and also have been linked to the development of cataracts.


UVC rays are the shortest, the most energetic, and may be the most harmful. Fortunately, they are blocked in the upper atmosphere and never reach the earth. If sunglasses protect against UVB, we can assume they protect against any possible exposure to UVC.

Why are my lenses so thick?

Your prescription, your personal measurements, and the size of your frame are the three key factors that will determine final lens thickness. If you are farsighted your lenses will be thicker at their center, in contrast, if you are nearsighted your lenses will be thicker at their edges. New innovative technology in lens designs, and materials, have allowed us to reduce overall lens thickness by as much as 60% in many cases. Our staff will guide you toward the best possible results in helping you choose the best frame-lens combination for your ocular and fashion needs.

Can the thick lenses be made thinner?

Absolutely! Newer, thinner lens materials are being developed all the time, and we pride ourselves in constantly being up-to-date with the latest developments and materials in the optical community. This, along with the proper grinding and appropriate frame selection could make your new fashion eyeglasses distinctly thinner. Ask one of our doctors or staff about the newest innovations in lenses today.

Can sunglasses help night vision?

If your eyes are subjected to intense glare during the day, they will “defend themselves” by trying to adapt. This natural built-in defense mechanism will persist for several hours after the glare is removed, resulting in reduced vision. Studies show that night vision can be reduced by as much as 50% by this exposure. Wearing sunglasses during the day dramatically improves night vision.

What are all those numbers for my prescription?

An eyeglass prescription is written in a standardized format so it can be understood globally. The right eye, is generally referred to as “OD” or “R”, while the left eye is generally referred to as “OS” or “L”. The right eye is almost always on top in a written prescription with the left directly below. Ignoring for sample sake, the right or left eye, let’s look at a example below:

-2.00 -1.00 x 90. The first number (-2.00) tells us the spherical refractive diopter (a unit of measurement) needed to correct (farsightedness or nearsightedness). In this example, a minus sign in front of the number indicates a correction for nearsightedness. A plus sign would indicate a correction for farsightedness. This is generally true when you are talking about the first set of numbers.

The plus and minus signs on the second number, generally indicates what professional examined your eyes. An optometrist usually refracts in what’s referred to as “Minus Cylinder, while an ophthalmologists refracts in “Plus Cylinder”. For example, an optometrists script would be -2.00 -1.00 x 90, while the same prescription written by an ophthalmologists would be; -3.00 +1.00 x 180. Please note that the second number has a plus sign, and the last number (180, the Axis) has been transposed 90 degrees.

The second number (-1.00) is for astigmatism. If there is no astigmatism correction needed then you would not see the third (180) number. Sometimes you might see the following; SPH written for a cylinder correction instead of a number and nothing written for the third number. SPH stands for “Sphere” which indicates that there is no astigmatism correction needed.

The final number (180, the Axis line) is the direction of the astigmatism. Astigmatism can be measured in any direction around the clock. We use the numbers from 001 to 180 to indicate the orientation of the correction needed.

Depending on your need, there may be additional numbers in a eyeglasses prescription as well. If your prescription has a set of numbers, or a single number with a symbol such as a triangle, or the letters ” BI, BO, BU, or BD that would indicate a prism correction. BI = Base In, BO = Base Out, BU = Base Up, and BD = Base Down. It is not uncommon to have different base directions for either eye.

Also, you will see “ADD” numbers for those requiring bifocals or reading glasses. The ADD number is exactly what it indicates…; an ADD, or an additional script to an otherwise already existing prescription. For example, your prescription is -2.00 for the first number. (In this example there is no astigmatism). For the “ADD ” number you have a +3.00.This would indicate that by ‘Adding” the +3.00 to the -2.00, your reading prescription would be +1.00 (adding a greater positive number to a lesser negative number results in a positive answer).

What is Ultraviolet (UV) and Infrared (IR) light?

The light we see with our eyes is really a very small portion of what is called the “Electromagnetic Spectrum.” The Electromagnetic Spectrum includes all types of radiation – from the X-rays used at hospitals, to radio waves used for communication, and even the microwaves you cook food with.

Radiation in the Electromagnetic Spectrum is often categorized by wavelength. Short wavelength radiation is of the highest energy and can be very dangerous – Gamma, X-rays and ultraviolet are examples of short wavelength radiation. Longer wavelength radiation is of lower energy and is usually less harmful – examples include radio, microwaves and infrared. A rainbow shows the optical (visible) part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum and infrared (if you could see it) would be located just beyond the red side of the rainbow.

Ultraviolet light (UV) is an invisible light that is part of the sun’s radiant spectrum. Exposure to ultraviolet light can cause the lenses of the eye to become cloudy, causing cataracts among many other conditions. Ultraviolet light causes the eye to age faster, thus can also cause macular degeneration. You can’t see ultraviolet light. It affects the eye without your awareness to its being there, and the effects are cumulative. Almost everything in nature is affected by UV light, and almost everything deteriorates because of it. Not all sunglass lenses block all of the UV light, but the lens we recommend most is a polarized sunglass lens for sunglasses and polycarbonate lenses for dress wear.

Infrared (IR) is an invisible electromagnetic radiation that has a longer wavelength than visible light and is detected most often by its heating effect. Part of the discomfort you feel in your eyes after being out in the sun for a while is caused by IR light. Not all sunglass lenses block all of the UV light, but the lens we recommend most is a polarized sunglass lens for sunglasses and polycarbonate lenses for dress wear. Although infrared radiation is not visible, humans can sense it – as heat. Put your hand next to a hot oven if you want to experience infrared radiation “first-hand!”

Cataracts FAQ

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is the clouding or fogging of your crystalline lens in your eye. The clouding obstructs light travel into the eye and results in less clear vision.

What causes a Cataract?

  • Age
  • ‪Ultraviolet lights
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • ‪Drug Use

What are the symptoms of Cataracts?

The most common symptoms are:

  • Cloudy or foggy vision
  • Glare from head lights or bright sun light
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision
  • Colors seem less vibrant
  • ‪Visual aids are no longer effective

How will I know if its time for Cataract Surgery?

During your yearly eye exam your optometrist will dilate your eyes to examine your crystalline lens. Your optometrist will inform you when your cataracts are of maturity for removal.

Is Cataract Surgery Right for Me?

Once your optometrist informs you that your cataracts are mature you have time to make the choice if surgery is right for you. This is an elective surgery. Your eye care provider may recommend you consult with your primary care physician to ensure that your health can handle the procedure. Cataracts are not life threatening which allows you time to decide. Cataract Surgery has a 98% success rate in patients with good eye health. Recovery is generally problem free. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure.

What Happens After I Elect to Have Surgery?

If you elect to have cataract surgery your optometrist will contact the surgeon and schedule you for a consolation. At your consolation the surgeon will take measurements and go over the surgery process. After the consult you will be scheduled for surgery, given a specific date. On the day of surgery you will arrive a few hours prior to surgery. After the surgery you will stay for a few hours and then released to go home and relax for the remainder of the day.

Dry Eye FAQ

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. There are a few different causes of Dry Eye. Your optometrist will be able to help you decided the cause and best treatment for relief.

What are symptoms of Dry Eye?

  • Burning eye
  • Stinging feeling of eyes
  • Sandy or gritty feeling
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry Vision at times
  • Increased eye irritation
  • Painful eyes

How is Dry Eye Treated?

Treating dry eye can range from home remedies to prescription eye medications. Your optometrist will decide what treatment is the best option for your eyes.

What happens if Dry Eye is not treated?

If untreated dry eye can progress to a more irritable condition called chronic conjunctivitis. It can cause corneal scarring, which increases your chance of loss of sight.

If you experience any of the symptoms of dry eye be sure to make an appointment with your optometrist to manage symptoms of this condition.