General Information & FAQs

  • What are your office hours?

Appointments are available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Our staff is available by phone from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. We offer email communication on-line through a secure patient portal (NextMD). Non-urgent email communication can be sent 24 hours per day; however, responses will be made during operating hours.

  • What kind of training do the providers have?

Each of our pediatric ophthalmologists have an Ophthalmology Board Certification and Fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus.

  • What is the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) or an osteopathic doctor (DO) who specializes in eye and vision health. Ophthalmologists are trained to perform eye exams, diagnose and treat disease and eye trauma, prescribe medications and perform eye surgery.

Doctors of Optometry (O.D.s / optometrists) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, eyes for both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses.

  • How are phone calls handled during the day?

Our Patient Service Representatives are available during our operating hours to help with general questions, appointments, etc. Non-urgent requests involving patient care will be first addressed by one of highly trained Ophthalmic Technicians. Our policy is to return all phone calls within 24 hours. We also suggest using our secure patient portal to send a non-urgent email request. If you have not established your on-line account, call our office and set one up today.

  • What if I have a problem after the clinic is closed?

Children’s Eye Physicians can be reached by phone at:

Office: 303-456-9456 and 1-800-573-8874

Our physicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including weekends and holidays. After business hours, our office phone line is turned to our answering service, who will page the on call physician for emergencies. If there is a life threatening emergency please contact 9-1-1.

  • How long does an eye exam take?

In order to provide the best possible and comprehensive eye exam, we require that all patients have a dilated exam for their first visit to our office; therefore, a first-time patient should plan to be at our office for approximately two hours.

  • What if I need to cancel my appointment?

We understand that things come up. We ask that any cancellations are made within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment or there will be a $50 no show fee charged. We will be happy to reschedule your appointment to a time that may be more convenient for you and your family.

  • Why is dilation important? Does it hurt? How long does it last?

Dilation is the end result of using an eye drop to fix the pupil open in order to view the structures at the back of the eye. We use this same drop to paralyze the focusing mechanism, which is why there is a side effect of blurred near vision after pupil dilation.

With dilation, we are able to visualize all the important, structural parts of the eye to ensure they are normal and determine the appropriate prescription for glasses if they are needed. The eye drops can have a brief stinging sensation.

Side effects include: blurred near vision and sensitivity to sunlight. It is recommended that patients wear sunglasses upon leaving our office after dilation, for their comfort. The effects of these dilation drops can last up to 4 hours.

We tell parents that their children can return to school after a dilated exam; however, the teacher will need to be told that your child may require additional assistance with near activities for the duration of the dilation.

  • What is the difference between a medical and a routine exam?

Children’s Eye Physicians offers treatment options for a full spectrum of children’s medical vision problems. Our Pediatric Ophthalmologists and Pediatric Optometrists are among the top experts in their field and have advanced training in caring for patients presenting with strabismus (both pediatric and adult), amblyopia (lazy eye), congenital and pediatric cataracts, retinopathy of prematurity, ptosis, nystagmus, pediatric glaucoma, pediatric neuro-ophthalmologic disorders, and traumatic eye injuries, to name a few.

Also offered within our practice are routine corrective treatment plans for more corrective vision care problems, such as: Astigmatism, Hyperopia (farsightedness), Myopia (nearsightedness).

Pursuant to Colorado’s Division of Insurance, starting 2014, medical health plans are required to offer one annual complete Pediatric Vision Exam as part of a person’s medical insurance benefits. Benefits for routine care (not medical) may either be included as part of your medical insurance or administered by routine vision care carriers such as Vision Service Plan (VSP), EyeMed or Spectera. Our practice participates with VSP, EyeMed and Spectera.

By policy, Children’s Eye Physicians bills for insurance coverage pursuant to the diagnosis our physicians find as a result of our complete examination of your child. The diagnosis we find does govern how your insurance benefits are applied as either “medical” or “routine.” Most insurance carriers apply the concepts of ophthalmic “medical” and “routine” conditions consistently.

  • How do I get a medication refill, a copy of a glasses or contact lens prescription, a letter from my doctor?

Through our secure patient portal (NextMD), you can request all of these items and MORE without having to pick up the phone! If you have not set up your account, please call our office and ask one of our Patient Service Representatives to enroll you today.

  • My doctor prescribed patching for my child. Where do I get eye patches?

The most common problem your child’s physician is treating with the use of eye patching is Amblyopia, the most common cause of irreversible low vision problems in children. It is really important that a treatment plan, including eye patching, be followed very closely ensuring the greatest degree of improvement in your child’s vision development.

For patching, there are two options: sticky patches or cloth patches. The sticky patches apply to the skin like a Band-aid (without the “ouch”) and your child’s eye glasses go on over the patch. The cloth patch slides over the arm of the glasses and slides around over the lens. All three of our Optical stores sell eye patches for your child, offering some eye catching designs your child will appreciate.

Visit one of the optical shops today to see our selection of patches!
Highland Family Optical – 9094 E. Mineral Avenue, Suite 200, Centennial, CO 80112
Children’s Family Optical – 4875 Ward Road, Suite 600, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Stapleton Family Optical – 2373 Central Park Avenue, Suite 102, Denver, CO 80238

  • Where should I go for glasses?

For your convenience, we have onsite an Optical store at every location. We believe that a good glasses fit is incredibly important, especially for children. Our Optician is experienced with working with patients of all ages and has specialty training working with children. Accuracy, excellent fit, pairing glasses best suited for the patient’s prescription and helping you or your child find exciting and comfortable eyewear are our top priorities.

  • What insurance plans are accepted?

Our practice, in an effort to ensure the greatest degree of availability, participates with most medical insurance plans. Each medical insurance plan has different levels of benefits or referral requirements of its covered members and we encourage our families to check your insurance benefits for any specific requirements that may apply to your coverage. Additionally, our practice also participates with several “routine” vision insurance partners including Eye Med, Spectera and Vision Service Plan, (VSP) though, there are some programs within these plans we may not be participating.

If you have any questions regarding your medical or routine vision benefits and or payment for services, please contact one of our Patient Service Representatives.

  • What is your payment policy?

We request that all payments are made at the time of service. This policy helps keep our billing costs down and our fees reasonable. If you are not able to pay your copayment at the time of your visit, you will be charged a $10 billing charge. Additionally, if you are a self pay patient, payment is expected at the time of service. If you are unable to pay for your visit in full, please contact one of our Patient Account Representatives to arrange payment.

  • What kind of training do optometrists have?

An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists perform routine eye exams, examine eyes for both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses.

  • How are phone calls handled during the day?

Our Patient Service Representatives are available during our operating hours to answer general question. Non-urgent requests that involve patient care will be first addressed by one of highly trained technicians. Our policy is to return phone calls within 24 hours.

  • What if I have a problem after the clinic is closed?

Colorado Family Eye Centers can be reached by phone at:

Office: 303-597-1640

Our physicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including weekends and holidays. After business hours, our office phone line is turned to our answering service, who will page the on call physician for emergencies. If there is a life threatening emergency please contact 9-1-1.

  • What if I have questions about my exam or prescription?

Our highly trained Para-Optometric Technicians will consult with Dr. Huston, assuring your specific requests regarding your exam and needed follow up are appropriate and accurate. Prescription requests for medicines or eye glasses are addressed within 24 hours.

  • How long does an eye exam take?

In order to provide the best possible and comprehensive eye exam, it is possible that Dr. Huston will perform a dilated exam, which can take up to an hour.

  • Why is dilation important? Does it hurt? How long does it last?

Dilation is the end result of using an eye drop to fix the pupil open in order to view the structures at the back of the eye. We use this same drop to paralyze the focusing mechanism, which is why there is a side effect of blurred near vision after pupil dilation.

With dilation, we are able to visualize all the important, structural parts of the eye to ensure they are normal and determine the appropriate prescription for glasses if they are needed. The eye drops can have a brief stinging sensation.

Side effects include: blurred near vision and sensitivity to sunlight. It is recommended that patients wear sunglasses upon leaving our office after dilation, for their comfort. The effects of these dilation drops can last up to 4 hours.

We tell parents that their children can return to school after a dilated exam; however, the teacher will need to be told that your child may require additional assistance with near activities for the duration of the dilation.

  • Other than the eye drops, what should I expect?

You can expect the highest level of comprehensive and accurate eye care, delivered by a highly trained Optometrist.

  • What if I need to cancel my appointment?

We understand that things come up. We ask that any cancellations are made within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment or there will be a $50 no show fee charged. We will be happy to reschedule your appointment to a time that may be more convenient for you and your family.

  • Where should I go for glasses?

At Colorado Family Eye Center-Stapleton, we have on site an Optical store – Stapleton Family Optical! We believe that a good glasses fit is incredibly important, especially for children. Our Optician is experienced with working with patients of all ages and has specialty training working with children. Accuracy, excellent fit, pairing glasses best suited for the patient’s prescription and helping you or your child find exciting and comfortable eyewear are our top priorities.

  • What insurance plans are accepted?

We participate with many insurance plans for medical eye health and routine eye health visits. Our Patient Services Representatives can give you more information regarding participation in your plan. If you have any questions regarding payment for services, please contact one of our Patient Account Representatives.

  • What is your payment policy?

We request that all payments are made at the time of service. This policy helps keep our billing costs down and our fees reasonable. If you are not able to pay your copayment at the time of your visit, you will be charged a $10 billing charge. Additionally, if you are a self pay patient, payment is expected at the time of service. If you are unable to pay for your visit in full, please contact one of our Patient Account Representatives to arrange payment.

  • What is strabismus and why does it occur in adults?

Strabismus (struh-BIS-mus) is a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with one another. You may have heard this referred to as “cross-eyed”, “wall-eye” or “lazy eye”. An adult patient may have had this condition since childhood (that was either never diagnosed or unsuccessfully treated), experienced an illness or injury later in life, or in some cases, unfortunately, there is no identifiable reason that caused misalignment of the eyes.

  • Can anything be done for adults with strabismus or misaligned eyes?

Absolutely! As an adult with eye misalignment you may have been told by a physician or friend that nothing can be done to re-align the eyes. This is simply not true. Eye muscle surgery is safe, effective and highly successful and it is never too late to make a decision for surgical correction. In some cases, non-surgical treatment, such as prism glasses, is an effective alternative to surgery.

  • Do I have strabismus?

Adults with strabismus may experience any or all of the findings/symptoms below:

  • eye(s) cross in, wander out, float up or down
  • the eyes do not move together
  • double vision
  • use a head position to relieve double vision
  • eye fatigue
  • overlapped or blurred images
  • reading difficulty
  • loss of depth perception

If you have any of these findings/symptoms, you should be evaluated by a specialist in adult strabismus at Colorado Center for Eye Alignment.

  • Which adults are at higher risk of having or developing strabismus?

  • if you have a family history of strabismus
  • if you had strabismus in childhood
  • if you have thyroid disease (Grave’s Disease)
  • if you have Myasthenia Gravis
  • if you have a history of a brain tumor
  • if you have had a stroke or aneurysm
  • if you have had a head injury
  • if you have had an injury to the bone surrounding the eye (orbital fracture)
  • if you have a low vision or non-seeing eye
  • What is binocular vision or fusion?

Each of your eyes sees the world independently and sends a unique image to the brain. If you have binocular vision, it means that your brain can take these two individual snapshots and merge them together into a single, three dimensional perception of the world. When the eyes are not aligned properly, depth perception may be limited or non-existent.

  • Who treats misaligned eyes in adults?

All of the physicians at the Colorado Center for Eye Alignment are highly qualified to treat all forms of eye misalignment in adults. You will see in the biographies for each of our doctors that they have all obtained a fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Not only do our physicians have training in general ophthalmology, they have also completed additional education and training in the fields of pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus. An ophthalmologist trained in strabismus is the most qualified specialist to diagnose and treat any eye misalignment in adults.

  • What kind of training do the providers have?

Each of our pediatric ophthalmologists have an Ophthalmology Board Certification and Fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus.

  • Why didn’t my primary care physician, ophthalmologist or optometrist tell me that help was available?

Unfortunately, many doctors outside of our very specialized field are not aware that treatment for eye misalignment in adults is available. Additionally, many are under the impression that surgery can only be performed as a child or that surgery is not very successful in adulthood. These claims are simply not true. We are frequently meeting with primary care physicians, ophthalmologist and optometrists in hopes to give them more information regarding adult strabismus and treatment options.

  • What if I need to cancel my appointment?

We understand that things come up. We ask that any cancellations are made within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment or there will be a $50 no show fee charged. We will be happy to reschedule your appointment to a time that may be more convenient for you and your family.

  • Is eye muscle surgery cosmetic? Will my insurance pay for surgery?

All forms of eye misalignment are typically seen by insurance companies as medical, especially when coupled with eye strain or double vision. Eye alignment surgery is performed in adults for a multitude of reasons. Examples include: relief of double vision and restoration of depth perception. Even eye muscle surgery for the improvement in the appearance of ocular misalignment should not be considered cosmetic as surgery is performed to “reconstruct” abnormal ocular alignment. As a service to our patients, we will always pre-certify any surgical procedures with your insurance company to ensure that the surgery is a covered benefit.

  • What happens during eye muscle surgery?

Eye muscle surgery is just as it sounds: surgery on the muscles of the eye. There are six muscles attached to each eye. It is a “cut and sew” procedure, lasers are not used for this type of surgery. Generally speaking, each muscle that is being worked on must either be weakened (moved back on the eyeball) or tightened (a section is removed). Typically, eye muscle surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Our policy at the Colorado Center for Eye Alignment is to only utilize fellowship trained anesthesiologists with which we have worked closely for years. Once the patient is asleep, an incision is made on the white part of the eye (there are no skin incisions) and the muscles are separated from the eye and reattached with dissolvable sutures. It is important to know that the eyeball is not removed in order to perform eye muscle surgery.

  • What are adjustable sutures?

An adjustable suture is a type of slip-knot that is used to hold a muscle in place; however, this special suture allows the surgeon to re-adjust the position of the eye after the surgery is completed and the patient has had the opportunity to wake-up from anesthesia. At that time, if the eyes are not completely straight, the suture can be manipulated to move the muscle either forward or back to help resolve any residual misalignment. Once the patient and the surgeon are pleased with the alignment of the eyes, the suture is tied down and cut and can no longer be used to change the position of the eye.

  • Is hospitalization required for this type of surgery?

Eye muscle surgery is performed as an out patient procedure although; the need for hospitalization could arise depending on each individual?s general health. In most cases, adult patients return home after several hours in the out patient recovery unit. We perform surgery at the following locations: Midtown Surgical Center, SkyRidge Surgical Center and Presbyterian St. Luke?s Hospital.

  • How successful is eye muscle surgery?

Most individuals have complete or significant improvement in eye alignment with one surgery. The national success rate for eye muscle surgery is 80%; however, at the Colorado Center for Eye Alignment, because of our commitment to research and evaluation of our prior surgical cases, we have found that our average success rate is above that of the national average. The ability to use adjustable sutures in adult patients has also contributed to this increased success. Immediately following surgery, some patients experience double vision. This is due to the brain trying to figure out the new alignment of the eyes. Typically, we see this phenomenon resolve over several days to weeks. Determination of the success of eye muscle surgery must wait until several months after the procedure as it takes time for the muscles to heal.

  • What are the risks of eye muscle surgery?

Like all surgical procedures, eye muscle surgery does carry some risk; however, the most common risks are residual misalignment of the eyes and double vision. Despite our best efforts, careful measurements and use of adjustable sutures, occasionally, eye muscle surgery is only partially successful or a change in the alignment occurs after several years following a successful surgery. Additional surgery can be performed for residual misalignment or prism for a small deviation can be incorporated into glasses. Although most double vision that develops after strabismus surgery is temporary, persistent double vision is possible. Fortunately, the more serious risks of anesthesia complications, infection, retinal detachment and decreased vision are extremely rare.

  • Is eye muscle surgery painful?

Discomfort following eye muscle surgery is typically not severe. More commonly, patients report experiencing a dull headache, soreness, swelling, a pulling sensation with movement of the eyes and/or a sensation of foreign material in the eye. Although over-the-counter pain medication is often adequate for pain relief, stronger medications are sometimes prescribed. Our surgeons recommend limited physical activity and no water in the eye(s) for at least two weeks. Many of our adult patients return to work within several days to a week following eye muscle surgery. Redness in the operated eye(s) should be expected and can last several days to weeks.

  • I have already had one (or more than one) eye muscle surgery when I was a child. Is additional surgery an option?

Although you may have had eye muscle surgery in childhood, adolescence or even adulthood, you could still have a successful surgical procedure at this time. There have been advancements in the field of strabismus surgery. Specifically, adjustable sutures can improve the chance for a successful outcome.

  • What insurance plans are accepted?

We participate with many insurance plans for medical eye health and routine eye health visits. Our Patient Services Representatives can give you more information regarding participation in your plan. If you have any questions regarding payment for services, please contact one of our Patient Account Representatives.

  • Is eye muscle surgery cosmetic? Will my insurance pay for surgery?

All forms of eye misalignment are typically seen by insurance companies as medical, especially when coupled with eye strain or double vision. Eye alignment surgery is performed in adults for a multitude of reasons. Examples include: relief of double vision and restoration of depth perception. Even eye muscle surgery for the improvement in the appearance of ocular misalignment should not be considered cosmetic as surgery is performed to “reconstruct” abnormal ocular alignment. As a service to our patients, we will always pre-certify any surgical procedures with your insurance company to ensure that the surgery is a covered benefit.

  • Where should I go for glasses?

For your convenience, we have onsite an Optical store at every location. We believe that a good glasses fit is incredibly important, especially for children. Our Optician is experienced with working with patients of all ages and has specialty training working with children. Accuracy, excellent fit, pairing glasses best suited for the patient’s prescription and helping you or your child find exciting and comfortable eyewear are our top priorities.

  • Looking for the latest styles to fit the family?

Our optical shops, Colorado Family Optical Centers, stay on top of what’s hip, what works and what will make everyone happy to see better than ever.