Patient being shown a form

What to Expect

A team consisting of clinical interns overseen by a licensed Doctor of Optometry will be performing your eye examination. The doctor will finalize any prescriptions which are necessary during your examination. There are two vital components to every exam:

  • Evaluation of vision
  • Evaluation of external and internal eye health

The vision portion of your exam will include an assessment of visual acuity (how well you are able to see), detailed testing of eye movements to detect any issues involving the alignment of your eyes, and the prescription of glasses (if necessary). A meticulous examination of the external anatomy of the eyes (including screening for eyelid and eye surface anomalies) will be followed by inspection of the internal components of the eyes. During this portion of the examination you and your doctor will determine if you should be dilated. Most exams are conducted with the patient being dilated as this allows the clinical intern and doctor a better view inside your eyes. A dilated examination is necessary for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and those at risk for certain eye conditions. Due to the thoroughness of the exam and the nature of an educational environment, patients can expect their appointment to last at least 2 hours.

If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment time or date, please call in advance so our staff may reschedule your examination.

Upon arrival please have the following items:

  • Photo ID
  • Medical and vision insurance cards
  • Insurance Referral if required by your insurance plan
  • List of all medications you are currently taking including over the counter eye drops or medication
  • Current glasses, contact lenses, or low vision devices
  • List of any current medical conditions or health problems
  • Contact information for your current physician
          - If this appointment is a referral please bring a copy of your referral letter.
Doctor putting glasses on a patient

Mission and Philosophy

The mission of the University of the Incarnate Word School of Optometry Clinical Program is to provide exemplary vision care to the population of San Antonio and South Texas that advances the local and global community, public welfare, and common good.

The perspective our students are taught is to evaluate each individual as a whole person. Although our primary focus is on evaluating the vision and ocular health, our trained experts understand that health of the mind and body are equally important to the well-being of every individual. At the UIW Eye Institute, every patient will experience an in-depth comprehensive eye exam that highlights the value of their overall health while concentrating on the intricate and often complex visual and ocular system.

At the UIW Eye Institute, we are committed to providing the finest quality eye care. Our philosophy is that every patient should have access to eye care, regardless of social status or financial means. Here at the UIW Eye Institute, a variety of insurance plans are accepted, and income sensitive plans are offered in order to ensure that each patient receives care well above and beyond minimum standards. Our services are not free, and care shall be extended to all who are in need, provided all necessary documentation is in order. In the spirit of the values perpetuated by the University of the Incarnate Word, we welcome all people to come and experience exceptional eye care.

Doctor giving patient an eye exam

Primary Eye Care

Primary Care Service

The Primary Care Service provides care to patients 18 years of age and older. A comprehensive eye examination will evaluate common refractive conditions such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. In addition, a complete assessment of the external and internal eye health is performed. A thorough eye examination can often detect early stages of several eye diseases such as cataract and glaucoma as well as general health disorders such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The Adult Primary Care Service has state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to aid us in detecting and managing eye disease. Our Adult Primary Care Service has doctors with the knowledge, training, and experience in the visual care of the geriatric and special needs population. The UIWRSO Clinic facilities and examination rooms are able to accommodate patients with all handicaps and are able to perform complete eye and vision evaluations with minimal patient cooperation and communication. Many of the clinical faculty, interns, and staff are fluent in Spanish and various other languages.

Cornea and Contact Lens

Cornea and Contact Lens Service

The Cornea and Contact Lens Service offers the newest advances in contact lens materials and cleaning care systems for vision correction, safety and comfort.  This service provides contact lenses care to those patients where contact lenses are the optimal and/or ony correction to give the patient clear, functional vision. New contact lens candidates, as well as most current contact lens users, should plan on a separate exam for contact lens evaluation and prescription. The Cornea and Contact Lens Service offers contact lens care for all common conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.  These include soft, rigid, toric, scleral and hybrid lenses.  The service offers specialty contact lens services for cases in which contact lenses may be medically necessary like keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, corneal transplants, scarred corneas, disfigured eyes, and post-surgical complications. If you have questions regarding your candidacy for contact lenses, ask your examining intern or the attending preceptor at the time of your comprehensive exam.  They can help you understand your options and make an appointment in the Cornea and Contact Lens Service.

Doctor giving a child an eye exam

Pediatric Eye Care

Pediatric Service

The Pediatric Service provides care to patients ages 17 and under. Specialized techniques, procedures, and equipment are employed to provide comprehensive eye examinations to infants, pre-school, and school-aged children. Our doctors and staff are trained to deal with children of all ages with any problem. They are especially sensitive to the evaluation and diagnosis of visual conditions that may cause learning and academic problems and special needs patients. The American Optometric Association recommends that all children have a comprehensive eye examination by:

  • the age of 6 months
  • at 3 years
  • before entering first grade
  • thereafter per optometrist recommendation (not less than every 2 years)

Healthy eyes and vision is necessary to every child's development and well-being. The early diagnosis and treatment of vision disorders is essential for proper development of the visual system, and successful treatment of any visual anomalies can be obtained more rapidly with early detection.

Vision Therapy and Binocular Vision

Vision Therapy and Binocular Vision Service

The Vision Therapy and Binocular Vision Service evaluates and treats patients who have poor eye focusing, eye teaming, and eye movement skills.  This may account for headaches, eyestrain, double vision, blur, loss of place when reading, skipping lines or words, and vision related learning problems. Vision therapy may help improve other ocular conditions such as strabismus (eye turn) and amblyopia (lazy eye). Binocular vision (eye coordination) problems can cause decreased athletic ability and reduced concentration. Vision therapy is individually prescribed and monitored by an eye care professional. The Vision Therapy and Binocular Vision Service provides vision rehabilitative services for patients suffering from traumatic brain injury, stroke, and other forms of closed-head injury. This treatment is usually done in a team approach with Low Vision Services and Occupational Therapy.  Appointments for this service are by referral only.

Ocular Disease Service

The Ocular Disease Service is staffed by optometrists and ophthalmologists and provides care to all patients suffering from ocular disease. This includes both acute and chronic diseases of the eyes, visual system, and related structures. The Ocular Disease Service schedules patients by referral only but is available to provide care for acute and urgent problems on a walk-in basis. The Ocular Disease Service has all state-of-the art equipment and imaging instrumentation including various perimetry instruments, ocular computed tomography, corneal topography, ultrasonography, fluorescein angiography, and fundus photography. The Ocular Disease Service provides in-office minor surgical and laser procedures. It specifically treats and manages conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, ocular surface and lid disease, conjunctivitis (pink eye), ocular allergies, and the ocular manifestations of other systemic diseases and medications.

Low Vision and Rehabilitation Service

The Vision and Rehabilitation Service provides a unique setting to enhance the quality of life for people with vision impairment.  The mission is to provide vision rehabilitation services to increase awareness and understanding of vision impairment using team resources.  The examination provides a tailored rehabilitation program based on patient needs and goals, in addition to a magnification prescription that transfers to the patient’s personalized training evaluations. The team of doctors is dedicated to Low Vision with each having a Low Vision residency and/or Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry.  The doctors bring experience to the program from their own private practices and experiences in the Veterans Administration, Baylor College of Medicine, and Bascom Palmer Hospitals to provide world-class patient care.  Using care and compassion, the doctors and interns perform an examination that focuses on the patient’s goals and problems that are experienced on a daily basis because of vision loss.  They then prescribe a vision rehabilitation plan to rehabilitate the patient as a whole.  Whether the goal is to read the newspaper or return to driving, we work with the patient to find devices, and teach independence skills to help the patients achieve their goals.

Peri-Operative Service

The Peri-Operative Service works in conjunction with the Parkhurst-NuVision Refractive Surgery Center within the UIW Eye Institute.  Interns work with ophthalmologists and optometrists to provide pre- and post-operative care for patients with various forms of both refractive and cataract surgery.  This service arranges for a one-week training program to allow interns to be trained and certified in the use of therapeutic lasers and procedures.

Visual Neurophysiology Service

The Visual Neurophysiology Service (VNS) conducts patient evaluations using all forms of clinical electrophysiological techniques in accordance with standards specified by the International Society for the Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision. This includes advanced tests of color vision, contrast sensitivity, and dark adaptation.  The VNS evaluates neural health and integrity of the visual pathway from retina to the visual cortex of the brain, is involved in our ever-expanding role in diagnosis, management, and treatment of ocular disease, and contributes to our research mission.  Appointments are by referral only.

Glaucoma Service

The Glaucoma Service is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care to patients with all forms of glaucoma, to expanding our understanding of the disease through innovative research programs, and to participate in the education of health care practitioners in the proper diagnosis and management of glaucoma and related conditions. The Glaucoma Service is staffed by optometrists and ophthalmologists with advanced training and experience in glaucoma care. Patients are seen in the Glaucoma Service by referral only, but care is available for acute and urgent problems on a walk-in basis. The Glaucoma Service is well-equipped with state-of-the art instrumentation for the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, including standard automated perimetry, frequency doubling perimetry, Goldmann bowl perimetry, corneal pachymetry, optical coherence tomography, electrodiagnostics, and fundus photography. Laser procedures are available through the Glaucoma Service including YAG iridotomy, selective laser trabeculoplasty, and argon laser iridoplasty.

Retina Service

The Retina Service is staffed by optometrists with general ophthalmology support and provides care to all patients suffering from vitreoretinal disease. This includes disorders of the posterior segment including the vitreous and retina that may be primary ocular disorders or secondary manifestations of systemic disease. The Retina Service schedules patients by referral only, but is available to provide care for acute and urgent problems on a walk-in basis. The Retina Service has state-of-the art equipment and imaging instrumentation including various ocular computed tomography, corneal topography, ultrasonography, fluorescein angiography, and fundus photography. The Retina Service provides in-office medical retinal treatment and retinal laser procedures. It specifically treats and manages conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, peripheral retinal pathologies, posterior vitreous detachment, retinal venous occlusion, macular degeneration, heredity retinal dystrophies, and the ocular manifestations of other systemic diseases and medications.

Sports Vision and Enhancement Service

The Sports and Vision Enhancement Service is operated faculty and interns. The service’s clinic is located on the University of the Incarnate Word’s Broadway campus and provides vision training for the UIW Cardinal Athletes. The Sports Vision Service focuses on enhancing the visual needs of athletes by identifying visual demands specific to various sports and positions within those sports. Sports vision training can increase the athlete’s ability to process visual information faster and then react in a more accurate and efficient way. Training incorporates standard vision therapy skills in a dynamic environment as well as utilizes innovative equipment specifically designed for sports training. The Sports Vision Service designs sport-specific training exercises that enhance visual skills required for athletes including dynamic visual acuity, depth perception, central-peripheral awareness, tracking, visual and motor reaction times, contrast sensitivity, focusing, multiple object tracking, anticipation, decision making in high pressure situations, and eye-hand coordination. The Sports Vision Service also works with UIW’s athletic trainers to help manage and rehabilitate athletes who have suffered a concussion.

Outpatient Surgery Service

The Outpatient Surgery Service (OSS) is staffed by optometrists and ophthalmologists and provides care to patients that are in need of ophthalmic surgical intervention. The OSS primarily provides surgical care in the areas of cataract and pterygium extraction, but also treats patients with retinal disease requiring intravitreal injections as well as retinal laser therapy.  Additional in-office procedures such as chalazion excision and periocular lesion removal and biopsy are also available.  While refractive cataract surgery is not offered by the OSS, all pre and post-operative care is provided by the clinic, including after-hours emergency care related to any surgical procedure that was performed within the OSS.  The OSS schedules patients by referral only.

Dry Eye Service

The Dry Eye Service is staffed by UIWRSO clinical faculty with advanced training in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of dry eyes and anterior surface diseases. The service provides care to all patients suffering from dry eye disease of any etiology. The service provides care to patients who do or do not wear contact lenses. The Dry Eye Service schedules patients by referral only. The Dry Eye Service has all state-of-the-art equipment such as imaging equipment for Meibography, Slit Lamp photography, non-invasive tear break-up time, Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 testing and ocular surface staining. It offers medical management of dry eyes as well as eyelid margin cleaning/debridement procedures and eyelid warming procedures. The service specifically treats and manages tear-deficient dry eyes as well as Meibomian gland dysfunction (evaporative dry eyes).

Neuro-optometric Rehabilitation Service

The Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Service is staffed by optometrists and provides care to patients with visual deficits resulting from traumatic brain injury and other neurological insults. These include but are not limited to acquired strabismus, diplopia, binocular vision dysfunction, convergence insufficiency and excess, accommodative dysfunction, oculomotor dysfunction, visual-spatial dysfunction including that which affects balance and posture, visual perceptual deficits, visual field loss and visual spatial inattention, and traumatic visual acuity loss. The Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Service schedules patients by referral only. The Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Service provides treatment in the form of lenses, prism, occlusion foils, filters, and neuro-optometric rehabilitative therapy. The Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Service has traditional as well as state-of-the art equipment and instrumentation including eye tracking systems, vergence training computer systems, and various perimetry instruments.

Patient putting on glasses in front of a mirror

Optical Service

The Optical Service at the Eye and Vision Care Clinic can provide same-day service on most single vision prescription lenses. We also have excellent local lab service from Paragon Lab here in San Antonio, so there is a fast turnaround on all other eyeglass orders.

The Optical Service offers a wide range of high-quality frame choices for your eyeglasses. We have frames available for the budget-conscious consumer, as well as for those who are interested in the latest European fashions. Frame lines include Calvin Klien, Coach, Fendi, IZod, Nike, Nautica, Cole Haan, Vogue, BCBG, DVF, Michael Kors, Lacoste, Bebe, OP, Perry Ellis, Gant, Cosmo, Jill Stuart, Candies, EA, C Deneuve, Cadillac, New Balance and for children Disney, Scooby Doo, Fisher Price and sports glasses by Rec Specs.

We accept Visa and Mastercard. We are also in-network providers for Davis Vision and VSP vision care plans.