Please see answers to common questions below. If you don’t see your question here, please call us and we’d be happy to answer it!

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  • I see fine; why should I make an appointment with an eye doctor?
    • Regular eye exams are the only way to catch 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 carefully planned eye exam.

      Additionally, seeing an eye doctor for eye glasses or contacts can ensure you receive lenses measured specifically for your eyes. This can help reduce headaches and eye fatigue, and not only help you see better, but feel better too.
  • Should I see an optometrist or an ophthalmologist?
    • Both optometrists and ophthalmologists examine, diagnose, treat and manage eye diseases. The main difference between the two is that ophthalmologists are medical-related specialists who perform surgery. Northridge Eye Care is proud to have ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Haugen and optometrists Dr. Michael Merry and Dr. Stacy Cullum to serve you!
  • Will I need to be dilated during my exam?
    • Dilation is an important part of routine eye exams, retinal checks and cataract evaluations. If you are under the age of 30 and meet the necessary requirements sometimes our doctors allow dilation every other year. If you have any questions before or after a dilated eye exam, be sure to speak with your eye doctor.


  • Do you take insurance? What’s covered?
    • Northridge Eye Care accepts a variety of common insurances. Call us today to determine what is covered under your insurance plan.
  • How long is my prescription good for?
    • A glasses prescription is good for 2 years and a contact lens prescription is good for 1 year.
  • What do the numbers in my prescription mean?
    • While looking at your glasses prescription, you will see letters and numbers:
      • The headings OS and OD are Latin abbreviations: OS (oculus sinister) means the left eye and OD (oculus dextrus) means the right eye. Occasionally, you will see a notation for OU, which means something involving both eyes.
      • The numbers refer to the amount of vision correction you need. In general, numbers that are further away from zero indicate a stronger prescription. Additionally, a plus sign in front of the number means you are farsighted and a minus sign means you are nearsighted.
      • For people who have astigmatism, there will be three numbers in your prescription correlating “S,” “C” and “Axis”:
        • S refers to the "spherical" portion of the prescription, which is the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness.
        • C refers to the "cylinder" or astigmatism, and can be a negative or a positive number. The bigger this number, the more astigmatism you have.
        • Axis is a number between 0 and 180 degrees and reveals where your astigmatism is on your eye.
  • How often should I get new glasses?
    • You should visit your eye doctor at least once every year, unless otherwise instructed by your eye care provider. During your visit, you can determine if you should change your eyeglasses, particularly if you feel that your existing eyeglasses are no longer supporting your needs, lifestyle or taste.
  • What are bifocals?
    • Bifocals are a type of eye glasses lens that allows the wearer to see clearly both at distance and near. If you are over 40 or have any difficulty performing close-up tasks (such as reading or working on the computer), ask us whether bifocals or progressive lenses could be right for you.
  • Can I get sunglasses with my insurance?
    • Sunglasses are important to maintaining your eye health. They block exposure to UV light, which can contribute to the development of eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Many patients do not realize that they can get sunglasses covered under their insurance. Call us today to see if this may be an option for you.


  • What’s involved in an eye exam?
    • First, your eye doctor will examine your eyes to determine if you can wear contact lenses. Then, your prescription and the curvature of your eye will be measured and the doctor will discuss any special needs you may have. Finally, the doctor will determine the type of contact lenses that best fit your eyes and provide you with the most accurate vision while ensuring that your eyes remain healthy with the lenses.
  • What’s involved in a contact lens fitting?
    • A contact lens fitting is a practice session for you to try on your new lenses and learn how to insert and remove them. The doctor will also look at the lenses on your eyes to determine if any changes need to be made. If the lenses fit well and you are seeing well with them, a checkup exam will be scheduled 1 week after the fitting session.
  • Why important to have an annual eye exam?
    • Seeing 20/20 isn’t the only reason for a contact lens exam. Since the eye is a sensitive organ, it is susceptible to irritations that may be caused by wearing contact lenses. It is vital to your eye health to make sure that your contact lenses fit properly and are allowing enough oxygen to reach your eyes. During the annual contact lens exam, your eye care professional will evaluate the condition of the lenses and determine if any changes are needed.
  • How long is my prescription good for?
    • A contact lens prescription is good for 1 year.
  • What do the numbers in my prescription mean?
    • Should we just write the same thing as above?


  • Where does Dr. Haugen perform surgeries?
    • Haugen performs all of his cataract surgeries at the outpatient surgery center at St. Elizabeth’s hospital.
  • How long will my surgery take?
    • Most surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures, meaning you do not need to stay in the hospital overnight. Your eye care team will discuss your procedure with you and answer any questions you may have.
  • How long is the downtime after surgery?
    • Many patients can return to normal activities the day following their eye surgery. Your eye care team will discuss your procedure with you and prepare you for your recovery.

      Follow the links for specific information on different conditions:
Office Info
530 Main Street
Red Bluff, CA 96080
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P: (530) 529-1750
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8:00 am-5:30 pm

Northridge Eye Care 530 Main Street Red Bluff, CA 96080 Phone: (530) 529-1750

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