Helping Pueblo See Better Faster with Contact Lenses

by Joseph Gowen, O.D.  |  Optometrist, Pueblo, CO

As an optometrist serving the eye care needs of Southern Colorado, Pueblo and outlying areas I'm motivating by three important needs:

  1. Keeping eyes healthy and comfortable in the dry Colorado climate
  2. Making eye-care affordable and convenient
  3. Respecting that many of our patients traveling long distances to reach our office

That's why we now keep a full stock of Air Optix contact lenses in our office.

This means you can take your contacts home the same day your prescription is finalized. 

I'm really excited to now serve you better with:

  • Contact lenses the same day as your exam
  • No shipping costs
  • The same affordable price as online retailers

Air Optix are far and away our most popular lens because they are both comfortable and affordable. They work well in the dry Colorado climate. 

As always we offer hassle-free returns on boxes of unopened lenses. We also  backup each purchase with our quality guarantee -- our lenses are never expired and we will replace any defective lenses, at no cost. 

One of our recent patients left the following online review: 

Great care, quality advice and service and staff!! I felt like I was given experienced as well as expertise by a doctor who cared that his patient received the best care possible. I will continue my visits with his practice and I like my glasses and script,costs- it's a win-win for me! Many thanks:)

My goal is for every patient to have a positive eye exam experience from the pre-check to taking home your glasses and now contacts. 

If you need an exam call us at  719-296-9597 Or click the button below.

3 non-perscription reasons to visit the eye doctor every year

by Joseph Gowen, O.D.  |  Optometrist, Pueblo, CO

Your eyes need an annual hygiene boost– especially if you are a contact lens wearer. Visiting the optometrist once a year will keep your vision sharp and your eyes feeling great.

1) Keeping up healthy eye habits

We go to the dentist every 6 months to get cleaning but more importantly, to get a little reminder about dental hygiene – floss more, drink less soda, keep that brush moving in round little circles, etc.

Going to the eye doctor does the same thing – you’ll leave more committed to keeping your contacts clean and avoiding overwearing them.

2) Check the fit

Contact lens that used to fit well and feel comfortable can suddenly stop working. Most patients in this situation think they can’t wear contacts any more. They don’t realize that changes in your health or medications can affect the fit of your lenses.

Talking over your medical history with your optometrist will help you determine if you can keep wearing contacts. There is a wide range of lens options and your eye doctor will help you find the one that works best for your eyes.

3) Catching damage to your vision or health

Early detection is the key to overcoming a host of health issues. Your optometrist can tell how well your diabetes is controlled and detect other health issues, like high cholesterol or blood pressure just by checking the eyes.

If you are over wearing your contacts or not caring for your eyes, your eye doctor will catch signs of allergic reactions, possible eye infections and even changes to your prescription due to your contact lenses.

And of course, if you get your eyes checked regularly, your optometrist will make sure you’ve got the most accurate prescription possible so your vision is crisp and clear.


Use your New Insurance Benefits

by Joseph Gowen, O.D. Optometrist, Pueblo, CO

New Benefits for 2015

If you have vision coverage on your insurance plan, renewed 2015 benefits are waiting for you to use. You could be eligible for new lenses, frames or contacts. Many new plans now cover children's eye exams.

If you're not sure what your coverage gets you, check with your HR department or give our office a call - we'll help you figure it out.

Our main office number is 719-296-6597

Colorado Medicaid Vision Benefits

by Dr. Joseph Gowen  |  Optometrist, Pueblo, CO

Our office accepts Medicaid for children and adults. In fact, we're one of the few Pueblo optometrists that do. Your eye exams are covered by Medicaid, even as an adult.

Understanding Adult Medicaid Vision Benefits

Your benefits information may say adult eye exams are only covered if medically necessary or problem focused. That's insurance-speak for a variety of issues, including not seeing well with your current prescription.

Covered medical and problem focused issues include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Red eyes
  • Infections
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • Painful eyes
  • Glare/light sensitivity
  • Floaters
  • Eyestrain

If you come to our office with any of these problems, Medicaid will cover your comprehensive eye exam. Expect to pay a $2 co-pay at your appointment - that's all you'll pay for the exam. Glasses & contacts are covered for adults only if you've had eye-surgery. 

Understanding Children's Benefits

Children's eye exams are covered by Medicaid and CHP+ without any strings attached. Because vision is still developing we recommend children receive annual eye exams. Benefits under Medicaid and CHP+ cover:

  • Comprehensive eye exams
  • Standard eyeglasses
  • Repairs to frames and lenses (or you can use EyeMart's 1-year warranty)
  • No co-pay

If you have questions about your vision benefits through Medicaid, please call our office at 719-296-6597




Summer is Best with Contact Lenses

by Dr. Joseph Gowen   |  Optometrist, Pueblo, Colorado 

Summer in Pueblo means it's time for swimming, biking and a whole list of activities easier done while wearing contacts. Make sure you have enough fresh lenses to get through the summer months or consider trying them for the first time.

You'll be happy to know that our independent optometry practice offers prices comparable to most major retailers. And we back up your purchase with our satisfaction guarantee. 

Receive 10% off any order placed in the next 30 days. Use coupon code SUMMERLENS or mention this email at time of purchase. 

(Offer not to be combined with other discounts or insurance.)

(Offer not to be combined with other discounts or insurance.)

Three easy ways to reorder lenses:

First time wearer? Call us for an appointment - 719-296-6597 or request one online.


5 Quick Ways to Reduce Computer Eyestrain

by Joseph Gowen   |  Optometrist, Pueblo, Colorado 

Eyes aching after a day at work? You’re not alone – 50 to 90 percent of people who work on a computer screen have at least some symptoms of eyestrain.

Kids aren’t immune, either - especially if they stare at portable video games or computers throughout the day.

What Causes Eyestrain?

Strain is caused by the repetitive motion of your eyes as they flick back and forth across a computer screen. People with computer-related eyestrain experience a range of symptoms that include:

·      Blurred vision

·      Double vision

·      Dry, red eyes

·      Eye irritation such as burning or itching

·      Headaches

·      Neck or back pain

·      Watery eyes

·      Increased sensitivity to light

The good news is there’s no evidence that computer-related eyestrain causes long-term damage. Even better, there are several simple steps you can take to reduce the strain.

How to Reduce Eyestrain

1)   Get a good monitor. A large LCD monitor (at least 19 inches) with high resolution will keep your eyes from getting too tired. There is no such thing as a proper monitor setting – adjust the contrast, brightness and text size until you feel comfortable. Reduce the blue light and adjust the monitor brightness to best fit the other light in the room.

2)   Use proper lighting and minimize glare. Avoid sitting with windows directly behind or infront of the screen. If possible, use a table lamp on either side of your monitor and don’t work in the dark. Consider getting a screen filter if you can’t control the lighting in your workspace.

3)   Blink more often. People tend to blink less while working on a computer. Making a conscious effort to blink will keep your eyes from drying out and will reduce irritation. Ask your doctor about artificial tears that will moisten your eyes and make them feel better.

4)   Take frequent breaks. A few minutes away from your computer each hour goes a long way to relieving your eyes. Plan ahead and segment your work, using other tasks to break up long computer sessions.

5)   Consider computer eyewear. Computer glasses are different than your everyday glasses. The prescription is set to your monitor distance so your eyes can focus more comfortably.

Still Struggling with Eyestrain?

It's time to see your doctor if you still experience:

·      Eye discomfort

·      Noticeable change in vision

·      Double vision

·      Headaches

Your doctor will troubleshoot your eyestrain and help you get the relief you need.

Back to School Eye Exams

by Joseph Gowen   |  Optometrist, Pueblo, Colorado 

How well your child sees is directly linked to how well they learn. Clear vision and eyes that work well together allow children to perform to the top of their abilities and help them gain confidence in the classroom. Undiagnosed eye problems make it hard for bright children to do well in school.

The American Optometric Association recommends school-age children get a comprehensive eye exam at least every 2 years.

School Screenings vs Comprehensive Eye Exams

School vision screenings do a great job measuring visual acuity - how well a child sees from a distance. But because visual acuity is only one aspect of good vision, screenings are like getting a routine physical that only checks your blood pressure.

A comprehensive eye exam checks the full range of vision skills necessary to support your child's academic success. When you visit Dr. Gowen for a full exam he tests your child for all the major vision skills including:

  • Eye Teaming - Are both eyes working equally? Or is the brain ignoring a weaker eye, letting the other one pull all the weight. 
  • Eye Tracking - Are the eyes following text in a straight line? Or do they jump around on the page, making it hard for your child to keep his place. 
  • Eye Focusing - How quickly can your child's eyes switch focus from the chalkboard to the paper on his desk? Problems accommodating slows down comprehension and makes it hard for him to keep up with the class.
  • Visual Acuity  - Can your child see at all distances? More than just seeing far away, it's important to check vision up close for reading and computer work. 

Over time, if these problems go undiagnosed, a child has to work a lot harder to do well in school. Visual problems cause eye strain, headaches and short attention spans. Many children with visual problems lose confidence in their ability to learn.

Catching the problems early

The good news is if your child has any of these issues, he will respond quickly to vision correction and therapy to strengthen his vision skill set.  Many of the treatments can be performed and managed by Dr. Gowen. If your child needs vision therapy, Dr. Gowen can refer you to the best specialists in Pueblo.

When should your child get their eyes checked?

Dr. Gowen may recommend more frequent exams if specific problems or risk factors exist, but you should bring your child in right away if: 

  • Your child hasn't received a comprehensive eye exam in more than 2 years.
  • You see signs or symptoms of visual problems (see the list here).
  • Your child isn't achieving up to his potential or is using excessive time and effort to do so.


Good vision is key to success in school. Getting regular comprehensive eye exams will make sure your child has the best chance to reach his potential.