Health Services

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make an appointment?

Central appointment line: 410-293-2273

How do I contact the eye clinic?

(410) 293-3617 @ North Severn (410) 293-1790 @ Midshipmen at Bancroft Hall

What is your address?

695 Kinkaid Road Optometry Department Naval Health Clinic Annapolis Annapolis, MD 21402-5050

Where are you located in the Naval Health Clinic?

Enter through the main entrance and walk up the stairway in the atrium. The Optometry clinic is to the right, directly above the Pharmacy.

What are the capabilities of your Clinic?

At North Severn, we have 3 examination lanes. We have 3 optometrists who manage patients at Hospital Point and at Bancroft Hall. We have medical equipment for comprehensive eye care for all ages, management of ocular disease, contact lenses, and glasses.

What services do you not provide?

Vision Therapy and Low Vision care. Vision therapy is not covered under Tricare.

Do I need an eye exam?

It is recommended that a child be seen by the age of 4, or when entering pre-school, for a routine comprehensive exam to rule out any ocular or visual issues that may impede learning. A child should be seen earlier if there is a concern, or a family history of: an eye turn, pediatric cataracts, amblyopia, eye cancer, or nasolacrimal duct obstructions. For adults over 18, comprehensive exams with dilation are recommended every other year, unless there is a history of ocular disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol or progressive myopia. If these conditions exist, annual eye exams are recommended.

Do I need a referral to be seen there?

No, all eligible Tricare beneficiaries, Active Duty, Family members, and Retirees are can make an appointment without a referral.

I have 20/20 vision. Do I need to be dilated?

The measure of how well you see and the prescribing of glasses is only the assessment of vision. Vision can be excellent, and the health of your eye can be poor. The dilation allows the practitioner to look at the tissue inside the eye and assess the health of the eye. This is how eye care professionals can evaluate diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, and retinal tears or detachments.

Do you fit contacts?

For existing contact lens wearers…Yes. The clinic provides services for soft contact lens fittings for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and limited cases for presbyopia. Rigid gas permeable lenses are on a per patient basis after assessment and evaluation. Please bring in a pair of your most recent contact lenses and contact lens boxes or written contact lens prescription.

I wear contact lenses. Do I still need glasses?

Absolutely yes! Without a pair of glasses available you would most likely be over-wearing your contact lenses and would be unable to see well if you had an eye infection.

What is Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K is the practice of fitting hard lenses designed for the patient to sleep in on a nightly basis to change the refractive power of the eye. Overnight, the cornea is temporarily flattened so that when the patient awakes and the lens is taken out, the patient’s refractive error is corrected and the patient does not need glasses throughout the day. We do not fit Ortho-K lenses at our clinic, and the Midshipmen and entering classes to the Academy should be advised that Ortho-K lenses or any lenses that change corneal shape are NOT authorized and could jeopardize commissioning.

What medication do I need to tell the eye doctor I am on?

In general, it is important to list all medication you are currently taking. Both prescription medicines and over the counter medicines can affect your eyes. Vitamins to Viagra and birth control pills all have potential effects on vision. Never omit telling the doctor about a medication because you “didn’t think it could affect your eyes”.

I am seeing flashes of light and floaters. Should I be seen?

The short answer is yes. Any new onset flashes of light or floaters should be evaluated to make sure you don’t have a tear in your retina. While most floaters are considered normal, it is hard for the patient to determine which are normal and which signs are something more vision threatening. Flashes of light are hardly ever considered normal and should be seen by an eye care practitioner.

I have a family member who it a nonverbal patient. Can they still have their eyes examined?

Of course! There are plenty of objective tests that can help the eye care practitioner to find the appropriate eyeglass prescription. Whether you are 2 years old, or an adult with a language barrier, an eye exam can still be performed and an appropriate glasses prescription will be given to you!


​You may find some of these terms familiar. “Macula” is part of “Macular degeneration”, and “conjunctiva” is part of “conjunctivitis”. A good representation of an eye will help you to see where each disease lives, so that you may realize these diseases are specific to their own section of the eye, and rarely have anything to do with one another.


Occur in the Lens. It causes vision to be cloudy, but this is not a disease. Cataracts do not hurt your eye, and are only surgical when the patient feels their vision is too poor to function at a level they would like to.

Macular degeneration

Takes place in the Macula. This very small “darker area” of the retina is the only tissue responsible for color vision and your 20/20 vision. Changes to this section of the eye can dramatically affect the quality of vision.


Affects the Optic Nerve. Over time, a glaucomatous eye will have tissue damage to the nerve and peripheral vision can be affected. The optic nerve is routinely examined on all dilated exams.


An inflammation of the Conjunctiva, which is a small membrane of tissue that overlies the white part of the eye. It can be viral or bacterial and is most commonly known as “pink eye” by the general public.
Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.