How to Choose Your Eye Doctor
Guardion Health Sciences
Whether you have never been to the eye doctor before or are searching for a new provider, it can be challenging to choose one. There are many experienced, qualified eye doctors that can help you achieve and maintain good ocular health; the trick to finding one is knowing what to look for.
Consider the Type of Care You Need
Are you looking for someone to perform a contact lens fitting or ensure your vision prescription is up to date? Or are you looking for a doctor to provide ongoing care for a specific disease or disorder (such as macular degeneration or glaucoma)? It helps to have a basic understanding of the types of eye doctors.
Optometrists are eye doctors that have graduated college and spent four years in optometry school. They may participate in elective programs specializing in certain types of eye diseases. They perform eye exams, provide glasses/contacts and medication prescriptions and can treat some eye diseases; they do not perform eye surgery.
Ophthalmologists are eye doctors that have graduated college, spent four years in medical school, and four more years in a residency program. Some ophthalmologists opt to spend additional time in a specialty program honing their skills in a particular area of ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists perform eye exams, provide prescriptions for glasses/contacts or medications, treat all types of eye diseases and perform surgery on the eyes.
For general eye exams and eye care, either an ophthalmologist or optometrist is a good choice. If you have a specific eye disease such as age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma that requires medical or surgical treatment, you should probably see an ophthalmologist for ongoing care. Certain doctors may specialize in the care of your specific condition.
Ask for Recommendations
A good way to find a qualified, experienced eye doctor is by asking your general practitioner, friends, family members or coworkers for recommendations. Ask everyone you know and trust that wears glasses about their eye doctor. You are likely to find a provider who has good qualifications and a good “bedside manner” through word-of-mouth referrals.
Do Your Homework
Once you have a list of prospective doctor’s names, take some time to research each provider and their practice.
How long has the doctor been in practice? How much experience do they have providing the type of care you need? Are they affiliated with any organizations that indicate their level of expertise or areas of interest (e.g., the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery or the American Society of Retina Specialists)? What are the practice’s hours, and what type of insurance do they take?
A phone call with the doctor’s office or a visit to the practice website can help you get more familiar with the provider.
Ultimately you want to find a doctor that meets your unique needs and makes you feel comfortable and well cared-for. Having a good relationship with your eye doctor will help you stay on top of your ocular health and take measures to delay or prevent sight-stealing problems.
Contact Guardion Health Sciences
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