Tips for Choosing the Right Optometrist

Tips for Choosing the Right Optometrist

April 23, 2020

Having a great eye doctor is just as important as having a great family doctor. The health and condition of your eyes isn’t something that anyone can afford to take lightly, particularly since we rely on our eyes on more than any of our other senses. In addition to taking steps to look after your eyes at home, you should also make regular visits to see an eye doctor.  

Many people think that optometrists and ophthalmologists are the same things, but this isn’t the case. An optometrist carries out eye exams and will detect eye issues and prescribe you with corrective lenses. However, an ophthalmologist is more concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Most patients are recommended to see an optometrist for their routine care, who will then refer them onto an ophthalmologist if the patient requires medical or surgical treatment for a serious eye condition. 

But how do you know which optometrist to choose? Here are our top tips for choosing the right optometrist.

Ask for referrals

If there are a number of different optometrists in your area, the idea of narrowing them down may seem overwhelming. One of the best ways to do this is to ask local family and friends who they use and whether or not they would recommend them to you. This could create your shortlist of potential candidates quickly and with minimal effort.  

Check online reviews too

Irrespective of how much you trust the opinion of your friends and family, it is still advisable to check out the reviews of potential optometrist’s online. Check out those on an unbiased site like Google as well as the testimonials they may have on their own webpage since these will almost certainly be cherry-picked as the best. Be pragmatic – hardly any service will have 100% excellent reviews, but they should have enough information to give you a good idea of the strengths and any weaknesses that the optometry practice may have. 

Confirm their qualifications and experience

Although it is unlikely that someone would try and practice as an optometrist without the relevant qualifications, training, and experience, it isn’t entirely unheard of. Therefore, we recommend that you check the credentials of your optometrists, including whether they are licensed in your state (clue: they should be!). In addition to meeting the legal requirements of an optometrist, it is also a great idea to question their experience. How long have they been practicing? How many appointments do they carry out each day? Have they come across any challenging situations? This can help determine that they have developed the necessary skill to offer the best possible care. 

Ask about the costs involved

Regular eye exams are essential if you want to maintain great vision and feel reassured that you aren’t at risk of developing eye diseases. However, in order to be able to commit to making these visits, you need to know that you can afford them. If you have insurance that covers the cost of routine eye exams, make sure that your optometrist works with your insurance provider. If you prefer to pay for your appointments, be sure to find out what they charge so that you know that you can afford them and won’t be forced to skip these vitally important exams. 

Find out what technology they use

Evolutions in the field of optical technology have meant that there are faster, more accurate, and more effective tools and techniques for carrying out testing, diagnosing, and treating eye issues than ever before. Great optometrists are recognizing the value of such pieces of equipment and ensuring that they invest in them so that they can continue to deliver the very best care to their patients. 

Assess their chairside manner

Everyone deserves to feel relaxed and welcome when they visit a health professional, and this is no different if you attend an appointment with an optometrist. It won’t be until you actually visit the practice and meet the team and your optometrist that you will be able to gauge how they make you feel and if you feel comfortable with them. They should make you feel relaxed, remain friendly yet professional, and be happy to answer any questions that you have. If something feels ‘off’, they may not be the right optometrist for you. 

At Family Vision Care Associates, we are dedicated to providing only the best service to our patients. Reach out to us today to schedule your next consultation. We look forward to working with you!

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