When it comes to choosing a doctor, you want one who is always looking out for you. Choosing an eye doctor can seem like a difficult task, especially if you’ve never had to visit one before. Here are some things to look for in an eye doctor as you search.
Know the Difference
There are two specialities you may come upon when searching for a doctor, and it is important to know what makes them different.
An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor with specialized experience in surgical and medical procedures. They are a good choice for those with injuries to the eye, eye disease or complicated vision problems but they also provide comprehensive eye exams. Ophthalmologists have completed medical school and possess either an MD or a DO degree.
Optometrists are not medical doctors, but they are certainly qualified to diagnose, treat and care for common diseases of the eyes and vision. Optometrists can detect various diseases and malformations of the eye including cataracts and glaucoma. However, they cannot perform the surgeries necessary to correct these problems. In such cases, Optometrists will refer the patient to an Ophthalmologist.
Finding a Doctor
To get honest feedback, first consult your friends and family to see if they have anything to share about their experience with their doctor. Also consult review sites such as Angie’s List, Google Reviews, and Facebook to see what past patients have to say. This can be especially helpful if you are new to the area.
The First Appointment
After you have chosen a doctor and made an appointment, there are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure they are the right fit.
Were you comfortable?
Was the doctor attentive to your needs or did they seem to rush in and out? Was the staff welcoming and helpful? You want to feel comfortable in any doctors office that you will frequent. If you aren’t comfortable, you’re less likely to get checkups, which can hurt you in the long run.
Did the exam feel complete?
If the doctor rushed you and did not give you time to ask questions, that is not a good sign. A good eye doctor will make communication a two way exchange and give you time to talk.
Is the office well rounded?
Most people want an office that can help them with anything that may arise with their eye care needs. Some services that may be offered include:
- Cataract treatment
- Cornea surgery
- Eye exams for the whole family
- LASIK surgery
- Glaucoma treatment
- Pediatric care
- Retinal specialists
If your first attempt didn’t meet your expectations, keep looking. You should see a doctor you enjoy, not one that you dread. Eye health affects your quality of life, take the time to find a doctor you trust.