We go to a variety of doctors every year to check up on our heart, reproductive, skin, and dental health. But many people don’t realize the importance of also checking into the health of our eyes. Unless you wear contacts or glasses, chances are you have not see an eye doctor in a while.
You might not feel it is necessary, especially if you have 20/20 vision, but keeping your eyes happy and healthy is a vital part of your overall well-being. Once you realize this, the next step is making an appointment. When you Google search “eye doctor near me” you’ll get a huge number of results.
With so many options, which one should you choose? Here are a few things to consider when deciding on an eye doctor near you.
Optometrist, optician, or ophthalmologist?
The lingo in the optometry field can start to get confusing. When searching for an eye doctor, you’ll typically see three terms for specialists: optometrist, optician, and ophthalmologist. You probably have no idea which one is most legit and requires an actual medical degree.
An ophthalmologist has the most training in the field; these physicians have a background in the anatomy and diseases of the eye. If you find an eye doctor in your area with this title, you know you’re in good hands. Anyone with a serious issue should look for an ophthalmologist.
Optometrists are the next most qualified licensed physicians and can diagnose and treat a variety of eye conditions. An optician on the other hand is not an actual doctor, but has been trained to check eyesight and provide prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses.
After figuring out which type of specialist you should see, your next step is to check with your insurance provider. If your health insurance includes eye coverage, be sure to visit an eye facility that is within your network. The eye clinic will know about the billing procedures involved.
Selection of frames and contacts on hand
If you know that your main goal for visiting the eye doctor is to purchase a new pair of glasses, you’ll want to go somewhere that has a decent selection of frames. This is especially true if you have never worn glasses before and aren’t familiar with different styles. Choose an eye doctor that has everything from wayfarer to cateye frames so you can test them out.
Reviews from fellow patients
It is always a smart idea to look into honest reviews from patients just like you. If an eye doctor has a 2-star rating on Yelp, you should probably avoid that one. Find one with a good reputation based on customer service, cleanliness of the facility, and overall competence when it comes to your eye health.
Location of the facility
Last but not least, consider the location of the eye doctor. If you are debating between two similar eye facilities, choose the one that is closer. With busy work schedules and hectic family lives, there is no need to spend an hour in traffic for your annual eye exam.