Vision is something most people take for granted. Did you know it requires nearly half your brain to process all of the information that your eyes give it? That’s a big job.
As an adult, it’s important to visit an optometrist yearly. When you get older, you run a much higher risk for diseases that will impact your vision.
As with all medical providers, finding the right specialist for you boils down to your own needs and preferences. With a plethora of eye care providers out there, where do you begin your search?
That’s why we did the research for you. Read on to learn what to look for when searching for the best optometrist.
Look At Their History
Sure, you don’t want to completely disregard a provider just because they are new to the game. But, it can be beneficial to work with someone who has a long history with optometry.
Bluntly speaking, a veteran eye doctor has seen more patients and therefore, has greater experience. They’re more likely to pick up on signs that inexperienced practitioners haven’t seen before.
Also, you should review your optometrist’s credentials. Where did they go to school? Where have they practiced?
You can go online to find this information and also potentially learn about past work experiences. This leads me to…
We all know that you can’t take every negative complaint on Yelp as the absolute truth.
But, if you start scrolling through a restaurant’s Yelp and notice a pattern- something may be up.
Just like a restaurant where patrons constantly find hair in food, if an optometrist has a bad reputation, it’ll get around the web.
Visit the American Optometrist Association to learn about specialists in your local area.
Also, you can browse their reviews on other consumer-driven sites, such as FindABusinessThat.
Ask About Initial Exam
Before committing to a provider, you should inquire about their basic entry exam.
In most instances, providers will check for both vision and your overall eye health. If for some reason they skip on eye health, that’s a red flag.
The best optometrist for you should do their best to ensure you’re not at risk for any serious conditions down the road.
Your overall vision may seem to be perfectly okay at the time. However, they need to look beyond the basics to ensure that there aren’t any underlying problems.
Go See Their Office
You should visit the office of the optometrist you want to see before your first visit. This way, you will be able to get a feel for your doctor and their practice.
Get a feel for the environment. Was their staff friendly and approachable? Was it a clean office? Did they seem overcrowded and behind on schedule?
Also, this allows you to get a firsthand feel for the optometrist. Did they seem knowledgeable? Was he/she able to answer your questions? How did they treat you?
This is probably the most efficient way you can figure out if someone is the best optometrist for you. However, it can be time-consuming, so you should only visit the providers you’re serious about.
If anything seems off to you, trust your spidey-sense and head for the door.
What Technology Do They Use?
Some professionals will still use the traditional eye exam methods. (Think: “Read me the first column” or “How many numbers are in the second row?”).
However, you’ll see that some of the top providers have access to cutting edge technology. This can be a huge plus to patients.
Some optometrists are able to conduct their patient exams without dilation. New EyeTech Optometry in Frisco, Colorado allows professionals to examine the back of the eye much more efficiently.
Also, some equipment can even detect if you need different prescriptions for day and night. They can shift between bright and dark lights to analyze pupil size.
You should definitely consider an optometrist who uses advanced technology even if the service is more expensive. They are able to provide a more thorough analysis and write much more accurate prescriptions.
Look For Availability
As briefly mentioned above, you should look to see if you can fit in a doctor’s schedule. If they seem too busy for you, it’s likely they are.
It’s common for patients to need to book their appointments weeks in advance.
However, if it takes 6 months to see your optometrist, it’s time to find someone else.
Also worth noting- some practices are open late and on weekends. If you have a busy schedule, the best optometrist for you might be one of these providers.
Optometrist, Optician, or Ophthalmologist?
There are three types of medical professionals who deal with eye care. Each offers different services, so you should determine what kind of care you need.
We’ll start with an optometrist. These guys conduct the regular eye exams. They look for any underlying problems that could be a threat.
They’re also able to write prescriptions for corrective lenses. These are who you’d visit for your yearly eye examination.
An optician specializes in finding the appropriate eyewear for patients. They can recommend glasses and frames that are tailored to your vision.
Lastly, an ophthalmologist is the one you go to for much more serious eye problems. You would go to these guys if you had a referral from the other doctors or were suspicious of disease. They provide advanced care, such as surgery or diagnosis of ocular diseases.
Check With Your Insurance Company
Lastly, we recommend calling your insurance company before selecting an optometrist.
Does your health care plan cover vision? If so, your insurance company may have a list of providers in the area that you’re eligible to receive treatment from.
You should do this early on, especially if money is a concern. This will prevent you from finding a great provider who isn’t covered by your plan.
Have You Found The Best Optometrist?
Your eyes are the window to the world, so finding a great provider is crucial.
Don’t know where to start looking? Check out our search engine! You’re able to browse through Optometrists located near you.