Are Optometrists Just As Important As Ophthalmologists?

A few years ago, I had my first optometrist appointment. She was a new fellow, but she looked like she had been with the practice for a long time. Her warm demeanor and gentle touch at first drew me in. As the session unfolded, I began to see the range of issues that were occurring in my vision: halos around objects, astigmatism, glare in peripheral vision, low-light sensitivity, etc.

The new doctor told me that my myopia was the biggest problem in my right eye. This meant that I needed to correct the condition immediately. She took both my eyes, put one under the light, and gave me a refraction test. In the light, it was very easy to see that my right eye was bigger than the left, so the doctor recommended an eyeglass.

Nowadays, the optometrist is a part of an eye doctor near me that doesn’t just use eyeglasses for correcting vision problems. They also prescribe glasses or contact lenses to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Some optometrists also work with laser eye surgery if it is necessary.

Before you take the next step in seeing a third-party ophthalmologist, be sure that your eye care center is board certified. It doesn’t take much effort to get a short list of prospective doctors, do some online research, and call. A number of organizations have accredited optometrists, so ask what is and isn’t covered by your insurance company. You can even find out the hours of operation, too.

One advantage of a third-party ophthalmologist that is certified by an independent organization is that you will be able to learn more about their techniques from them than you could if you were looking for the same information on your own. Look for an optometrist who has an office in your neighborhood and who lives near you. He or she should have offices in all major cities.

You can also ask whether he or she is willing to write a recommendation for you to a nearby eye care center. Some people feel that they can trust their eye-care center enough to take their glasses there when they are ready for the second pair. Others would rather look into seeing a different physician, perhaps one who specializes in cataract removal or vision correction surgeries.

Do you know where the eye doctor is located? If you live in a small town, this may not be an issue for you. If you live in an urban area, you may have to get the name of the optometrist near me and the address so that you can visit him or her on your own time.

Your optometrist should also tell you how many times he or she has been referred to a nearby eye care center. He or she should also tell you how satisfied he or she is with the services provided. If the optometrist fails to offer you any of these, you should probably avoid that provider.