Choosing a doctor when it comes to your precious eyes is something that you cannot take for granted. After all, it is a person’s eyes that along with serving as the window to the universe also serve as the window to their overall health. As the eyes are a crucial part of an individual’s life, the selection of a good and reliable eye specialist is not something that one can take lightly.
Before directly going into the tips to select the best optometrist it is essential to discuss a little on the two types- Optometrists and Ophthalmologists. That is because often people think both serve the same purpose.
- Ophthalmologists- They can treat almost all forms of eye problems/disease, provide medication and also conduct eye surgery.
- Optometrists- They can treat specific eye problems/diseases, provide medication but will not perform eye surgery.
If a person’s eyes are healthy as well as does not need surgical treatment or specialized medical treatment, choosing the kind of eye specialist for a routine check is a personal choice. Both ophthalmologists and optometrists conduct routine eye check-up and are trained in detecting, diagnosing and managing eye problems which need non-medical and medical treatment. For instance, if the healthcare professional diagnoses a person to be having an eye problem like cataract, macular degeneration or glaucoma, it is crucial to consult an eye specialist who is highly skilled and trained to monitor and treat their condition. That in most cases may mean that surgical or medical eye care through an experienced ophthalmologist will be the need of the hour. One’s consulting optometrist in such instances may refer him to a colleague (ophthalmologist) who can treat his condition. Care for that specific eye problem in many cases may be offered by an ophthalmologist and an optometrist working hand in hand as a team through co-management.
Tips to Consider
These days people do everything online, and they tend to search for an optometrist near me and visit them in a jiffy. But this may not be the right choice always. And when it comes to the eyes, one cannot take any chances. Below are some tips that will help one to make the right choice.
- Get Referrals- It is always good to start with referrals. One can ask friends, family or healthcare providers for suggestions. It is essential to invest some quality time to check the experience and credentials of the eye doctor. There are different types of ophthalmology specialists which also include doctors that specialize in treating diseases of the retina or cornea or glaucoma. So, one needs to narrow down the list, select an eye doctor who can treat the eye problem they are suffering from and likewise book an appointment.
- Study the Credentials-One of the critical factors that should be taken into consideration while looking for an Optometrist is indeed a board certification. That will throw light on his training, experience, and skills in the domain. Here subspecialty training will be an added advantage. Most importantly it is vital to ensure that the Optometrist does not hold any history of disciplinary actions or malpractice claims.
- Experience Counts- When a person faces eye conditions or problems that can affect their vision, experience indeed matters. The more experience the doctor has, the better will be the results. It is good to check his case study to have an idea about his background or the number of patients he has treated having the same specific condition.
- Gender Matters- While looking for a good Optometrist it is wise to consider the gender because in this way the patient will feel comfortable and at ease to openly discuss with the doctor their personal information. With regards to the eye problem, the patient’s gender again is a vital consideration. Leading Optometrists these days are getting more skilled while caring for men and women differently. It is good to ask the doctor regarding their recent experience and training concerning one’s gender and condition.
- Investigate Hospital Quality– One’s doctor’s hospital is their hospital, so they need to consider the kind of quality care the ambulatory surgery center or the hospital where the Optometrist will treat patients offer. The variety of the hospital matters because patients treated in top hospitals will have better survival rates and fewer complications. The location of the hospital is also important. If one needs to visit the hospital for treatment or tests, they will wish the location not to discourage but rather encourage timely care.
- Assess Communication Style-It is good to choose an Optometrist with whom one is comfortable to speak and who will support their informational requirements. During the first appointment, one needs to ask a few questions and see how the doctor responds to it. Does he welcome the queries and answers the same properly? Also, the patient needs to assess did he feel engaged or rushed during the visit. Consult an Optometrist that will show interest to know more about the patient and considers their treatment choices and above all respect their decision-making process.
- Analyze Patient Satisfaction Survey- Glancing at what others opinion are about the selected Optometrist can offer insight regarding how the eye doctor practices medicine and also how they operate the practice. The surveys related to patient satisfaction generally ask people regarding their experience concerning office staff friendliness, office environment, wait times and scheduling appointments. This way one can learn more regarding the trust of the patients on the doctor, the time they spend with patients as well as how they handle patient’s queries.
- What Does the Insurance Cover? One’s insurance coverage is indeed a practical matter. For attaining the ultimate insurance benefits as well as paying a minimal amount out of the pocket for care, one needs to select an optometrist that participates in one’s plan.
Seeing an optometrist be it for preventive eye care or early treatment is the most excellent means to cut down the risk of vision loss and permanent eye damage. The right Optometrist will guide one through different decisions about treating any eye condition or protecting their vision. Consider the points as mentioned above and get in touch with the best Optometrist.