How to Choose a Good Eye Doctor?
Choosing an eye doctor is just as important as selecting a general health physician. Your eyes are not only a window to the world, but they also serve as a window to your overall health. Because your eyes are an essential part of everyday life, your choice of a good eye doctor is not one that should be taken lightly. Here are five key things to look for when choosing an eye doctor.
Two Types of Eye Doctors
First off – let’s help by giving you a little background on the types of Eye Doctors.
Generally speaking eye doctors can be categorized into two different groups; Optometrists and Ophthalmologists.
Optometrists can treat some eye diseases, prescribe medication, and do not perform surgery on the eyes. To become an optometrist one would go to college, then spend four more years in Optometry school and can participate in programs specializing in some types of eye disease.
Ophthalmologists treat all types of eye disease, prescribe medication, and perform surgery on the eyes. To become an Ophthalmologist one would go to college, then spend four years in Medical School, and then spend four more years in a residency program. Some ophthalmologists, after their residency, will spend up to several more years if they are interested in specializing in a particular type of Ophthalmology, although this is not required to be considered a general Ophthalmologist.
Which Is Right For You?
It’s a good idea to consider the type of care you need when selecting an eye doctor. For a general eye exam either an ophthalmologist or optometrist will suit your purpose, however if you have a specific eye disease – you may want to consider an ophthalmologist for ongoing care (depending on the issue). In terms of fitting contact lenses and educating you on all the options with regard to glasses, spectacle lenses and contact lenses – Optometrists are typically thought of as the go to professional.
Eye Doctor Availability
When it comes to optometrists – does the practice offer evening and weekend hours of availability? Does the practice have openings within the week of your desired well vision exam?
When it comes to Disease management and Ophthalmology care – it is rare to find a medical doctor with evening and weekend appointments.
Here, it is important if you need immediate care to find out if you can be seen fast. Most quality practices will triage your issues and if you are looking for immediate assistance, will work you into their schedule. Most high quality medical doctors / Ophthalmologists get booked up 2 to 3 weeks in advance but –will make every effort to have you seen ASAP based on your symptoms.
For more tips on eye health, schedule an appointment with our eye doctor at Westminster Vision Associates.
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