Although all optometrists receive a great deal of specialized education, they are not all equally skilled in diagnosing and treating vision problems and other eye issues. Whether you are looking for an Edmonton optometrist, or one in New York City, you will want to know that you are placing your vision and eye health into capable and trustworthy hands.
Here are several things to look for in effective eye care specialists and clinics.
1. Positive Patient Reviews
Great optometrists usually get great reviews. Unfortunately, these reviews can be tough to find due to doctor-patient confidentiality. Still, there are a couple of places that you can find them.
Friends, family, and coworkers are great resources for this type of information. Ask anybody you know that wears contacts or glasses about their optometrists. You’ll get a bunch of information about different doctors from the patients’ perspectives. While this isn’t the best source for information about the doctors’ capabilities, it is one of the best sources for information about how the doctors are experienced by their patients.
Online reviews can be decent sources of information about the different eye doctors in your area. These reviews tend to lack details, and they are not nearly as trustworthy as reviews you get from your friends, but they do work well as a starting point.
Not all online reviews are equally worthy of your trust. If the reviews are made anonymously, there is no way you can verify the validity of them. Look for reviews on sites like angieslist.com, where there is some protocol in place to make sure that each review came from a real patient.
2. The Right Kind of Education
Optometrists and ophthalmologists are different breeds of eye specialists. They come from different educational backgrounds, and are trained to treat different things. Make sure that whomever you choose is qualified to treat your specific issues.
Ophthalmologists are actually medical or osteopathic doctors. They undergo around 8 years of education and training after college. They are certified to diagnose and treat anything from basic vision problems to serious eye disorders, like glaucoma.
Optometrists are certified doctors of optometry (OD). They are not medical physicians, and they are generally only trained to diagnose and treat vision problems with corrective lenses. Usually, optometrists are not qualified to treat anything beyond basic vision problems, but with extra education, they can become certified in dealing with other issues.
3. A Variety of Skills and Abilities
Some eye care clinics are really good at employing a variety of specialists with different skills. By doing this, these clinics can function as all-inclusive treatment centers for all of your eye and vision needs. Your clinic should provide at least two of following treatment options.
Medical issues related to the eye should be covered by your clinic in some way. This doesn’t mean that they must have an ophthalmologist on staff, but they should be able to treat most common medical eye issues.
Vision problems should be covered at your eye care clinic. Look for clinics that have staff capable of diagnosing vision issues and prescribing corrective lenses.
Lens and glasses production is handled in-house in many clinics. This makes it easier for patients to get their prescriptions, and expedite the process of acquiring new lenses and glasses. It also allows the clinic to have a high degree of control over the glasses and lenses that is prescribes and produces.
If you are looking for a great eye-care clinic or specialist, there are a couple of things you should do. Look for a clinic that treats its patients well. Make sure that the clinic or specialist you choose is capable of handling the treatment of your specific eye issues.
Finally, look for a clinic that can treat a variety of eye problems. By using a clinic that meets all of these criteria, you can be sure that your vision and eye care is in good hands.
Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves long distance running and considers himself a health and fitness enthusiast. His interests range all over the medical field, and Drew highlights that range on his blog, Dr. Ouch. For his eye care needs, Drew trusts Londonderry Eye Care.