If you or your loved one is struggling with a visual impairment from mild to severe; you may need prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses prescribed for you by a qualified optometrist. An eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree is called an optometrist.
This type of doctor specializes in eye care, and can prescribe treatment for a number of eye ailments, including writing prescriptions for medications to treat eye diseases. An optometrist completes a total of eight years of higher education, making them among the most highly skilled and well-trained physicians.
Optometrists can provide a routine eye exam on your visit to his or her office that will help them to gather the information necessary to diagnose your condition and effectively treat it.
Finding an eye doctor can seem like a daunting challenge, with so many optometrists advertising their services; but it can be a relatively simple task if you follow this concise guide to choosing an optometrist.
Locating an Optometrist
Health Grades is an excellent website that you can use to locate a reputable optometrist. You may need prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses prescribed for you by a qualified optometrist. You can search for one in your area by entering your city and state. On each listing you can see where the doctor’s office is located and their phone number listing.
Readily available at the click of your mouse, are patient satisfaction reviews with a one to five star rating. Pay attention to any positive or negative doctor reviews. If many patients have given positive reviews to the optometrist, then this may be the right eye doctor for you. If there is more than one complaint then consider that a red flag and steer clear.
You can also check if the doctor has any sanctions for malpractice with your state’s medical board. If a doctor has more than one sanction or malpractice suit then this is a sign that the doctor may not be as competent as others in his or her field.
The American Optometric Association web site offers a searchable database of qualified Doctors of Optometry through their Doctor Locator Search feature. Your pediatrician or family physician will know of eye doctors in your area. Ask him or her for their recommendation.
Word of mouth recommendations from friends, family members, coworkers or classmates are also an excellent way to get help from your community in finding an excellent optometrist for yourself or your loved one.
Make Sure your Optometrist is Reputable
Always check your doctor’s credentials when you visit his or her office. Make sure that he or she has earned an OD degree. It is vital to make sure that the doctor treating your eye condition has the proper qualifications and is licensed to practice medicine in your state.
The scope of his or her practice based on your state’s laws. You can look up these laws online, which vary depending on which state you live in. You can search on your state’s medical board web site to verify the validity of your optometrist’s licensure and board certification.
The Yellow Pages is a listing directory of businesses alphabetized according to type of business. You can find listings under Optometry and search for a doctor near you, by utilizing this commonly overlooked resource. Many people have a copy of this year’s Yellow Pages but since the advent of greater internet literacy, fewer people use the analog directories anymore.
However, they are still a good place to find eye doctors in your area. Although it can be overwhelming trying to sort through the long lists of doctors available, by utilizing these strategies to find a good optometrist near you, you will be able to choose a doctor who is experienced, reputable and trustworthy.