There are many trained professionals that are involved in the practice of caring for the eyes. Along with that are certain characteristics and factors that you need to look into because finding the right professional can certainly avert many vision-related problems. Now, some patients are able to find their choice right away while some take time in meeting and trialling different options. We want to be able to provide you with some helpful tips in finally getting to meet the right specialist. Here they are:
1. Know the difference between an optical dispenser, optometrist, and an ophthalmologist
The professional that you will seek help from must have the right training and experience on the kind of care that your eyes need. There are three different people who are concerned with eye care but all of them have different specializations.
You may have heard about the term optical dispenser before. This person has training in designing, verifying, and fitting eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct vision problems. They cannot make prescriptions as they rely on the prescriptions given by optometrists or occasionally ophthalmologists. They are technicians and not medical doctors and so you would normally go to them after seeing either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist for your eye care concerns.
An optometrist, on the other hand, provides primary vision care which includes examining for eye health and vision problems, diagnosing vision disorders, and correcting refractive errors by prescribing and dispensing eye glasses, contact lenses, may even prescribe topical medication for eye conditions. They are not medical doctors and so at times, they may need to refer patients with serious cases to ophthalmologists.
A third professional is also involved in caring for the eyes and yes, that is an ophthalmologist. They are medical doctors who have completed college plus at least 8 years of combined study in medical school, internship, and hospital-based residency in ophthalmology. They can prescribe topical and oral medication for treatment and they also perform eye surgeries.
2. Seek recommendations from your network
Getting referrals from people who have the knowledge about this field or from those who may have gone out to seek the same care before can be helpful. People will gladly share a good experience with a professional and will be very eager to provide some insights regarding speciality, availability, pricing, and even attitude. Word-of-mouth is always an honest and a straightforward review about a service so go seek recommendations or reviews from your own family members, friends, physician, and co-workers. You may also want to check out organisations or online forums of eye care patients as they may have a directory of opticians, optometrists, ophthalmologists who are on their radar.
3. Check their website and call their clinic to find out more details about their services
Every business establishment has its own website these days and most of the information about their group and the services that they provide are in there. Most of the time, they also offer some helpful information regarding eyecare and these can come in the form of blogs.
Take advantage of the power of the internet. Go ahead and do your research on your prospective eyecare help. Online, you will also be able to find heaps of information about their background and previous professional endeavours.
4. Ask questions during the initial consultation
Do not hesitate to interview your prospective eye care professional. Try to gather as much information that you can about his or her practice. There is nothing wrong with getting to know them for, after all, this person is who's going to help you take care of your eyes' health.
To conclude, patients need to do their homework by researching on their potential eye care professional. Finding the right one for you is just as important as finding a family doctor. A perfect match would be best as you need someone who has the right level of training and expertise to help care for your eyes, detect any pending disorders, and treat them. You need someone that you can depend on when you need help with your eyes, and with whom you will be comfortable with during consultations and surgeries.
We hope all the best for your journey in finding the right eye care professional. If you need any help, you may book a consultation with any of our optometrists at The Eyecare Place who are all ready to assist you with your eye care needs.