When searching for an eye doctor, you obviously want to find the right one for you.
Having a doctor who suits you is important, in fact, just as important as choosing a regular physician. Your eyes are an important part of your every day health and you need to make sure that yours are taken care of. There is nothing wrong with taking some time and effort to choose the right eye doctor for you. With that in mind, here are some tips for finding the right eye doctor.
Eye doctors fall into one of two categories: Ophthalmologists and Optometrists. The two doctors are similar, but how do you know which one you need?
The biggest difference between Optometrists and Ophthalmologists is that the latter of the two can perform surgery, while Optometrists do not handle that aspect of eye. Both would have gone to college, graduated, and then spent four more years in doctorate school, but in additional to that, an Ophthalmologist would also spend four additional years in some type of residency program. Some will even spend more years in residency if they are not interested in specializing. Both can treat various eye disease and prescribe medication, so they do have that in common.
The best way to decide which kind of eye doctor you need is to consider what type of care that you require. For example, if you need a general eye exam then either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist will work just fine. If however, you have some kind of specific eye condition or disease, you may want to consider an ophthalmologist. On the other hand, optometrists are usually the most sought after option for glasses, contact lenses and so on. You really can’t go wrong with either one, but you may decide that your specific needs warrant one over the other if you have such a choice in your area.
Another thing to consider is the availability of each eye doctor you are considering. Some ophthalmologists and optometrists keep different hours. Is your eye doctor available for evening appointments? Emergency care? Are they booked out weeks or months in advance for routine eye exams? Availability can be a major factor, as you don’t want to select a doctor who you can never get in to see. Ophthalmologists in particular will almost always offer emergency and after-hours care due to the eye disease that they sometime handle.
Overall, you probably can’t go wrong with either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, but it is always good to consider your available options to figure out which one best suits your specific needs. Both doctors are going to be medical professionals that will be able to take care of your eye care in comfortable, professional environments.