Are you in search of a new eye doctor? Here's what you need to look out for when searching for the best eye care services in Auburn, AL.
Did you know an estimated 14 million U.S. citizens over 11 years of age reported vision problems such as distance visual acuity of 20/50 or below?
Among these, over 11 million citizens could have enhanced their eyesight to 20/40 or better with the necessary visual interventions.
Let's take a look at 8 tips for finding the best eye care services in Auburn, Alabama.
Tip 1: Know Your Eye Care Needs
This is the first and arguably the most important tip in finding the best eye care services. You won't be able to receive the services you need until you're clear on what you actually need.
Is the appointment for yourself or your child? Is it important that your eye doctor have children and be kid-friendly?
Are you looking for prescription sunglasses or eyeglasses with brand names such as Costa, Michael Kors, Ray-Ban or Tory Burch?
Know what you want from eye care services and then learn what to look for. This leads us into Tip 2.
Tip 2: Know the Difference Between the Various Eye Care Professionals
Not every eye care professional has received the same education and training.
An optometrist is an eye doctor with a four-year degree who can identify, diagnose and prescribe for a large array of eye issues.
This eye care professional typically treats vision disorders and eye diseases with a focus on optics and vision correction.
Ophthalmic Medical Practitioner
A person in this role has a medical degree and specializes in ophthalmic conditions.
An ophthalmic Medical Practitioner has not received the additional training in ophthalmology as an Ophthalmologist has such as internship and residency.
These eye care professionals specialize in diagnosing coordination issues and utilize eye movement management.
Orthoptists also assessment and identify visual axis misalignment. They perform evaluations involving low vision and may act as an assistant to an ophthalmologist in surgery.
Orthoptists are also qualified to teach students entering the eye care field.
This eye care professional can design and administer visual prostheses for individuals lacking an eyeball. Or those with significantly impaired vision.
An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor who has received additional education and specific training to address more complex eye conditions.
This eye care professional is a surgeon with two primary degrees: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Medicine. These are attained through the initial 4 years of college education along with 4 years of medical school directly following.
Ophthalmologists then complete a year of internship and 3 years of residency training.
These eye doctors can respond to severe eye injuries, address more complex eye problems and can even perform surgery. In general, ophthalmologists can offer more complex treatments overall.
Tip 3: Request Credentials and Education
Ideally, an eye care professional will have diplomas, licenses, along with any additional credentials and specialized training documented on the wall.
You can check with the state licensing board to verify all information if you like. Be sure you know your eye doctor's degree to ensure you're speaking with the correct licensing department.
Tip 4: Check Your Insurance Coverage
You can ask your eye care professional if they accept your insurance plan. If they don't know or sound unsure, you'll want to call your insurance company to verify coverage.
Better yet, make it a point to get verification from both your eye doctor's clinic and your insurance company. You can check your policy and look for your eye doctor's name or call your insurance company directly.
Few things are worse than receiving a bill you didn't plan for, so stay informed.
Tip 5: Ask About the Equipment and Methods of Testing
As a patient, you have a right to know how current your eye clinic's equipment is. And you can also inquire as to whether or not there are any more recent machines available.
Ask if the eye clinic employs the latest technology and assessments available.
You can request information on their methods of testing and what it entails, too. Some things to consider are:
- How safe are your methods of examination?
- Will any test hurt my eyes temporarily?
- Is there a risk to my sight with any method of testing?
- Will I be able to drive immediately after these tests following my appointment?
Know your rights to know. And don't be afraid to ask.
Tip 6: Find Out if Your Eye Doctor Has an Onsite Optician
An optician is someone that assists you in finding the right corrective vision wear for your needs. Most eye doctors have an onsite Optician.
Learn about these eye care services by asking any questions you may have. You can inquire about what they carry and whether or not they offer name brand eyewear.
Many eye clinics today provide the option for name brands such as:
- Maui Jim
- Hugo Boss
If name brands are important to you, find out the details from your eye doctor ahead of time.
Tip 7: Check Testimonials
Most eye clinics have a website where you can access what previous patients have said about eye care services.
Check out how others experienced the eye doctor you're considering. This information can be invaluable and steer you in a good direction.
Tip 8: Browse Social Media and Community Involvement
See if your eye doctor is involved in his community. Does she provide free services in developing countries?
If any of these issues are important to you, research on social media and ask questions.
Finding the Best Eye Care Services
Your eyesight is precious. It's your greatest asset. It allows you to move freely and go after what you want out of life.
Treat it with great care.
If you're looking for the best eye care services in Auburn, Alabama, check us out Medical Arts Eye.