How To Choose The Right Eye Doctor For Your Needs

One of the most common areas people neglect when it comes to maintaining their health is their vision. It is highly recommended by eye care health specialists that everyone have an annual eye exam to evaluate the overall health of their eyes and also to determine the quality of their vision.

Unfortunately, most people ignore this valuable piece of advice and put off their annual exam until they are forced to see an eye doctor either because they are having trouble seeing or they are experiencing some type of pain from an eye infection. Depending on the reason for a visit to the eye doctor the patient can see one of two different types of licensed ocular health professionals.

The most common type of eye doctor is an Optometrist (OD). Most people will see and optometrist to check their vision to see if they need a prescription for either glasses or contact lenses that should be worn all day or if they need a prescription for glasses to be worn for specialty situations such as reading or driving at night. Check

Licensed Optometrists are trained eye doctors who have successfully completed four years of post-graduate studies at a certified Optometry School. Upon completion of the post-graduate studies they must then be licensed by the state in which they choose to practice, and throughout their practicing career they are required to complete continuing education credits each year to retain their license.

What many people don’t realize about Optometrists is they also are trained and qualified to examine the overall health of the eyes and in many situations make recommendations as to how to improve the overall ocular health. Sometimes they may find common diseases such as glaucoma and make specific recommendations to help combat the disease, or they may decide, depending on the scope and scale of the problem, to refer the patient to an ophthalmologist for further examination and / or treatment.

Ophthalmologist (MD or DO) are medical or osteopathic doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating eye diseases. They can both prescribe medicines and perform surgeries on eyes. Ophthalmologists are required to complete four years of medical school, a year of internship, and a minimum of three-year of a residency program in ophthalmology.

One of the most common surgeries that many Ophthalmologists perform today is the very popular and successful operation called Lasik Eye Surgery. During this operation the eye doctor uses a laser and a sharp blade to reshape the eye and correct bad vision so the patient no longer has to wear contacts or eyeglasses.

Unfortunately this procedure is not available to every patient because there is a specific criteria that a patient’s eye condition must meet to be eligible for the procedure to be effective. Another common reason many people do not get Lasik Eye Surgery is because in most cases the surgery is not covered by insurance because they consider it to be an “elective” operation. While the cost of these operations has come down dramatically over the past number of years it still requires an investment of thousands of dollars and for many patients this is not always feasible.