Choosing an Optometrist

Choosing the right optometrist is just as important as selecting your primary care physician because the health of your eyes and the ability to see well is so critical. That kind of eye doctor you are looking for may depend on the overall condition and health of your eyes, however for most people a qualified optometrist is usually an ideal solution. You may need to see an ophthalmologist which is an eye specialist, if you have experienced eye injuries or have some other complicated vision situation.

There are certainly many choices for optometrists but one of the first places to start would be to ask your friends, relatives or coworkers which optometrists they use and have had good results with. Personal recommendations such as this can give you some valuable information regarding what to expect.

You can also type in a search term such as “Optometrist Tarpon Springs” into your favorite search engine and you will most likely be provided with results from some of the consumer review sites such as City Search, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau. Often times sites like this have valuable consumer feedback that can help you refine your search and better evaluate your candidates for an optometrist.

Here are some questions you may want to ask the optometrists that you are considering, especially if it is someone who has not been previously recommended to you.

How Long Have You Been in Practice?

For an optometrist wishing to practice there, each state has its own set of requirements such as state board exams and continuing education classes. All licensed optometrists are required to adequately fulfill these requirements as a bare minimum. However as with any career, the longer someone has been practicing, the more experience they have and the more likely they are to be able to diagnose and evaluate problems more thoroughly. This is especially comforting if you have a more complex vision problem or you feel more comfortable with someone who has more experience, especially if they have practiced in the same town for an extended period of time.

Do You Offer Eye Glasses for Sale at Your Office?

Although you can take an eyeglass prescription to any retail optician to get your new glasses, some people find it more convenient to be able to purchase their new eyewear at the same location where their eyes were examined. This is not a requirement but more an issue of personal taste or convenience, but it is something worth asking about.

What Type of Vision Tests Do You Perform During Your Routine Eye Exam?

There are certain basic vision tests which most if not all optometrists offer as part of their routine eye exam. However certain optometrists may offer additional tests at no cost thereby providing their patients a more thorough and complete examination. Even if there are additional costs associated with these tests, it may be worth inquiring about depending on your particular vision situation. Aside from the visual acuity test, they may also check your inner eye, your outer eye, eye muscles, the field of vision test or even an eye pressure test for glaucoma. If you are experiencing certain vision problems such as sensitivity to light especially at night or headaches and eye strain, it is important to let your optometrist know this so they are better able to provide the proper testing to correct the problem.

What Type of Warranty or Follow-up Exams Do You Offer with Eyeglasses?

It is important to know if you purchase a set of eyeglasses or contacts from your optometrist, that you will be satisfied with your vision. Be sure to ask if a free follow-up exam is included to ensure that your vision is what you expected. In the case of eyeglasses, ask if there are any charges to have your eyeglasses adjusted periodically and also what type of warranty is included in the case of breakage or other damage. Also ask if they offer a money back guarantee or refund policy .If you are a person that is prone to being rough with their eyeglasses, you may want to inquire about any insurance that may be available that could include repair or replacement of your eyeglasses at a reduced price as part of the insurance policy.

What Vision Plans or Insurance Do You Accept?

Many optometrists participate in a variety of health insurance, vision insurance or discount vision programs that may allow you to save a significant amount of money on your eyewear purchase. If you currently have one of these programs, it is important to know if the optometrist that you are considering participates in the plan so you can take advantage of the discounts. You could also check with your insurance or vision plan provider to see which participants they have in your area.