Your eyes are not only a window to the world around you, but they are also a window to your overall health. Choosing your eye doctor should be as important as choosing your primary healthcare physician. Since your eyesight is an essential part of your everyday life, choosing the right eye doctor for you and your family should not be taken lightly. Here are things to consider when choosing your eye doctor:

Seek the Right Support

When it’s time to get your eyes checked, it’s important to see the correct eye care professional for you and your family’s needs. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, there are three types of eye care providers: ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. Make sure you know which support you need before searching based on other factors.

Here's a quick overview of the three types of eye care providers:

  • Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.) are medical or osteopathic doctors who specialize in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists and opticians in their levels of training and in what they can diagnose and treat. Ophthalmologists diagnose and treat all eye diseases, and perform eye surgery. They also prescribe and fits eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems.

  • Optometrists provide primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. An optometrist, while considered a healthcare professional, is not a medical doctor.

  • Opticians are technicians trained to design, verify, and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight.

Ask for Recommendations

Once you’ve determined which eye care professional you need, seek out recommendations and referrals. Chances are you know someone who wears contacts or glasses and visits their eye care professional regularly for vision support. A study by The Vision Council reveals that 75% of Americans rely on corrective lenses in some capacity. Asking your friends, family members, and colleagues for recommendations is a great starting point in finding a provider that’s perfect for your needs.

Research the Reviews

In addition to asking around, do your own research in your provider search by seeking out ratings and reviews. Think about how you look at restaurant reviews online before deciding to eat there and apply the same process in choosing an eye care provider. Eye Doctor Review and Healthgrades are some good sites to start with.

Compare Prices

While eye health is essential to your overall wellbeing, you don’t want your visit to negatively affect your financial wellbeing. The price of the new patient visit and exam, eyewear, and annual exam should be factors included in your initial research. However, you may discover that paying a little more will result in higher quality service.

Review Qualifications

While credentials aren’t everything, they can provide insight into an eye care professional’s quality - especially if you need an ophthalmologist or optometrist. A specialty degree from a top university says volumes about their knowledge and dedication. When researching a potential provider, always ask for their education and work history. The best providers, however, combine their expertise with experience and a warm, positive “chair aide” manner.

At Carson Optical, we focus on you. Our knowledge and expertise allow us to blend personal communication with precision eyewear fitting techniques. Family-owned and -operated since 1972, we keep the highest standards in customer service year after year. We look forward to building a relationship with you. To schedule an appointment, call 813-681-3863 or fill out our online request form.