Posted by: Carolinas Center for Sight in Ophthalmologist

Deciding who we visit for our medical care is an important process, and while we may be able to make arbitrary selections about what we watch on television or where we eat dinner out, selecting an eye doctor should be a task that includes research and thoughtful consideration. If you’re looking for a new eye doctor and aren’t sure where to start, keep reading. We’ll share helpful tips and information to get you on the right path.

Types Of Eye Doctors: The Difference Between Optometrist & Ophthalmologist

Did you know that not all eye doctors are the same? In the United States, there are two types of medical professionals that you can see for the care of your vision: an optometrist and an ophthalmologist. 

An optometrist (O.D.) is trained to assess your ability to see clearly and can write you a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. They can also help to manage mild eye concerns like dry eyes or could even help to remove a small fragment of metal from your eye.

For those in need of more complex care, an ophthalmologist (M.D.) is an appropriate medical person to visit. Ophthalmologist have extensive education as they have graduated from medical school and completed a residency in ophthalmology.

Your Personal Needs

Many people like to select their doctor and then stick with them for decades – after all, there’s a benefit to having a continuity of care. If you’re nearing an older age and want to work with someone who will be equipped to help you with cataract surgery or could assist in managing glaucoma or macular degeneration, then choosing an ophthalmologist would be the best option.

Those who have perfect vision, an eye correction that stays relatively the same over a number of years, or who want to learn how to wear contacts might find that an optometrist is better suited for their needs. While you can certainly visit either type of doctor, optometrists tend to focus their practice on these core services while while ophthalmologists offer a wide range of medical/surgical care. These include surgeries and medical management for cataracts, LASIK, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and macular degeneration.

Logistical Considerations

Finally, don’t forget to think about the other factors that go into choosing any type of medical professional, including their hours of availability, proximity to your work or home, and their ability to bill your insurance plan. Sometimes, patients stay with the same eye doctor for many years based just on their relationship even if they are a little out of the way, so making sure you have a good rapport with your provider is key.

The next time you need to find a new eye doctor, don’t be afraid to chat with friends and family to see who they like the best. Searching for online reviews never hurts either, and at the very least, you can make your decision about continuing your care after your first appointment. Consider all of your personal needs, as selecting your eye doctor can be one of the most important things you do!

Call CCFS today at 843-664-9393 to schedule an appointment for your medical/surgical eye care needs.