How do I Choose the Best Eye Clinic?

Angela Crout-Mitchell

When choosing the right eye clinic for a patient's needs, there are several factors that must be considered including the education and experience of the practicing optometrist, the services offered, and accepted insurance plans. Most eye centers offer basic vision testing, glasses and contact lens prescriptions, and general eye care. It is not unusual for these clinics to also offer surgery care, such as laser eye correction surgeries, as well as procedures for cataracts and other eye diseases. Regardless of the type of eye care the patient requires, he or she should ensure the ophthalmology clinic is clean, well cared for, and equipped with well maintained tools and machines to ensure patient safety and appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

A diagram of a human eye.
A diagram of a human eye.

One of the first factors to consider when choosing an eye clinic is the education and experience of the medical staff. Like other types of medical practice, optometry is a constantly changing field of study, and new treatments and theories come to light all of the time. Patients are advised to ask for information pertaining to the optometrist's primary medical and optometry education, as well as any further educational certifications and specialty courses the members of the staff may have been awarded. For patients that need surgery or treatment for a serious eye condition or disease, it is important to review the doctor's experience performing the needed treatment or surgery.

Most eye clinics offer vision testing and glasses precriptions.
Most eye clinics offer vision testing and glasses precriptions.

For many people, the number and type of services offered by an eye clinic is very important as well. It is not uncommon to find an ophthalmology clinic that offers basic eye care, such as vision exams, along with surgery facilities. Many of these clinics choose to provide built-in retail stores that offer glasses, contact lenses, and accessories to the patients. These retail centers are very popular, and most patients and clients appreciate the convenience of having an exam done and ordering the necessary vision aids in one visit.

An optometrist examines a patient's eyes.
An optometrist examines a patient's eyes.

Another factor to consider when choosing the most appropriate eye clinic is insurance compatibility. Vision care can be expensive without the benefit of eye insurance, and most potential patients make it a point to check that their insurance is accepted by the eye center of their choice. This can usually be done simply by calling the office before the appointment and asking the office staff if the center is in the insurance network. Most insurance companies also offer this information directly to the patient through its website or by phone.

An eye exam should be performed annually.
An eye exam should be performed annually.
Laser eye surgery can be performed at some eye clinics.
Laser eye surgery can be performed at some eye clinics.

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