Angie’s List tips for picking an eye care specialist:
· Which eye doctor do you need? Select an eye specialist based on your vision needs. An ophthalmologist is a doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO). They provide a wide array of eye care services including eye exams, prescribing glasses/contacts, treatment of eye diseases and surgical care. An optometrist is a doctor of optometry (OD) trained to diagnose and treat vision issues and to identify possible eye diseases.
· Come to your appointment prepared: If you are a new patient, it’s helpful to bring your eye care records and always bring your current eyeglasses/contacts to the visit. Write down any concerns you might have so you don’t forget during your exam. Inform the eye doctor of any family history or medications you are taking.
· How is payment handled? Before you book your appointment, be sure you understand the bill process with the office staff.
Angie’s List tips for saving money on eye care costs:
· Understand your benefits: Take advantage of any vision benefits that are offered to you through your employer. Also set aside flex spending dollars for out of pocket expenses. Many rebates are available to patients when they order a year supply of contact lenses at one time and not spreading the purchases out over the year.
· Don’t put off regular checkups: The best way to save money on eye care is to prevent problems that lead to blindness, eye damage or eye injury. A timely and correct diagnosis typically leads to a faster resolution to the problem, less prolonged treatment with medicines, and less doctor visits.
· Don’t be shy: Patients should not be afraid to ask questions about the eye tests that are being performed and if there is an additional cost. If you do not understand anything that the doctor or technicians tell you, ask for clarification.
· Don’t cut corners on contacts: The improper care and wearing of contact lenses can cause severe problems, infections and potential disasters. You’ll save money if you follow the proper wearing schedule, hygiene, and exam schedule.
· Shop around: It doesn’t hurt to comparison shop glasses and contacts. Some doctors may even price match. Designer frames are not necessarily higher quality. Look for hints of quality or ask the optician to explain why this is a better frame. High quality frames hold adjustment longer, are more comfortable, and more resistant to breakage. Children tend to be very hard on their frames.
· Know the risks of ordering online: The disadvantages of ordering glasses or contacts online: if a patient has a problem with the prescription or frame once it is received, they do not have an actual person they can consult to discuss options. When a patient purchases their glasses from a local business, they have a live person to work with them & troubleshoot any concerns. Most local businesses also offer warranties on their products.
· Protect your eyes from the sun: All sunglasses should protect from the ultraviolet rays that damage the eyes. Look for 100% UV protection. People mistakenly think that more expensive sunglasses might offer more protection. Ten dollar sunglasses will offer the same protection as sunglasses over $200.