How Do You Find the Best Eye Doctor in Los Angeles?
Selecting an eye doctor in Los Angeles isn’t a decision you should make lightly. Good vision is an essential part of day-to-day living. The eye doctor you choose will make a huge difference in both the quality of your vision and the maintenance of your eye health.
Ophthalmologist or optometrist?
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD or DO) who specializes in diseases of the eye. Your ophthalmologist completed four years of medical school and an extensive residency in ophthalmology. These doctors can perform surgery, prescribe medications, and treat all kinds of eye diseases. Chances are that at some point in your life you will need to be seen by an ophthalmologist.
But most of your eye care can be done by your optometrist. Optometrists also go through four or five years of post-graduate training. Unlike ophthalmologists, optometrists are usually generalists. Ophthalmologists may focus their entire practice on a single procedure, like cataract surgery or injections for macular degeneration. Optometrists get to know their patients as people, not just as diseases, and become uniquely attuned to changes in vision and early signs of ocular disease.
Your optometrist can prescribe corrective lenses and medications for uncomplicated diseases. But if you need eye surgery, you will need to see an ophthalmologist,
Personal characteristics you should look for in your eye doctor
Chances are that you will spend a lot more time with your optometrist than with your ophthalmologist. It’s important to have the right chemistry with you optometrist both so you will feel comfortable during your visits and to enhance communication for better care.
Your optometrist should have these characteristics:
- Experience. You don’t want to be your eye doctor’s learning experience. Look for an eye doctor who has either lengthy history practicing eye care or outstanding training in a broad range of eye care needs.
- Clear communication skills. You should never feel that your eye doctor failed to answer your questions during your office visit. The ability to communicate clearly with you is essential in finding the best eye doctor in Los Angeles.
- Someone who cares. You need to choose an eye doctor who communicates care for your best eye health. An eye doctor shouldn’t be afraid to look you in the eye and tell you what you need to know. You need to be heard and informed and not treated like a profit center.
A great eye doctor usually works with other great eye doctors
There’s nothing wrong with getting all your vision care from the same eye care provider year after year. But there inevitably will be some time that your schedule doesn’t match your doctor’s availability or your doctor’s schedule doesn’t match your availability.
That’s when it helps to be a patient at a practice where all the doctors are great eye doctors. You should feel good about every aspect of your eye exam at your optometrist’s office. And don’t be afraid to set up an appointment with an alternative provider when your schedule requires.
Don’t forget that support staff makes a difference, too
Have you ever tried to fill out insurance forms by yourself? Or have you ever arrived at your eye doctor’s office only to find out that there was an error on your appointment card? And don’t you like to have the reminder that you need to bring either a list of your medications or the medications themselves, the glasses and sunglasses you use every day, and your contacts for inspection by your doctor?
Competent, caring office staff also makes a difference in how comfortable you feel when you visit your eye doctor. Contact us today to set up your next appointment.