How to choose an optometrist:

Do things look a little fuzzy these days?

Has your family got a history of an eye disease like glaucoma or macular degeneration?

If no, there are many eye conditions to watch for and while some are more common with age, others can occur at any age. Comprehensive eye examinations, at regular intervals, starting from childhood, ensure that most eye conditions can be prevented or corrected. Eye examinations can also be an important tool for determining your overall health.

So it’s time to see an optometrist.

If you’ve never been before, choosing one can be tricky. There are several kinds of eye care professionals who specialize in different things but the optometrist is the best starting point. Choosing an optometrist to maintain a lifetime of good vision is an important health decision. Statistics say most people choose their optometrist based on convenience but that should not be the only factor you consider.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT OPTOMETRIST

  1. Think of everyone you know that wears glasses – they will all have been for an eye exam. Ask them about their experience and about the solution provided whether glasses, contact lenses or further investigations. Ask them if they are completely satisfied with any spectacles prescribed.
  2. Optometrists use a test to determine the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive error (error in focusing of light by the eye). Ask what refractive tests they offer, as new technology can reveal more about your eyes to create better vision.
  3.  Ask how long the optometrist consultation will last – if it is 20 minutes or less- you need to decide how comprehensive that eye exam could be – your eyes are not only the window to your soul but also your general health
  4. Some Optometrists use advanced technology to understand your vision condition more deeply than a standard eye test Inquire what extra services the practice can offer, whether you will receive an immediate report and if they charge extra for these services. Conditions such as impending strokes and brain aneurisms have been picked up by these extra tests at routine consultations so consider it money well spent.
  5. Find out what you will be charged for an eye Some optometrist bulk bill Medicare cardholders meaning there are no out of pocket expenses for the eye test. Just because an optometrist charges more than the rebatable amount doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go there. Whilst we all want to save our pennies unless you are really strapped for cash, paying above the Medicare schedule fee could be the best money you ever spend.
  6. When inquiring about services, ask what types of lenses the practice offers as all lenses are not created equal. The lens choice can make a big difference in the quality of your visual experience. Ideal vision can only be achieved if the lenses are customised for the way you wear them.

Q: Why do glasses cost so much?

A: Actually, if you analyze cost-per-wear, glasses are one of the least expensive things you own! Remember, most people wear their glasses every day, all day, and rely on them to be able to get around safely and read comfortably. Much like mobile phones, jeans, runners and even TVs, there is a wide variety of price points and quality to choose from. Stylish frames are available for every budget but lenses should be chosen for the best optical solution.

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