What is the difference between an Ophthalmologist and an Optometrist?
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors trained to provide medical and surgical care for the eyes. They have specialized training in diagnosing and treating complex medical eye conditions and perform various types of eye surgery, such as:
- Cataracts surgery
- Glaucoma treatment
- Laser vision correction
- Facial enhancement injections
- Eyelid surgery
An ophthalmologist has completed four or more years of premedical education, four or more years of medical school, one year of internship and three or more years of specialized medical and surgical and refractive training and experience in eye care.
Optometrists are doctors of optometry. They are licensed to prescribe, diagnose and/or treat medical conditions that impact the eye, including:
- Macular degeneration
- Retinal disease
- Ocular disorders associated with diabetes and high blood pressure
They specialize in primary eye care, detecting eye disease and vision correction with eye glasses and contact lenses. An optometrist completes four years of optometry school, preceded by three years or more years of college.
It is not unusual for optometrists and ophthalmologists to work in the same office and co-treat patients with ongoing disease treatment and management.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Please bring your current health insurance card, photo ID, payment for your co-pay, your current eye glasses and/or contact lenses and a list of medications and drops you are currently taking.
What is a dilated eye examination?
A dilated eye examination allows your doctor to see beyond your pupil and diagnosis common or complex diseases and conditions. During your visit a technician will instill dilation drops that enlarge your pupils and allow the internal structures of the eye to be examined. The drops take about 20 minutes to completely work.
When you are dilated, you are more sensitive to light and may have trouble focusing on objects close up. Your distance vision should not be adversely affected. Dilation can last several hours depending on the strength of the drops used.
Will I be dilated for my visit?
Having your eyes dilated depends on the reason for your exam, your age, your overall health and your risk of eye diseases. You should expect to be dilated if you have never been seen by our doctors before, coming in for a routine exam or have an eye disease we are closely following such as glaucoma or macular degeneration.
Do you use dilation reversal drops?
Due to poor efficacy, unpleasant stinging and redness we choose not to use reversal drops.
Can I drive after a dilated exam?
You may drive after a dilated exam if you feel comfortable. We suggest you bring sunglasses with you (no matter the weather conditions) to your exam since you will be light sensitive driving home. If you prefer to not drive while dilated, bring a trusted friend or family member along.
How long should I plan for my visit?
Depending on the reason for your visit, your exam could be anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour. Your time is valuable and we make every effort to give each one of our patients the time they deserve.
What is “refraction” during the eye exam?
Refraction is one of the most important parts of your eye exam. It is the test that determines your best possible vision and the function of your eyes. It also finalizes corrective lenses that allow us to give you an eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
Will I be charged for refraction?
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the department of the federal government that controls Medicare and Medicaid, decided that refractions are a “non-covered” service. That means you have to pay for that portion of the eye exam. As many private insurance carriers adopt the policies of the federal government, those contracts also require us to collect the fee from you.
If we can determine your insurance covers this fee, as some vision plans do, you will not be charged. Our charge for this service is $40.
Do you bill my insurance?
We are happy to bill your insurance for your visit. Although our office aims to be familiar with common insurance plans and policies, we are unable to collect details to your specific policy. Some insurance policies require a referral to be in place prior to your appointment.
Please contact your primary care physician to request your referral. Without a referral or authorization you are at risk of having your insurance deny payment for your exam.
Your eye health is our doctors’ #1 concern but depending on your policy some services performed in our clinic may not be covered. You are welcome to ask questions before or during your exam. Please remember your insurance company makes the decisions about what they will pay, not your doctor.
Can I have LASIK vision correction?
LASIK vision correction surgery uses a specialized laser to reshape your cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. LASIK is not right for everyone. Patients only using reading glasses or patients over the age of 60 typically do not benefit from LASIK. Patients with medical issues, dry eyes or thin corneas may not be good candidates for LASIK surgery. Additionally, women who are pregnant or nursing should wait to have LASIK surgery until after they have finished nursing their child.
We at Infocus offer complimentary LASIK consultations. During your consultation, our helpful and experienced doctors will ensure that LASIK is right for you. Other options for vision correction surgery are available to those who may not be a candidate for LASIK surgery.
Do you fit for contact lenses?
After careful consideration and in response to evolving patient needs, we have decided to focus on our medical and surgical eye care services. As such, we will be discontinuing our contact lens services. These changes will be effective March 1st, 2024.
Do you have an optical shop?
We have a beautiful optical boutique with a variety of fashion frames and sunglasses. Our opticians are here daily to assist you when choosing frames and lens types that are best for your lifestyle and offer only the highest quality options for your best vision.
If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to call Infocus Eye Care at (541) 318-8388 or complete the online contact form to arrange an appointment.