What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, an optometrist and an optician?
- OPHTHALMOLOGIST (MD): An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care for all problems and conditions. Ophthalmologists complete 12 to 14 years of training and education including medical school and are licensed to practice medicine and surgery. Some specialize further in a specific area of care such as glaucoma or retina. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, performs eye surgery and prescribes and fits eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems.
- OPTOMETRIST (OD): An optometrist is a licensed primary health care professional for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. After receiving 2 to 4 years of college education, optometrists receive 4 additional years of professional optometry training to receive their doctor of optometry degree. An optometrist can perform a comprehensive eye exam and provide eyewear prescriptions.
- OPTICIAN: An optician is a specialized technician who designs, fits and dispenses lenses for the correction of a person's vision. They use prescriptions supplied by ophthalmologists or optometrists. Opticians determine the specifications of various ophthalmic solutions that will give the necessary and best correction to a person's eyesight.
For additional information on these roles, click here.
What are the different types of eye exams?
- Comprehensive Eye Exam: This is the most common type of exam and will likely include dilation of your eyes. Your eye anatomy and eye health is evaluated to screen for eye disease, look for refractive eye errors and assist in making a diagnosis. It may include a slit lamp exam and a dilated pupillary exam.
- Medical Eye Exam: A medical eye exam provides a diagnosis and treatment of an eye disease or malady, like conjunctivitis, dry eye, glaucoma or cataracts, to mention a few.
- Routine Eye Exam: This is a basic eye exam to check on specific concerns you may have. This exam typically evaluates your eye health through pupil, eye movement and eye pressure tests, as well as a refraction to determine your eye prescription.
- Contact Lens Exam: this determines your depth perception and general eye health prior to contacts being prescribed. It would include a comprehensive eye exam, and could include topography and keratometry as well. You will also be shown how to insert and remove contact lenses.
What do you charge for an eye exam?
Self pay fee for a comprehensive eye exam ranges between $175.00 to $250.00 for patients that do not have vision insurance. This does not include the contact lens fitting fee should you wear contacts. If you have vision insurance, we will follow your plan benefit guideline and will inform you of your financial responsibility. Most plans will commonly have a co-pay and the contact lens fitting at times is considered a non-covered service. This will add $40.00 to $95.00 to your co-pay should you request the contact lens fitting. If you have other questions on pricing, contact our billing office at 317-846-4223, then press option 5.
Will I need a driver after my exam?
It is likely that your eyes will be dilated during a comprehensive eye exam. Most patients are fine to drive on their own, however it depends on your comfort level. Ensure you have sunglasses or request a free temporary pair when you check-out. If you have concerns with driving while dilated, it would be best to bring a driver.
Do you accept my insurance?
We do accept many different insurance plans and will file your claim on you behalf. We always recommend that you reach out to your insurance provider to verify that we are in your network. We will bill to your insurance as a courtesy, however payment is never guaranteed. If you have payment or insurance questions, please contact our business office at 317-846-4223, then press 5 to speak with one of our account services representatives.
Why is a regular eye exam so important?
Regardless of your age or physical health, a comprehensive eye exam is important for detecting any eye problems at their early stages. Even if you have 20/20 vision, an eye exam can be a measure of overall health. The eyes are the only part of the body where arteries and veins can be viewed without having to perform surgery. Eyecare providers can see signs of stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis and more, through an eye exam. In addition, they can determine whether a person with age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa or cataracts is suffering also from low vision, which is a condition associated with these age-related eye diseases. Click here for some common vision problems.
Do I need a dilated eye exam for an eyeglass or contact lens prescription?
A dilated eye exam is not typically needed to get an accurate prescription during refractive testing. Farsighted (hyperopic) persons are the exception and may need dilation to obtain the most accurate prescription. However, dilation is a part of a comprehensive eye exam to examine the health of the back structures of the eye including the lens, retina and optic nerve. Even if someone has perfect vision on an eye test, there may be eye problems that only a dilated exam would be able to uncover. You should follow your doctor's recommendation about the frequency of dilation during eye checkups.
How often should I get an eye exam?
The frequency of your eye exams will depend on your age, your health, and other variables. In general, the American Optometric Association suggests receiving one exam at least every 24 months when you are between the ages of 18 and 64
. As you get older, you will become more likely to develop cataracts and other problems that can negatively affect your vision. After you reach the age of 65, we may advise you to get one checkup every year.
If you have a family history of eye problems or health issues that affect your vision, you might need to receive more frequent checkups. For example, you should get regular eye exams if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. Click here to learn what to expect at your eye exam.
Do you have a wait list?
We do not keep a wait list at this time however we are in the process of implementing an automated wait list online. Estimated availability will be the end of June 2023.
How soon can I get in for an appointment?
You can fill out an appointment request form
on our website and a patient services representative will reach out to you with the next available appointment date.
I am a new patient. Do I need a referral?
A referral is not necessary to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. However it can be helpful if you need to be scheduled for a severe eye condition such as Glaucoma or Macular degeneration or seek surgical treatment.
Why do you need my medical insurance when I am just getting a vision exam?
Most vision carriers prefer to be billed as a secondary carrier of benefits should a medical diagnosis present itself in your exam findings. Some primary medical carriers will have a routine eye exam built in to their policy that we are unaware of. As a courtesy to maximize your coverage of insurance we will bill your primary medical first and then your vision as a secondary carrier.
How long should I expect to be there for my exam?
Approximate times can vary depending on required medical testing along with your consultation with the eye doctor. We suggest you anticipate a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour or more.For more information on what happens during your eye exam, click here.