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Consumer How To Choose Guide 2015

Dalton Daily CItizen, Dalton Magazine

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16 The Daily Citizen ◆ HOW TO CHOOSE GUIDE 2015 Maintaining the health of your eyes is one of the most crucial things you can do to ensure optimal health. It is particularly important for those who do not currently have any noticeable trouble with their eyesight, as they are the most likely to put a visit to the eye doctor on the back burner. The truth is routine eye exams are vital to your overall health. Getting your eyes checked frequently will make it more like- ly to catch vision problems early, when they are easier to treat and more likely to lead to better outcomes. Here are some things to look for when picking an eye doctor. Insurance If you've got health or vision insur- ance, one of the first things you should check is which doctors are covered by your insurance plan. Different insurance companies make arrangements with doctors or eye care groups to deliver service at a prearranged price. If you pick an "in-network" eye doctor, you'll be saving money with lower co-pays and out-of-pocket costs. Training Eye doctors receive different kinds of training and often specialize in certain dis- eases or treatments. If you've been diag- nosed with cataracts, for example, it would be ideal to find a doctor with plenty of experience treating cataracts specifically. Feel free to ask your local eye doctors about their experience treating your needs. References Finally, ask around to get references for good eye doctors in your area. Your medical doctor could be a good place to start. General physicians will often help lead you to an eye care specialist that has the most experience treating your specific needs. Friends and fami- ly can also provide great advice. Most people have had eye exams in the past and could tell you who they used and why. You can also get first-person insight about things like wait times or whether a certain doctor works well with children. Types of doctors Optometrists typically earn a bache- lor's degree before attending specialized training for four years. They do not have a medical degree, but they do have extensive training in diag- nosing and treating vision-related prob- lems. They are also typically trained to identify cataracts, glaucoma and retinal disease. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in eye diseases. They receive a full medical degree — just like your family doctor — before embarking on their specialist training for eye treatment. Their training typi- cally includes four years of pre-med school, four years of medical school, at least one year of an internship and three years of residency before being licensed as an ophthalmologist. In addition to treat- ing vision problems, they can provide med- ical care, surgical care and sometimes plastic surgery. Selection Many people are interested in a particu- lar style or brand name for their frames, lenses or contacts. If you already know what you're looking for — say, a set of glasses from a partic- ular designer — look for an eye care specialist who can make it easy to find that particular pair. When buying glasses, it's important to find a doctor and a glasses store where you can look at a wide range of products. The lenses and frames can vary widely in terms of their comfort, appearance, and price and quality, so the better the eye care center's selection, the more likely you'll be able to find that perfect pair of glasses. H OW TO CHOOSE AN EYE DOCTOR WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW k j Getting your eyes checked frequently will make it more likely to catch vision problems early, when they are easier to treat and more likely to lead to better outcomes. Ask around to get references for good eye doctors in your area. k j Optometrists are typically trained to identify cataracts, glaucoma and retinal disease. When buying glasses, it's important to find a doctor and a glasses store where you can look at a wide range of products.

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