Finding the Right Eye Doctor
Finding an eye doctor, a doctor that suits your needs, can be quite challenging.
The type of care you receive when seeing an eye doctor depends, in part, on
which eye doctor you choose. Within all medical professions, even specialties,
providers have different areas of expertise, philosophies of care and communication
styles. In optometry, there is a smaller community of optometrists that specialize
in vision and learning.
All optometrists are not the same.
Within optometry, you can practice in a general practice usually called primary
care, or you can specialize in one or more different areas. Some of these specialities
include contact lenses, co-management of refractive surgery, dry eye, disease,
glaucoma, geriatrics, low vision, sports vision, neuro-rehabilitative optometry,
developmental/behavioral optometry, pediatrics, vision training, and learning
Choosing the Right Eye Doctor
very young children (6 months up to age 5-7) it is recommended that you choose
a pediatric optometrist that emphasizes developmental vision.
Very young children are not able to respond accurately to the same testing
procedures as adults or older children. These doctors specialize in caring for
the vision of very young children and often have very different equipment in
their offices to accurately test a childs visual system. Pediatric optometrists
that emphasize developmental vision are often very skilled in preventative care.
This means potential vision problems can be avoided before they become trouble.
It also means your child MAY be prevented from needing to wear glasses when
they get older. Remember good vision is much more complex than simply seeing
school age children, it is also recommended that your child sees an eye doctor
with an emphasis in developmental/behavioral optometry, but one that also specializes
in learning disabilities and vision training. It sounds like it would be difficult
to find such a doctor, but most optometrists that specialize in children have
this type of expertise.
is a list of links to organizations that will give you FREE access to referral
databases to find an optometrist that specializes in children near you:
Note: Each organization only lists its
own members in their database. We suggest you use more than one link to find
doctors in your area.
This organization serves as the certifying body for Doctors in the Optometric
specialty called Behavioral/Developmental/Rehabilitative Optometry. If a doctor
chooses, he/she may apply for COVD fellowship. Fellowship is difficult to obtain
and is only granted after interviews, publishing and knowledge testing is completed
and accepted by a committee. Fellows are certified specialists in vision therapy.
The OEP Foundation is an international non-profit organization that serves
the educational needs of behavioral optometrists by providing continuing education
credits and provides public information about vision care. The optometrists
listed on the Referral List practice preventive and rehabilitative optometry.
PAVE is a national non-profit education, resource and support organization
founded by parents and teachers who know children that benefited from vision
therapy. Their mission is to raise public awareness of the crucial relationship
between vision and achievement. This link gives phone numbers to local chapters
that may be near you. They also have a national number listed in case a chapter
is not in your area. If you want to speak to someone to find out more information, as well as get a referral, then contact PAVE.
An organization made up of behavioral optometrists around the globe to better
educate the public on vision care. This referral program requires that you answer
some questions to best choose the doctor that suits your needs and to help create
a database to better serve the public. It is made up of doctors that offer vision
therapy who have paid a subscription fee to set up webpages on this site.
NORA was established to provide, network and share information about visual
rehabilitation between optometrists, ophthalmologists, physicians, rehabilitation
professionals, occupational therapists, educators, psychologists, nurses, etc.
for the understanding and treatment of persons who have physical disabilities
and/or traumatic brain injury. Their mission is to expand awareness about the
visual problems and the needs of those that suffer from traumatic brain injury.
This referral database is a little different than the ones above. This site
helps find neurorehabilitative optometrists that specialize in traumatic brain
injury. Many of them have vision therapy practices and may also diagnose and
treat children with learning related.
The American Optometric Association is the premier authority in the optometric profession. With more than 35,000 members in 6,500 U.S. communities, the AOA leads the way in its mission of improving the quality and availability of eye and vision care everywhere. Members of the AOA will not necessarily be specialists in pediatrics, vision therapy, vision development, aquired brain injury, vision related learning problems, or sports vision.
Look carefully for a doctor that does have experience in these specialty areas.
Through InfantSEE®, optometrists will provide a one-time, comprehensive eye assessment to infants in their first year of life, offering early detection of potential eye and vision problems at no cost regardless of income.
The links on this web site are provided
only for your convenience to provide more information on vision. The creators
of this site have no financial interest in any site linked, nor do they claim
any responsibility for information found on these sites. No promises or warranties
of any kind as to the content of any site linked are expressed or implied.