When you need eye care, to whom should you go? An Optometrist? An Ophthalmologist? An Optician? Here’s a look at the differences between them?
The optometrist provides all primary eye care services and is generally the first eye care professional to see. If you need the surgical services of an ophthalmologist, the optometrist will refer you to the appropriate one. If you need glasses and have a prescription it can be filled by our opticians, whether it’s from our office or somewhere else.
Optometrists (Doctors of Optometry) are primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions. The doctor must complete four years of college, four years of optometry school and typically go on to complete a one year residency in a specialty of their choice, such as contact lenses, ocular disease, low vision, or vision therapy.
An Ophthalmologist (pronounced ahf-thahl-MOL-uh-gist) is a medical doctor (M.D.), who is specialty trained in medical and surgical care of the eye. The doctor must complete four years of college, four years of medical or osteopathic school and one year of internship (hospital training). In addition, three to five years of residency is required to practice the specialty of ophthalmology.
Licensed Opticians/Optical Technicians
Opticians and technicians are trained to design, verify and fit eyeglasses. They use prescriptions supplied by the ophthalmologist or optometrist, but do not test vision or write prescriptions. Licensed Opticians must pass North Carolina State Board test for their licensure. The opticians and technicians at Gaston Eye Associates have special skills in selecting the appropriate frame and lenses for each individual.
Insurance & Fees
Part of Gaston Eye Associates commitment is to provide the highest quality eyecare at a reasonable cost.
We participate with most vision and medical managed care plans and as a courtesy we will gladly file your claim for you, however, please understand that your insurance plan is a contract between you and your insurance plan. Please be prepared to pay co-pays and unpaid deductible amounts each visit. For your convenience we accept cash, personal checks, visa, and mastercard. Please be familiar with your plan as it relates to routine eye care, office visits, diagnostic testing and surgical procedures. It is impossible for us to know the details of every group’s plan.
For specific information regarding your particular plan, please consult your insurance carrier and/or provider manual or call our insurance and billing specialist at (704)853-3937 or email us.
We accept new patients by both physicians and patient referral. An established patient’s recommendation of our services is the highest compliment we can receive, and our appointment book is always open for one of your friends or family members. We work closely with all the doctors of Gaston County. If your family physician suspects an eye problem, you may request us by name.