FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
"Do you take my insurance?"
This is by far our most commonly asked question! We are considered out of network on all medical plans and an open-access provider on vision plans. This means we do not accept assignments directly from any insurance provider or vision discount plan. We do this to provide the highest quality care and keep our prices as low as possible. Please see our services page for our upfront fees for all services, frames, and lenses. In many cases, our in-house plan, EyeQ club, may save you more than using your vision benefits! For those who do have vision plans, we will submit a claim to your plan, and your provider will reimburse you directly with a check by mail.
"What is the difference between an Optometrist and an Ophthalmologist?"
Optometrists and ophthalmologists are two different types of eye doctors. An easy way to remember the difference between the two is to think of an optometrist as an “eye doctor,” and an ophthalmologist as an “eye surgeon.”
An optometrist goes to *four years of undergraduate and four additional years of graduate optometry school to* become a Doctor of Optometry. No matter what type of problem your child may be having with their vision, the optometrist is the “eye doctor” you should take your child to first.
A pediatric optometrist is trained to administer medical eye examinations and vision development tests. More importantly, they know how to diagnose diseases of the eye that can cause serious problems. An optometrist will prescribe medicine, perform in-office minor surgical procedures and therapy, and prescribe eyeglasses or pediatric contact lenses. If surgery is necessary, the optometrist will decide what type of surgery would be best, at what age is optimal, which surgeon would be the best to use, and will provide all of the pre- and post-surgical care.
A pediatric eye doctor is also trained to provide vision care to special needs children, such as those with Down syndrome or on the autism spectrum, nonverbal children, premature infants, and children with low vision or cortical blindness.
An ophthalmologist goes to medical school for four years to become a normal doctor, three years of residency to become a general eye surgeon, and one year of fellowship to decide what specific type of eye surgery they will perform full-time. One of the fellowship options is pediatric eye surgery. A pediatric ophthalmologist is trained in performing only general routine eye surgeries on children. If your child needs “lazy eye” muscle surgery, then that is a completely different fellowship called a strabismus surgeon. If your child needs cosmetic or reconstructive surgery after a trauma, then you would want an oculoplastic surgeon who has experience with children. If your child has retinoblastoma eye cancer, then you would want an ocular oncologist. Depending on what problems your child needs help with, you may benefit from one of TEN completely different types of eye surgeons. Who keeps track of all the types of surgeons, which ones are in-network with your insurance, and which ones best match your needs? Your pediatric optometrist.
Which Should I Choose?
Even if you suspect that your child has a very serious eye condition or disease, your first appointment should always be with an optometrist. The optometrist will evaluate your child’s eye health and vision to identify and treat any vision-impairing medical conditions. If the eye doctor suspects a surgical problem, your child will be referred to a very specific ophthalmologist who specializes in that particular issue. It’s much like when you go to your general practitioner (family doctor or pediatrician) and then receive a referral to a medical specialist for a specific problem.
"What is a developmental optometrist?"
A Development Optometrist (also often called a Behavioral Optometrist or Functional Optometrist) specializes in behavioral optometry which is a specialty in the field of optometry that is concerned with how your eyes and visual system function and is interested in how your behavior affects vision or how your vision influences your behavior.
Optometrists check the physical condition and health of their patients' eyes as well as their acuity. In the case of children, a pediatrician or a school screening is often only checking distance acuity (ie 20/20, 20/40, 6/6) which is only part of the picture when evaluating the full visual process.
Developmental optometrists also perform standard eye exams but they also run additional tests to determine if their patients have developed the visual skills necessary to adequately perform tasks required in their daily lives, especially at work or school. Developmental optometrists are also specialists in the field of lazy eyes (amblyopia) and crossed (strabismus) or wandering eyes.