Many people get confused between ophthalmologists and opticians - they both help you when you have problems with your eyes, but what’s the difference between them? When do you need an ophthalmologist and when do you need an optician? In this blog, we’re going to answer these questions and everything else you need to know about finding a good ophthalmologist. What is an ophthalmologist? Ophthalmologists are eye specialists who've undergone extensive medical and surgical training to be able to diagnose eye diseases and provide treatment to their patients. An ophthalmologist can distinguish between a healthy eye and one that suffers from a disease. Some ophthalmologists are so good that patients are even surprised when their ophthalmologist uncovers a health condition that their general practitioner might have missed. When choosing an ophthalmologist in Sarasota, Florida, you should look for one that meets all your needs. You need one that can quickly diagnose the problems you suffer from and provide you with solutions. A good ophthalmologist will always be able to create and implement treatment plans that work for you. How do you go about choosing the right ophthalmologist, though? It's a tough decision to make, but today we will make that decision a little easier for you. Take a look at the five most important things that make a good ophthalmologist. 1. They listen to and respect their patients One of the number one things to look out for when finding a great ophthalmologist is to find one who treats people with kindness and respect. Respect is key to being a great ophthalmologist. When the eye doctor is honest and communicative with you the whole time, you'll know your ophthalmologist is invested in your well-being and health. Having respect for patients comes in all forms, but when trying to choose the right ophthalmologist in Sarasota, Florida, you should make sure they: \tReturn your messages \tTake your calls \tListen to everything you have to say \tValue your input \tAlways let you speak about what's causing you issues The more they take stock of what you have to say about your health, the more likely they'll be able to diagnose the problem and provide you with the proper treatment. If your doctor doesn't listen, they'll find it challenging to find out what's wrong with you. They might even miss vital issues with your eyes. 2 They’re highly recommended & have excellent online reviews If you're being referred to an ophthalmologist, look at their online reviews to see what previous patients have said. Reviews are a great way to get insight into how your ophthalmologist works and how reliable they are as a doctor. If you can't find many online, ask the practice to send you some reviews or testimonials. Any good ophthalmologist would be happy to give you a list of positive professional reviews to look at. Looking at reviews will also give you an idea of whether or not this ophthalmologist truly specializes in the area you need. If they don't specialize in the area you need help with, they won't be the best fit for you and your diagnosis. You can also enquire with friends or family too. Ask them if they have an ophthalmologist they'd recommend. Word-of-mouth referrals from patients show that an ophthalmologist is good at what they do. After all, nobody will refer somebody they don't like or had a bad experience with. 3. They’re an accredited physician It's a crime to falsely advertise your education, certification, or other medical credentials but you can never be too precautious. Always check to make sure your ophthalmologist is an accredited physician; otherwise, you could run into trouble. If you don't work with an accredited physician, then they might not be able to diagnose you correctly, or they could do more damage to your eye. It's not common, but some individuals advertise false certifications to get business. So make sure to do a background check to be sure that the person you're working with is legit - you can never be too safe. To check an ophthalmologist's board certification, visit the American Board of Ophthalmology website. Here you can look up their name and practice to ensure that their work is legit. They might have the essential accreditation, but some doctors still lie about their specializations. If they're talking about studies they've done or areas they specialize in, do a search online to verify the information you're being told. 4. They have years of experience Everybody has to start somewhere when it comes to a career, but giving young doctors a chance might not be what's best for you. If you're searching for the best ophthalmologist in Sarasota, Florida, be sure to look for one that has plenty of experience in the field. Make sure the doctor you're working with has had years of experience in their area of expertise and will be able to diagnose your condition correctly. The more experience they have, the more likely they'll be able to treat your condition or disease right the first time. Ophthalmologists are eye specialists. They already have a lot of expertise, but it still takes a while to build up experience in the field. Make sure they have the experience necessary to treat you right - especially if you need to get surgery! 5. They make you feel comfortable One of the most important things to remember when choosing the right ophthalmologist is your comfort. Your comfort is key to receiving quality care from any doctor, not just an ophthalmologist. If you're nervous or don't get on with your doctor, you're going to feel uncomfortable and less likely to give them the details they need to help you. Comfort is essential when choosing an ophthalmologist, so you should ensure that you feel safe with them and confident in their abilities to give you the care you need. You should always prioritize and trust your comfort levels when speaking with a doctor. If you feel uncomfortable, they might not be the right choice for you. Consult with as many ophthalmologists as you can to find one that meets your needs and makes you feel like you're in good hands. Credentials, experience, and expertise are essential, but if you don't trust your physician, you won't get far with the care. The health of your eyes has a significant impact on your life which is why it's crucial you find the right ophthalmologist to care for you. At Shane Retina in Sarasota, Florida, our ophthalmologists are macular degeneration and retina specialists. Our team will always be here to take care of your eyes in a comfortable, safe, and professional clinic. Get the professional help you need to ensure your eyes stay healthy and are looked after at all times. Get in touch today to book a retina care appointment.