Finding a new doctor of any type can be a daunting task. When you go to the dentist, you want to be sure they take their time and get it right. If you see a chiropractor, you definitely want to find somebody you feel like you can trust your neck to. When looking for a good eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist), the stakes are just as high. Who wants to deal with contacts or glasses that are “decent”? You (like most people) probably want your vision dialed in to 20/20, or the best that is possible.
Choosing an eye doctor in Seattle is especially challenging. Since we live in a large city, there are a bewildering number of choices. Maybe you need a contact lens fitting along with your glasses exam, which ups the ante a bit further. Personal referrals are always a good place to start. If a trusted friend says their local eye doctor has taken good care of them, then that doctor is likely worth giving a try. While we know that our practice, Cannon EyeCare (at Market Optical) provides excellent care, we admit that there are other great eye doctors in Seattle.
If you love your current eye doctor and the opticians in their office, you should consider staying with them long term, or at least until you don’t love them anymore. We certainly don’t want to break up any happy patient-doctor relationships. If, however, your current optometrist has not been able to get your contacts or glasses quite right, or perhaps your concerns about dry eye, etc. have never been adequately addressed, then it is time for you to look around.
Look at Yelp and Google Maps business profiles. Healthgrades.com is another good resource. Then talk to your friends and coworkers who wear glasses or contacts. Search for eye doctors on your vision (or medical) insurance website, then see if one of the doctors listed in your area has good ratings on Yelp or Google (or both). The American Optometric Association’s doctor finder at aoa.org is another good resource. You should feel free to stop into an optical shop that makes your “short list” and see if the office staff is good to you or if they give you the “hard sell”. If you get the feeling that they are people you would not mind spending a little time with, then you may have found the right fit for you. Try that vision clinic out the next time you are due for your annual eye exam. You’ll know within an hour if you are on the right track. When you do successfully find a doctor (of any type) that goes above and beyond, consider writing a positive online review on Yelp, Google, Angie’s List, etc. This seems especially important if you used these resources to find the doctor that worked out so well, so that you can pay it forward.
Sincerely, Dr. Mark Cannon, optometrist @ Cannon EyeCare (at Market Optical) in Seattle, Washington