Patient FAQS

What is the difference between an Ophthalmologist and an Optometrist?

Ophthalmologists at Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region are M.D.s or physicians who provide medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system and in the prevention of eye disease and injury. We also have sub-specialists in glaucoma, retina, and neuro-ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists perform a full spectrum of care including routine eye exams, diagnosis and medical treatment of eye disorders and diseases, surgery, and management of eye problems that are caused by aging or illnesses such as diabetes.

Optometrists at Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region are doctors of optometry (O.D.). They perform eye exams, diagnose and treat vision problems and eye diseases, and prescribe eyeglasses. They cannot perform surgery, but they provide our patients with pre- and post-surgical care.

How often should I visit the Ophthalmologist or Optometrist?

If over the age of 40, we generally recommend an annual comprehensive exam visit in order to keep your eyes in good working order. Diseases and conditions of the eye can often be treated successfully if caught early.

Based on your individual needs and condition, the doctor will make a recommendation at your appointment on how often you should visit.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

Bring a list of any prescription or non-prescription medications you are currently taking. Include vitamins, herbs, and other remedies you may use. Include the dosages you take for each medicine or other substance and how long you have been taking them.

If you currently wear corrective lenses, bring all pairs of eyeglasses you wear routinely. If you wear contacts that were prescribed elsewhere, bring a copy of your most recent contact lens prescription.

Finally, prepare and bring a list of questions or concerns you would like to discuss with the doctor. And if you are interested in specialty services such as LASIK, dry eye evaluations, or Botox®, be sure to mention this—both when you schedule your exam and when you check in on exam day.

Also, be sure to bring your driver’s license and a copy of your vision insurance card and/or any other medical insurance cards you have if you are seeking insurance coverage for a portion of your fees.

Please keep in mind Visa, Discover, Amex, and MasterCard credit cards are accepted.

Payments can also be made by cash, check, or debit card.

How do you accept payment?

Visa, Discover, Amex, and MasterCard credit cards are accepted.

We also accept payments made by cash, check, or debit card.

If needed, there are also medical financing options. Learn more about financing.

What can I expect during my eye exam?

Your eye examination will be customized for your specific vision needs.

A comprehensive eye exam usually includes a review of medical and vision history and vision testing, which includes a diagnostic refraction to measure best corrected vision as part of overall eye health, external examination of the eye and eyelids, evaluation of the eye muscle action, medication to anesthetize the eyes for eye pressure testing and to dilate the pupils for retinal examination, and evaluation for glaucoma and cataract. A refraction for prescription eyeglasses is also performed if needed.

How long does an appointment take?

The length of your visit will vary based on your individual needs. Some appointments can be brief, but others are more in-depth visits, such as cataract, retina, and glaucoma evaluation appointments, which can last up to 2-3 hours.

For first visits and annual eye examinations, plan to set aside 1.5 to 2 hours for your appointment, as dilating your pupils alone can take up to 30 minutes.

Are eye examinations painful?

No. Many patients are concerned about having eye drops administered and having their pupils dilated. However, this is completely painless, and no other part of the examination will be painful.

What is a refraction test for eyeglasses?

Refraction is when your doctor tests for distance, intermediate, and reading vision. This test is where we ask you, “Which is better, 1 or 2?” Please note that most insurance companies do not cover a refraction performed for prescription eyeglasses, and there is a charge of $40.


Call us to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, ophthalmologists, or optometrists. It’s important to take care of your vision.

Get in touch with us today at our nearest location to you.

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