Thorough eye exams are important not just for detecting vision problems, but also for overall health. A thorough eye exam can detect a number of serious medical conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts and diabetes and some forms of cancer. Caring for your eyes should always be a part of your regular healthcare routine.
The following pages of information will assist you with making an eye appointment at Atrius Health, including insurance and referral guidance, and will help you better understand what to expect.
Making an Eye Appointment
Please contact any of our Eye Care Services locations directly to schedule an appointment. You don't need a referral if your primary care physician is within Atrius Health. If you are seeing one of our eye doctors for a medical problem (for example, for an eye infection or because you have diabetes) and your primary care doctor is not at Atrius Health, you may need a referral. Please check with your insurance provider.
Please also check with your insurance company regarding routine eye care coverage. Some insurance plans limit coverage for routine eye exams to every year or two years, and some use a separate vision plan from your medical insurance.
If you wear or wish to wear contact lenses, please let us know when you schedule your appointment. In general, contact lens appointments are not covered by insurance. We will be glad to discuss the fees when you make your appointment.
Medical eye care such as infections and medical eye exams for diabetes are provided under your medical coverage and are not subject to the same limitations as routine eye exams. However, you should check with your insurance provider for complete details.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, Optician...what's the difference?
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and in the prevention of eye disease and injury. They evaluate visual function, diagnose and treat eye diseases and perform eye surgery.
Optometrists are doctors of optometry. They evaluate visual function, and diagnose and treat eye diseases. They prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, and medicine to treat eye diseases.
An optician makes, verifies and delivers lenses, frames and other optical devices and/or contact lenses according to prescription.
When I see an eye doctor, sometimes another person sees me first and then the doctor comes in. Why?
Usually the first person is a technician or assistant. He or she may gather information about your eyes and general health and may also perform technical tests and gather data for the doctor. This allows the doctor to have information prior to seeing you and also allows the doctor the opportunity to spend more time examining the health of your eyes.
Will my pupils be dilated? Do I need someone to drive me home?
When you make your eye appointment, you should ask whether your eyes will need to be dilated. If you are having a dilated eye exam:
- Arrange for someone to drive you home from the exam or plan to take public transportation.
- Bring a pair of sunglasses.
- Bring a pair of glasses if you wear contact lenses.
Learn more about dilated eye examinations.
Will I be able to get glasses at your office? How quickly?
Most sites have Optical Shops on the premises and some have labs on site to allow you to get glasses very quickly. The frame that you select and lenses you need will usually determine how long it takes for your glasses to be ready.
What if I have an emergency?
Call Eye Care Services during office hours. Urgent Care for adults and children is available after hours. Phone coverage and doctors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If I need surgery, what hospital will I go to?
Most surgical patients are treated at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. In some circumstances, we may also utilize outpatient surgical facilities in your local community.