Everyone knows that it is important to pay attention to your physical health, including your diet and exercise habits. However, no amount of taking care of yourself can be substituted for getting professional medical care on a regular basis. This means regularly seeing a primary care doctor as well as other experts, such as a dentist, at least once a year. If you've ever had problems with vision, have a history of visual impairments in your family, or have any condition that makes regular eye exams a necessity, such as diabetes, it's essential that you find an optometrist that can help you. 

Luckily, it's easy these days to find a doctor who can give you the care that you need.

Talk to Your Insurance Company
Before you start to choose an optometrist, make sure that you reach out to your insurance company to find out the details of your policy. Not only can a representative from the insurance company give you information about what kinds of tests are covered and what your benefits entail, they can also make recommendations about finding an optometrist in your area. Of course, they can't make the choice for you, but they can give you a list of possible options that you can choose from.

Ask Your Friends and Family 
Once you know what your insurance policy will cover, it's time to find personal recommendations from the people in your life that you trust the most. Most friends and family will be more than happy to tell you about their experiences with other optometrists, including both positive and negative interactions. They can warn you about any office that doesn't live up to its promises, and they can tell you about any doctor who went above and beyond to make sure that they get the care that they need.

 If your friends and family don't have suggestions, ask your neighbors. You can even use local social media, such as Facebook groups, to get suggestions from regular people in your area.

Find an Expert
Do you have specific needs that your optometrist will need to address? If you are struggling with a particular problem, such as vision loss from diabetes, astigmatism, glaucoma, cataracts, or an injury that has occurred, it's important that you choose an optometrist who can help you with this issue. 

Also, if you are hoping to get a specific procedure done, such as Lasik eye surgery, you should make sure that any doctor that you choose will be able to perform this. Most doctors and offices these days have a website chock full of information to help you figure that out. For example, if you look at Stoney Creek Eye Care online, you can learn all about their team, services location and more. If the doctors that you are considering don't list this information on their websites, you should call their offices to ask about their qualifications, experiences, and abilities.

Choose a Local Pro
Unless you live in a very rural area, you probably will have a number of optometrists to choose from. One thing to consider when making your choice is the location of the office itself. You probably won't need to go to the office in an emergency situation, when you would more likely go to the hospital, but you should still have a doctor that is close by. That's because there are a number of optometric tests and procedures after which you will be unable to drive. Even a simple exam can lead to having your pupils dilated and, while you can technically drive after this test, you don't want to be on the road for long with your eyes operating at less than ideal levels. This is even truer if you get any kind of surgery or other invasive procedure. If you ever have to take a cab home from the doctor, you don't want it to be a long trip.

Meet With The Doctor
Finally, consider meeting with the doctor and talking to him or her before you make your first appointment. Some doctors are too busy for a meeting in person, but you should be able to talk to him or her over the phone if nothing else. This will allow you to find out if you will be comfortable with this optometrist. After all, when you choose an optometrist, you also choose a partner in helping you maintain your eye and vision health.