WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE MY EYE EXAM?
If it's your first time coming to our office, we consider you for legal purposes a "New Patient". Once you schedule testing with us, we will provide a link in an email that you can click on in order to fill out your medical history, visual history and reasons why you'd like to come in. Once you click submit, we can then upload that data into our secure server and save you paperwork time during the day of your appointment.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN I ARRIVE FOR MY APPOINTMENT?
At Northwest Vision Development Center, we block off roughly 30-45 minutes in our schedule for your testing. You will first be greeted at the front desk and all the insurance information should be reviewed with you at the beginning so there are no surprises. While you wait for the technician or the Optometrist, please feel free to try on glasses in our optical dispensary. We also have many toys and books to keep kids occupied. We emphasize the importance of running ON TIME so you won't be waiting longer than about 10 minutes 90% of the time.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING MY EYE APPOINTMENT?
During your appointment, the eye doctor will review your medical history and reasons for coming in. Then we will run some tests to determine your prescription and examine the health of your eyes. On almost all of our new patients, we will use dilation drops at your first eye exam, unless you were referred by another eye care professional and you just went through it. We will also use anesthetic eye drops during the testing if you are 12 years old or older to check eye pressure.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE EXAM?
At the end of your testing, our Optometrist will discuss the findings and make certain you understand your results. He will also provide a glasses prescription and talk to you about what your options are for glasses and/or contact lenses if you would like.
If you get your eyes dilated, we will provide disposable sunglasses to keep you comfortable outdoors during the time you are still dilated.
If your eye health is sound and you do not need any medically related office visits, then we will set you up in our system to be reminded for another eye exam one year later.
WHAT OTHER EYE & VISION TESTS ARE AVAILABLE AT YOUR CLINIC?
Color Vision Testing
Testing for conjunctivitis and pink eye
Use of dilation eye drops to test for eye problems like diabetic retinopathy
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Pediatric Eye Exams
WHAT AGE SHOULD I BRING MY CHILDREN IN?
Our office begins seeing children at 6-12 months of age and then once a year after that.
HOW DO EYE EXAMS WORK WITH SMALL CHILDREN?
WHAT DO THE DILATING EYE DROPS DO?
The dilating eye drops are placed in before we look into the middle and the back of the eyes. They work by stopping the iris muscles from closing the pupil. The pupil is simply an opening in the middle of your iris. When we open it wider with the eye drops, our Optometrist can get a more thorough view of the back of the eyes.
HOW LONG DO THE DILATION DROPS LAST?
About 3 hours.
CAN I DRIVE AFTER GETTING MY EYES DILATED?
As long as you have your distance correction with or you see well at a distance to begin with, yes, you will be able to drive after.
Eye Exam Basics
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO GET MY EYES CHECKED?
We recommend that you get a comprehensive eye exam once every year or 12 months.
I SEE FINE. WHY DO I NEED AN EYE EXAM EVERY YEAR?
Even if you see well, there are many tests that we run each year that can detect early warning signs of ocular diseases like Glaucoma, Cataracts and Macular Degeneration and Eye Cancers like Melanomas. For most eye diseases, changes occur slowly without your awareness and to preserve eyesight for the rest of your life, we want to detect problems as early as possible.
HOW MUCH DOES AN EYE EXAM COST?
Northwest Vision Development Center charges $155 for a comprehensive eye examination with or without dilation. For many patients, insurance will cover all or a portion of your exam.
WHERE'S THE BEST PLACE TO GET AN EYE EXAM IN BELLINGHAM?
Maybe we're biased, but we think Northwest Vision Development Center is a great place to go to get your eyes tested. We handle most eye problems that you might encounter and if not, then we refer to another provider who does.