General FAQ

What are the differences between ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians?

An Ophthalmologist is a physician -- an MD or DO -- who has completed a four year undergraduate degree, a four-year medical degree, followed by a 1-year internship and 3-year (or more) residency in ophthalmology.

An Optometrist is not a medical doctor, but receives the degree of OD at a 4-year optometry school after completing four (or sometimes three) years of undergraduate study.

An Optician is a technician who has either earned a 2-year optician degree from a community college or has learned while on the job.

What is a refraction?

The refraction test is an eye exam that measures a person's prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. This is done through a phoroptor which houses a variety of lenses. These are used to determine the power necessary to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or difficulty with reading.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

You can print and fill out the patient information form here to speed up the check-in process. You will need:

  • A copy of your insurance card and a photo id.
  • All of your current medications in their original container or a list that shows dosage and frequency for each medication
  • Any paperwork from another doctor if they referred you to Stokes
  • Your primary care physician's name and address
  • Your pharmacy's name and address

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