Ophthalmology & Optometry/Eye Exam

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QUESTION: How long do full eye exams generally take? I got one today and came in at 10:30 as the appointment reminder call I got said it was and when I got there they said the appointment was at 11:30 just like I had written when I made the appointment and nobody called my name until 12:40 to come back. How long can exams take? 10 minutes tops? My exam was just eye pressure, looking at retinas, looking at letters on card in my hand, and looking at letters in mirror reflected from screen behind me. No multi lens or anything. I don't feel entirely confident in how through they were.

ANSWER: Hi James,
An easy exam (for the doctor)can take 10  minutes if the patient is prepped properly and well screened by a tech; often the documentation takes that long as well. But as patient's problems and risks mount and communication/mobility issues increase, the time can extend significantly. Often schedules don't allow for anything except, say, 20 minutes. so a kid without problems or the 85 year old who showed up late and suddenly can't see, uses a walker, and needs a sign language interpreter, etc can slow down your progress. James, I promise: the doctor I'm sure was upset at the delay also as they miss lunch and go home late and so on. It's stressful to say the least. But we have to address issues and be responsible.
Welcome to health care in the 21st century.
Mitch Axelrod, OD

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: How often are eye dilation drops used? 2 years ago at my last appt. They didn't use them, and I saw better when everything wasn't so bright and 3 different types of drops in my eyes. When do they usually wear off?

Answer
it depends on risk factors for eye disease. generally more often as getting older, annually if current disease is being monitored or suspected of changing. Of course if you describe symptoms of trouble, it would be done then.  It varies with the doctor and practice style also. That would be a good question for your eye doctor when you next see them.
Thank you,
Mitch Axelrod, OD

Ophthalmology & Optometry

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Mitchell Axelrod

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about eye exam findings and procedures, glasses and contact lens types/prescriptions/problems. I can also answer questions about general eye conditions/diseases. I do not answer questions concerning surgical techniques/procedures. Please state your age or within a small range when asking questions, as it is often important.

Experience

Optometrist 19 yrs.

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Optometry, cum laude; Residency in Ocular Disease

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