Please read the following information before coming to the Duke Eye Center.
Check-in/reception: Please check in at the reception area. If you are a new patient, please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment to register and complete paperwork.
Examination: The examination that you receive at Duke might be different from previous eye exams. This is a highly specialized ophthalmologic examination and can last several hours. At the Duke Eye Center, tests may be performed that are not routinely done at other eye physicians' offices. Patients who are new to the Eye Center or new to a subspecialty should expect to spend four to five hours.
Family members: Because of the rather lengthy examination required and a somewhat small waiting area, please limit the number of people you bring with you on your visit.
Dilation: Almost all new patients will have their pupils dilated. This is a necessity to the ophthalmic evaluation. The dilation procedure by itself takes about 30 to 45 minutes. If you are concerned about driving with your eyes dilated, please bring someone who can drive you home if your vision is blurry. Vision may be blurred for hours after the examination, and your pupils may remain dilated for up to 24 hours.
Contact lens fitting: The cost of contact lens fitting services is separate and distinct from the exam fees charged by Duke Eye Center doctors. The contact lens prescription will include very specific information not determined or provided during a regular eye exam performed by the doctor. These services may require multiple office visits and lenses. A contact lens fitting visit requires more time than a routine eye exam, so you need to reserve enough time for it. When you make your appointment, be sure to let the office know that you need a contact lens fitting in addition to an exam.
Medical records: In order to provide the best evaluation possible, it is often necessary to review old medical records, previous photographs, and fluorescein angiograms. Please bring any angiogram you have had, along with any records of previous surgeries or other eye exams. If you are scheduled to see the neuro-ophthalmologist, please have your medical providers send copies of your medical records, lab results, MRIs, etc., prior to your exam.
Duke University Hospital is a teaching hospital, and as such, many health care professionals are involved in your care. These include:
Ophthalmologist: An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) and surgeon who has completed medical school, an internship, and a residency in ophthalmology.
Optometrist (OD): An optometrist is a primary eye care provider who diagnoses, manages, and treats disorders of the visual system and eye diseases. ODs must complete four years of post-graduate optometry school for their doctorate.
Ophthalmology fellow: A fellow is a licensed physician and residency-trained ophthalmologist who is obtaining subspecialty training in retina, cornea, glaucoma, pediatrics, neuro-ophthalmology, or oculoplastics.
Ophthalmology resident: A resident is a licensed doctor of medicine and surgery in the state of North Carolina. Residents have completed medical school and an internship in medicine, and are now obtaining specialized training in ophthalmology.
Optician: An optician is a person trained in the selection, manufacturing, and dispensing of eyeglasses and contact lenses. The American Board of Opticianry tests and certifies opticians.
Ophthalmic imaging specialist: An ophthalmic imaging specialist is someone who has received specialized training in ophthalmic imaging procedures such as retinal fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography. Many, but not all, patients require eye imaging.
Ophthalmic technician: An ophthalmic technician has received specialized training in ophthalmic procedures such as assessing visual acuity, color vision, visual fields, intraocular pressure, etc. This individual may be the first eye specialist that patients encounter in the Duke Eye Center clinics.
Ophthalmic technician student: An ophthalmic technician student is someone who is in training to be an ophthalmic technician and may perform certain tasks as directed and supervised by another technician or physician.