Now, this is not the first time I have been to an optometrist. I am blind as a bat, and have been visiting optometrists for over 12 years now. There are certain procedures I am use to: forms and waivers, eye drops, pressure scans, colorblindness tests. I use to get the air blown into my eye, and now it's just a machine that gets super-mega-close to your eye- to exam your pressure. Right eye, left eye. Right eye, left eye.
One thing I noticed that was odd, was that at the clinic, I was never told I was going to get my eyes dilated. Apparently it is part of their general eye exam. I also, was never asked permission to have my eyes dilated. The nurse or doctor must always ask for your permission to dilate your eyes. You have the option to say yes/no and you get a form saying that on this day you got your eyes dilated or you did not.
Know your Rights
After a general eye exam, the doctor must provide you with your prescription (glasses). If it is contact lenses, then your prescription is given after your fitting is complete. And as a consumer, you have every right to shop in other optician parties.
In Chapter 5.4, of the California Laws and Regulations related to the Practice of Optometry, issued by the CA State Board of Optometry in section 2541.2, subdivision (b):
"Upon completion of the eye examination or, if applicable, the contact lens fitting process for a patient as described in subdivision (f), a prescriber or a registered dispensing optician shall provide the patient with a copy of the patient's contact lens prescription signed by the prescriber; unless prescription meets the standards set forth in subdivision (c).Subdivision (c) entails that a prescriber can retain the prescription if the patient wears special lenses that need to be produced specially for that individual versus mass production, and if the contact lenses have some sort of gas.
Subdivision (f) describes the process and the completion of a contact lens fitting. Basically, a contact lens starts after the general eye exam and ends when the patient finds the lenses that best fit.
Subdivision (g) is about payment (basically, pay your fees and you get your prescription along with your receipt).
Also important to note, subdivision (h):
"A prescriber shall not condition the availability of an eye examination, a contact lens fitting, or the release of a contact lens prescription on a requirement that the patient agree to purchase contact lenses from that prescriber.
[Section 2541.2, found on page 71]
Now you know...You can skim through the Laws and Regulations, but it is important that you know your rights and become an informed consumer. You have every right to ask questions, and to know you have rights. After all, it is your eyes. Also important, you have every right to file an official complaint for malpractice to the Board of Optometry.
I feel very dooped, after going to De La Peña. After I finished my exam, I asked him for a copy of my prescription for which he told me, No. Because you're gonna go to CostCo and buy some lenses. What kind of crap is that?! But now that I am informed, and know my rights...I am ready for my follow up so I can kick some ass!!