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Frequently Asked Questions

Our doctors and staff are committed to making your visit as successful, comfortable, and pleasant as possible. We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you better plan for your visit.

Questions about Optometric Services

What does an optometrist do?

Optometrists, or doctors of optometry, are primary health care providers that specialize in eye care and visual health. They are trained to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders that affect the eye or vision. They examine the internal and external structure of the eyes to diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disorders; systemic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes; and vision conditions including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia.

How often should I visit an optometrist?

The frequency of eye exams depend on the age and health of the individual.    The American Optometric Association recommendations are as follows:

Patient Age Risk Free At Risk
Birth to 24 months At 6 months At 6 months or as recommended
2 to 5 years At 3 years At 3 years or as recommended
6 to 18 years Before 1st grade and every 2 years thereafter Annually or as recommended
18 to 60 years Every 2 years Every 1 to 2 years or as recommended
61 years and older Annually Annually or as recommended

What does a comprehensive eye exam include?

During an examination, optometrists conduct and assess:

  • Vision assessments/refraction: Optometrists determine the clarity or blur that patients have and use tailored techniques to find a prescription for the patients best possible vision.
  • Binocular vision: Optometrists determine the patient’s ability to properly focus and coordinate the eyes, and assess depth perception.
  • Eye disease: Optometrists diagnose and treat some eye diseases with pharmaceutical agents. They also identify systemic diseases with ocular manifestations such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid conditions, cancer, and HIV.
  • Pre/post-op care: Optometrists provide both pre-operative and post-operative care for cataract surgery, refractive surgery (LASIK), and retinal surgery. 

Will I be dilated? 

As part of your care, we will assess your entire ocular health and system which will include dilation when warranted.    

When should I schedule an appointment?

You should schedule an appointment if you are:

  • Having difficulty reading print on computer and newspapers, magazines, & menus, or numbers/letters on your phone
  • Rubbing your eyes frequently
  • Having tired or burning eyes
  • Experiencing blurred vision or double vision
  • Experiencing frequent headaches or eyestrain when working on a computer or reading for long periods of time
  • Having difficulty driving at night
  • Having problems with glare
  • Symptoms of flashes and floaters
  • Someone with diabetes, hypertension, or any other systemic or chronic disease
  • At risk for certain systemic or eye diseases because of family history or other factors – i.e. diabetes, high-blood pressure
  • Playing sports and having trouble judging distances between you, the ball, or other objects
  • Losing track of a person or objects in your peripheral (side) vision
  • Experiencing frequent near misses, accidents, or difficulty parking or driving
  • Handling or using chemicals, power tools, or lawn and garden

After-Hours Eye Emergencies

What should I do if I need eye care after the vision center is closed?  

After hours, including weekends, please call the on-call service at 617-262-2020 and follow the voice prompts to access the clinician on call.  


What insurances are accepted?

Visit our insurance coverage page.

What does my insurance cover?

Insurance coverage vary by employers. Please contact your specific carrier or speak to one of our patient care coordinators to learn more.

Hours, Parking, and Transportation

What are your hours?

Learn more about our specific hours at our two comprehensive vision centers are New England College of Optometry Center for Eye Care Commonwealth and Roslindale.

How do I get a message to a doctor?

Please call or email the office and the doctor who provided your care will response to you within 24-48 hours.

Is parking available?

  • NECO Center for Eye Care - Commonwealth is accessible by car or public transportation.  There is both on-street metered parking and a public parking garage nearby. Parking is available in a garage at 131 Dummer Street in the back of the building but extremely limited. Dummer Street is parallel to Commonwealth Ave. and perpendicular to St. Paul Street and Pleasant Street.   The fee is $3 per hour and parking is not validated.  Handicap parking is available.  Additional garage parking is available at the Agganis Arena garage on Commonwealth Avenue (on days when there is no event).  View map.
  • NECO Center for Eye Care - Roslindale has on-street parking is available in front of the building and throughout Roslindale Square. View map.

Is there handicap access at NECO Center for Eye Care Commonwealth or Roslindale? 

  • NECO Center for Eye Care - Commonwealth: This office has a ramp available at the entrance from the Dummer street garage. Our clinic and optical center are now conveniently located on the first floor near the main entrance on Commonwealth Avenue. A ramp is available for the 930 Commonwealth entrance.
  • NECO Center for Eye Care - Roslindale: This office is located at street level and is handicapped accessible.

How do I get to a location on public transportation?

Visit our locations section for more information. Our Commonwealth center is located on the green line B train at Pleasant street stop. Our Roslindale center is located near the Roslindale Square commuter stop, as well as several bus lines including 14, 30, 35, 36, 37, and 51.

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