First Visit

Appointment Information

We realize seeing a Retina Specialist is unplanned, thus causing a patient to feel anxious. We do our best to make your visit to Retina of Coastal Carolina as comfortable and convenient as possible. Retina exams are involved. Therefore, we ask that you allow approximately 2-3 hours for your initial visit. We fully assess the health of your eyes and do additional testing that may be necessary.

We encourage you to have someone drive you to your appointment. Not only will your eye be dilated, but you may undergo laser treatment or other procedures if deemed necessary during your visit.

We strive to give each patient adequate time to evaluate and address their concerns. However, we do handle emergencies frequently, causing delays in the schedule. We appreciate your patience and understanding if delays occur. Below is information to help you make the most of your initial visit with us.

How Can I Prepare for My First Visit?

You can help us by bringing the following with you:
  • Your Driver’s License or Photo ID
  • Names and addresses of your other health care professionals and pharmacy
  • Your current health insurance cards and insurance authorization, if applicable
  • Workers compensation claim information, with authorization, if applicable
  • Your current medications in their prescribed bottles or an up-to date list
  • Sunglasses to wear after your appointment
  • A driver to take you home
For your convenience, most of the forms you will need to fill out at your first visit are available for download here:

What Can I expect from My First Visit?

Initial Work-Up

To begin, an ophthalmic assistant will review your medical history, record what problems you are having with your eyes, and check your vision and the intraocular pressure of your eyes. Your eyes will be dilated with eye drops so that the doctor can see clearly into the back of the eye. (Please see below for questions about pupil dilation.) You may bring a family member or friend with you to the examination rooms should you wish.

Why do my Eyes Have to be Dilated?

Looking at the retina is similar to looking into a room through a keyhole. If the keyhole is larger, it is easier to see the entire room. Looking into the eye is similar. A dilated pupil allows for a thorough exam of the retina so that we can give you an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan explanation. Dilation of the pupil varies but typically lasts 3-4 hours after drop administration. Be aware you will experience some light sensitivity and difficulty with seeing up close. Your distance vision should remain the same. Once the dilation drops are placed, you will have a wait before your visit with the doctor to allow time for your pupils to dilate. Sunglasses are recommended due to your dilated eyes.

Physician Exam and Assessment

The doctor will examine your eyes and review his findings with you. He will arrange for any additional testing or treatment. The doctor will communicate with your referring physician or other eye care professionals to coordinate your care. Once your retina is stable, we will send you back to your referring doctor. Please note, we do not prescribe eyeglasses in our clinic.

If you cannot keep an appointment, please give us at least 24 hours’ notice so another patient can use the available time.