Blindness or low vision affects 3.3 million Americans age 40 and over, or one in 28 people, according to the National Eye Institute. By 2020, blindness could affect 5.5 million people. Having a problem affecting your vision can be worrisome, but receiving the best available care from a highly-qualified doctor specializing in ophthalmology can bring peace of mind.

The Polyclinic’s Ophthalmology Department provides total eye care. We treat patients of all ages who experience vision loss as well as many other conditions that affect the eyes and surrounding tissues. All of our ophthalmologists are board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and have numerous years of experience.

Conditions Treated

  • Blurred vision
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes-related eye problems
  • Dry eye/red eye
  • Eyelid disorders
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration
  • Trauma

Our Services

Medical Eye Exam or Routine Eye Exam?

Eye exams can be covered under medical insurance or seperate vision plans. Your insurance company determines how the exam is covered when you have both medical and vision coverage. This determination is based on the reason for your visit and the diagnosis that your doctor finds.

Your medical benefit is billed when:
You are here for medical care or a medical condition is discovered during your exam. Medical care addresses:

  • Diagnosed ocular disease such as glaucoma, cataract, or retinal disease
  • Complaints such as redness, tearing, burning, floaters, flashes of light or other visual disturbance
  • Existing conditions such as diabetes, corneal disease or an autoimmune disease
  • Scheduled testing for visual field, OCT or photos
  • Scheduled procedures such as laser treatment or and excision of a stye

Your routine vision benefit is billed when:
You have no vision complaints and are here for a routine exam primarily to update glasses or contact lens prescriptions.

These definitions are based on the guidelines set by your insurance company and vision plans. The Polyclinic is contractually bound by these standards. Due to insurance regulations, The Polyclinic must bill the appropriate insurance carrier based on the physician’s diagnosis of the patient.

Collaboration with Ophthalmology Subspecialists

Our team works closely with subspecialists to offer you the most progressive and complete care.

  • Glaucoma and cataracts
    • For patients with complex cases of glaucoma, cataracts or combined glaucoma and cataracts, Drs. Bhaskar, Johnston and Khan work closely with Dr. Jeffrey Kennedy and Dr. Shivali Menda, our glaucoma specialists at The Polyclinic. Learn more about glaucoma.
  • Corneal disease and surgery

First Hill Surgery Center

If your physician recommends surgery, he or she might schedule it at First Hill Surgery Center, The Polyclinic’s ambulatory or outpatient surgery center. First Hill Surgery Center is located in the heart of Seattle’s First Hill medical community and is one of the largest independent outpatient surgery centers in the region. A joint venture between The Polyclinic and Swedish Medical Center, First Hill Surgery Center features the latest surgical technology in a patient-friendly setting. Some procedures that may be performed in this facility include, but are not limited to:

  • Cataract and Glaucoma surgery
  • Corneal surgery

More information about First Hill Surgery Center.

Additional Information About Your Visit

  • The Polyclinic Ophthalmology Department does not prescribe or renew prescriptions for Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses. You can get your prescription or renewal from Blink Optical located in the Madison Center main lobby, as they have specialized expertise in RGP lenses.
  • A referral to an ophthalmologist does not ensure the service will be fully covered by all insurance plans. Before your appointment, be sure to check with your insurance company about your benefits and any out-of-pocket costs for vision and eye-care services.