Author: Eric Johnson
Date: November 24, 2022

What Is The Difference Between Optometrists And Ophthalmologists?

If you have ever needed to find an eye doctor because of eye issues, you are probably already aware of the several categories of eye specialists. The three professions of optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians are all focused on eye care.

Even though they are all about eye care, there are some misunderstandings that they all share. Optometrists and ophthalmologists both play a significant role in the provision of eye care, although they have very different degrees of education and experience.

So, if you're interested in learning how optometrists and ophthalmologists vary, you've come to the right place.

What Is An Optometrists And What Do They Do?

Optometrists are eye care professionals who provide primary vision care. They are licensed to practice optometry, which encompasses performing eye exams, writing contact lenses and eyeglass prescriptions, identifying primary eye abnormalities, and treating some eye problems, but they are not medical doctors. Some optometrists also offer vision therapy and low-vision care.

These optometrists graduate with an optometry degree after completing a four-year professional program. Some optometrists complete a specialty fellowship or additional clinical training after optometry school.

Optometrists Services

During a thorough examination, an optometrist assesses your vision and eye health. An optometrist, unlike an ophthalmologist, is not trained in surgery and cannot handle more severe eye diseases. But numerous eye conditions don't require surgery or further specialized care to detect and treat. These are some of the services offered:

  • Prescription for eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Vision screening and testing
  • Routine eye exams
  • Post-surgical eye care
  • Treatment for minor eye disorders

Ready to have an eye test? Find an optician near you!

What Is An Ophthalmologists And What Do They Do?

An ophthalmologists is a doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists have received training on how to conduct eye examinations, identify and treat diseases, write prescriptions, and do eye surgery. Additionally, they dispense eyeglasses and contact lens prescriptions. Ophthalmologists receive significant training, and the average path to becoming one is five years in medical school which results in a degree in medicine, followed by three years as a newly qualified physician and a total of eight years of ophthalmic specialized study.

Ophthalmologists are better qualified to identify and treat a wider variety of diseases than optometrists and opticians due to their considerable training.

Ophthalmologists Services 

Ophthalmologists treat a variety of eye disorders, from small aches and pains to more serious conditions that can cause partial or complete blindness. An ophthalmologist, however, can also perform eye surgery for a variety of illnesses and problems, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and strabismus surgery, among others.

Ophthalmologists provide the following services:

Ophthalmologists choose to specialize in areas such as:

  • Pediatric ophthalmologists identify and treat conditions affecting children's eyes.
  • Neuroophthalmology is the study of conditions that affect the brain, nerves, and muscles that control vision.
  • Diagnose and treat conditions affecting the retina and uvea by vitreoretinal surgery.

Ophthalmologists Vs Optometrists

It's common to misunderstand the differences between ophthalmology and optometry. Even though they both relate to vision care, there are some widespread misconceptions. Ophthalmologists and optometrists both play important roles in providing eye care, but their backgrounds and specialties are very different. There is a distinction between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist, even though some people may wonder if there even is one.

  • A specialist in ophthalmology can identify and handle a variety of eye conditions, including vision loss, glaucoma, cataracts, burns, refractive errors, diabetic retinopathy, dry eyes, and more. There are numerous sub-specialties within this discipline, including pediatric experts, cornea specialists, glaucoma specialists, neuro-ophthalmologists, retina specialists, and oculoplastic surgeons.
  • Optometrists are skilled professionals who can evaluate your ability to focus your eyes properly, view colors correctly, examine your visual acuity, identify vision issues (such as nearsightedness or farsightedness), prescribe glasses, and more.

Optician: Another Kind Of Eye Doctor

Opticians often known as dispensing opticians (DO) is an important part of your eye care team. To fit and sell appropriate glasses and other eyewear items, they read the prescriptions provided by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

How To Choose Your Eye Care Professional?

How do you decide which eye care provider to choose for your eye care? According to the service you require, you should select an optician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist.

  • Visit an optometrist for normal eye care, such as an annual eye exam or to renew a prescription for eyeglasses, contacts, or medicines.
  • For medical and surgical treatment of significant eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, and laser eye surgery, consult an ophthalmologist.
  • If you need your prescription for eyeglasses or contacts filled or adjusted, go to an optician near you.

Wrapping Up

All three eye care specialists—optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians—have different levels of education, areas of expertise, and areas of practice. The treatments you require will determine which eye care specialist is best for you.

If you're unclear about where to start your quest for eye care, consult a primary eye care professional at Ejones Opticals. We are the best optical store in Kerala that can take care of all your requirements and guarantee that your vision is in good shape.

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