To maintain good eyesight, we need to address when we are having trouble, and the key is to go to the right kind of eye doctor. That’s right, there’s more than one type of eye doctor. They are ophthalmologists, opticians, optometrists — each of whom plays a highly important role in providing eye care to patients. The levels of training and expertise of each of these doctors have been different and tend to specific care.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in this field, consider a MD program to get started in your medical journey. Read on to understand the differences between the 3 types of eye doctors.
An ophthalmologist is an Eye M.D who is a medical or osteopathic physician specializing in eye care and vision. Ophthalmologists are doctors who have completed college, with at least 8 years of additional training in medicine. An ophthalmologist as a result is licensed and has the expertise to prescribe medicine or conduct surgery. These doctors are great at treating all forms of eye diseases, prescribing and fitting eyeglasses as well as contact lenses to ensure good vision in their patients. They are also trained to perform eye surgeries. Many ophthalmologists are engaged in scientific research to find out the cures and causes for vision disorders or eye diseases.
Some Eye M.D.s also specialize in a certain area of surgical or medical eye care. They are referred to as subspecialists. They usually complete an additional one or two years of training, mostly in the form of a fellowship in any one of the subspecialties like retina, cornea, glaucoma, pediatrics, plastic surgery, or neurology. These doctors are capable of handling more complex conditions in certain parts of the eye.
Optometrists are healthcare professionals who provide vision care, eyesight testing, diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision-oriented problems. An optometrist is not a medical doctor. They receive their Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree after they finish 4 years of optometry school. This is preceded by 3 or more years of a college education. Optometrists are licensed to practice optometry — including eye examinations, vision tests, prescribing corrective lenses, detecting eye abnormalities if any, and prescribing medicines for some eye problems.
Opticians are primarily technicians who are trained to verify, design, and fit eyeglasses (frames + lenses), contact lenses, as well as other devices that aid to correct eyesight. Opticians use the prescriptions issued by optometrists or ophthalmologists. They, however, do not test vision, nor do they write prescriptions. Opticians are also not permitted to diagnose and treat eye conditions or diseases.
Human beings often overlook how important vision is and how much we are dependent on them. Without our ability to work, drive, play or even recognize a face can drastically affect our physical and emotional well-being which is why it is all the more important to get your eye fully tested by the age of 40. Many health factors can cause eyesight problems, including diabetes or high blood pressure.