What are the Differences Between Ophthalmologists, Opticians & Optometrists?

April 12, 2016

When you are in need of eye care services, it can be hard to determine what kind of eye doctor you should see — an ophthalmologist, optometrist or optician? And, what are the differences among these three types of eye care professionals? Yaldo Eye Center is here to break down the services these eye care providers offer and how they can meet your vision needs.

An ophthalmologist is an eye M.D. who specializes in vision care. As a medical doctor, they have completed college and at least eight years of additional training. They are licensed to practice medicine and surgery, as well as diagnose and treat various eye diseases. Ophthalmologists can also prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. Outside of work, they may be involved in scientific research.

An optician is a trained technician who specializes in designing and fitting lenses and frames for eyeglasses and contact lenses. An optometrist or ophthalmologist will provide the optician the specific prescription. Opticians are not permitted to perform eye exams, write prescriptions or diagnose eye diseases.

An optometrist obtains a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing three or more years of college, followed by four years of optometry school. They are licensed to perform eye exams, prescribe and dispense corrective lenses and detect eye problems, but they do not perform surgery.

Now that you are aware of the difference between each type of eye care provider, you can make sure you are seeing the right type of eye care professional for your vision needs. Schedule an appointment at Yaldo Eye Center today to get the clear vision you deserve.

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