Optometrist Or Ophthalmologist

Optometrist vs Ophthalmologist, Do You Know The Difference?

An Optometrist is a health care professional who is licensed to provide primary eye care services:

  • to examine and diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal diseases and, in certain states in the U.S., to treat them;

  • to diagnose related systemic (bodywide) conditions such as hypertension and diabetes that may affect the eyes;

  • to examine, diagnose and treat visual conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia; and

  • to prescribe glasses, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation and medications as well as perform minor surgical procedures such as the removal of foreign bodies.

An optometrist is a Doctor of Optometry, an O.D. (not to be confused with a Doctor of Medicine, an M.D.). To become an optometrist, one must complete pre-professional undergraduate college education followed by 4 years of professional education in a college of optometry. Some optometrists also do a residency.

An Ophthalmologist is an eye M.D., a medical doctor who is specialized in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to complex and delicate eye surgery. They may also be involved in eye research.

After 4 years of medical school and a year of internship, every ophthalmologist spends a minimum of 3 years of residency (hospital-based training) in ophthalmology. During residency, the eye M.D. receives special training in all aspects of eye care, including prevention, diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions and diseases. An ophthalmologist may spend an additional year or two in training in a subspecialty, that is, a specific area of eye care such as:

  • Cornea and External Disease: The diagnosis and management of diseases of the cornea, sclera, conjunctiva and eyelids, including corneal dystrophies, microbial infections, conjunctival and corneal tumors, inflammatory processes and anterior ocular manifestations of systemic diseases. Training frequently includes corneal transplant surgery and corneal surgery to correct refractive errors.

  • Glaucoma: The treatment of glaucoma and other disorders that may cause optic nerve damage by increasing intraocular pressure. This involves the medical and surgical treatment of both pediatric and adult patients.
  • Neuro-ophthalmology: The relationship between neurologic and ophthalmic diseases, neuro-ophthalmology also deals with local pathology affecting the optic nerve and visual pathways. Over 50% of all intracranial lesions involve the visual or oculomotor pathways.
  • Ophthalmic Pathology: Training in both ophthalmology and pathology. Because of the unique combination of skills involved in this subspecialty, it is usually the ophthalmic pathologist, rather than the general pathologist, who examines tissue specimens from the eye and adnexa (related structures).

  • Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery: Includes orbital surgery, lid and upper facial reconstructive procedures following trauma and tumors and cosmetic lid surgery. Oculoplastic surgeons combine ophthalmic surgery with plastic surgery and are trained in the use of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and chemosurgery to treat ocular and orbital disease.

  • Pediatric Ophthalmology: The medical and surgical management of strabismus, amblyopia, genetic and developmental abnormalities and a wide range of inflammatory, traumatic and neoplastic conditions occurring in the first two decades of life.
Source: Medicine.net


Optician vs. Optometrist vs. Ophthalmologist

A patient that requires contact lenses or glasses will seek the help of an optician. An optician fills lens prescriptions for contact lenses and glasses, written by the optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Opticians are not responsible, nor trained, for eye examinations or treatment solutions for eye disorders. They help you pick our your frames and adjust them to fit comfortably.

Optometrists are doctors who perform annual examinations to treat any vision problems and detect signs of disease and abnormal conditions. Examinations may also include testing for glaucoma, color perception, depth, and the ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. Optometrists must be licensed, have a Doctor of Optometry degree, and pass a state board examination.

Ophthalmologists must acquire a Doctor of Medicine degree, a broad knowledge of general medicine, and clinical training. If a person requires medical or surgical care for an eye disease or an eye injury, he or she will seek the assistance of an ophthalmologist. Your refractive laser surgeon MUST be an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists must acquire a Doctor of Medicine degree, a broad knowledge of general medicine, and clinical training. This provides them with enough experience to diagnose and treat all types of eye disorders.

Ophthalmologists are the only eye care professionals certified to perform surgery on the eye. A subspecialist has undergone additional years of medical training exclusively in their chosen area of expertise, for example, retinal diseases, glaucoma, cornea or pediatrics.

Source: Laser Surgury For Eyes

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