Optometrist Or Optician What is the difference?

What IS the difference between an Optometrist and an Optician?

Wikianswers says this:

Optometrists examine people's eyes to diagnose vision problems, eye diseases, and other conditions.

The optician makes and fits glasses according to the optometrist's prescription

From Yahoo answers:
an optitian is a person who can give somebody glasses or contact lenses. an optometrist is the person that gives you the test and they assess your eyes, they can give you lasses and contacts too though.
an optometrist has a three year doctrate, but they are not a fully licensed phsyician like someone with an MD or a DO. They are not allowed to do surgery and are limited in their practice. They do eye exams and can prescribe corrective lenses.
Opticians just fit people for glasses, they don't do any exams.

And USAeyes.org says:

Doctors of optometry are independent primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions.

They examine the internal and external structure of the eyes to diagnose eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disorders; systemic diseases like hypertension and diabetes; and vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. Optometrists also do testing to determine the patient's ability to focus and coordinate the eyes, and to judge depth and see colors accurately.

They prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, low vision aids, vision therapy and medicines to treat eye diseases.

As primary eye care providers, optometrists are an integral part of the health care team and an entry point into the health care system. They are skilled in the co-management of care that affects the eye health and vision of their patients and an excellent source of referral to other health care professionals.

Opticians adjust and fit optical products such as glasses. Some employers hire individuals with no background in opticianry. Training may be informal, on-the-job or formal apprenticeship. Others seek people with college level training in opticianry.

Formal opticianry training is offered in community colleges and a few colleges and universities. In 1993, there were about 40 programs. Of these, 23 were accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and awarded 2-year associate degrees in ophthalmic dispensing or optometric technology. There are also shorter programs, including some less than 1 year. Some states that license dispensing opticians allow graduates to take the licensure exam immediately upon graduation; others require a few months to a year of experience.

Dispensing opticians may also gain credentials through voluntary certification or registration by the American Board of Opticianry and by the National Contact Lens Examiners. Certification must be renewed every 3 years through continuing education.

Optometrists do much more than prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. Optometrists provide primary eye care as well as unique vision care services, such as vision therapy, visual rehabilitation, non-surgical solutions, surgical consultations, and preventative care.

Optometrists help many patients with challenging visual problems. Explore our network to learn about optometric care, such as vision therapy or visual rehabilitation for special needs, lazy eye, crossed eyes, learning related vision problems, computer vision syndrome, head trauma, and much much more

An O.D., which is a Doctor of Optometry are independent primary health care providers who specialize in the examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures.

Optometrists are uniquely qualified to deal with functional vision disorders and/or problems in visual processing which affect reading, computer use, and other aspects of learning, development and behavior. They also work with the visual rehabilitation of people with head trauma, brain injuries, etc.

Optometrists in Maryland, Vision and Eye Care (MD Optometry)

Optometrists (OD) are health care professionals who examine, diagnose, and treat diseases and disorders of the eye. In Maryland there are 619 or more actively practicing. Regular responsibilities of an Optometrist include:

Performing eye exams for vision and health problems
Prescribing and fitting corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses and contact lenses
Prescribing eye medications

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