Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

They are all eye doctors so what’s the difference?

Optometrists help with everyday vision care.  When you need a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses an optometrist is the right choice.

Optometrists (OD) are medical professionals with a focus on vision care.  They diagnose medical conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and conjunctivitis.   They prescribe medications for eye conditions.  They can co-manage pre-and post-operative surgical care.

Ophthalmologists (MD) are physicians for medical eye care.  If you need care for glaucoma, iritis, and chemical burns then see an ophthalmologist.  When you need surgical eye care for trauma, cataracts, glaucoma, or advanced diagnosis for eye conditions with diabetes or arthritis then see an ophthalmologist.

Both work together.  Both can do eye exams.  If you are looking for general vision care then start with an optometrist (OD).  If you require advanced medical care your optometrist will recommend the right ophthalmologist.  Together they will see that you get the care you need.

There’s another “O” for optician.  This is the person that fills the prescription your eye doctor gives you.  They are also trained professionals but they do not perform eye exams.  Opticians take facial measurements and help you select the lenses and frames that fit you.  They make eyeglasses work with your facial shape, skin coloring, and work conditions.  This is very important.

You need the prescription recommendation from an eye doctor.  You want a professional optician to help you make the right choices so you look great in your new glasses.

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