Choosing the RIGHT Type of Eye Doctor

You’ve noticed your vision isn’t what is used to be and know you should get your eyes checked, but are confused about which type of eye doctor should you be visiting? Did you know that there are 3 different types of eye doctors that you can consult depending on your individual needs?

To make it easier for you, here is a breakdown of the different types of eye doctors along with the types of treatments they offer:


Optometrists are professionals who provide basic vision care. An optometrist is not a medical doctor and cannot perform surgery or treat advanced eye health conditions. An optometrist has a degree from optometry school and is licensed to perform eye exams, prescribe corrective glasses or contacts and diagnose eye abnormalities.

You should consult an Optometrist if:

  • Your eyes are generally healthy and you’re due for a routine eye exam.


Ophthalmologists are surgeons and specialists in eye disease. They differ from other eyecare professionals in that they have a superior level of training, allowing them to diagnose complex eye conditions and offer advanced treatments. Ophthalmologists have a college degree certifying them as a medical doctor, and often have a minimum of eight years of medical training allowing them to practice medicine and surgery. They can prescribe medication, perform surgeries and also offer basic eye care and vision aid options. Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research on the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders. In many cases, you will be referred to an ophthalmologist by your optometrist if you require special care.

You should consult an Ophthalmologist if:

  • You require special treatment or surgery (e.g. glaucoma, vision correction or cataract surgery) or are concerned about possible eye diseases.
  • At Leading Medical Clinics of the World®, we’ve reviewed and carefully selected the very best ophthalmologists for you. Find an ophthalmologist near you.


Opticians are trained to fit and design eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses and any other device to correct poor vision. While they do not perform vision tests or write prescriptions, they work very closely with optometrists and ophthalmologists by using their prescriptions to provide the best eyewear for your needs. They are not medical professionals, meaning they cannot assess, diagnose or treat eye conditions or vision problems.

You should consult an Optician if:

  • You’re in the market for new eyeglasses or contact lenses or want a specialized optical aid (e.g. prescription sunglasses).