Optometrist vs Ophthalmologist: What’s the Difference?

Depending on what kind of vision treatment you’re looking for, you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing the right eye care provider. One common question people have is: what’s the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist? Since there’s actually a lot of overlap between what an Optometrist and Ophthalmologist can practice, it can be a little confusing. But let’s go over what each profession does to help you decide which one can give you the right treatment.

What Does an Optometrist Do?

An optometrist focuses mainly on correcting common vision problems like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and age-related vision loss. Optometrists perform eye exams and write prescriptions for corrective lenses and contact lenses.

An optometrist can also treat and prescribe medicine for common eye issues like dry eyes, eye infections, and glaucoma. What kind of diseases an optometrist can treat really depends on your state’s law.

What Does an Ophthalmologist Do?

An ophthalmologist is essentially a trained medical doctor. For one thing, it’s recommended that you make an appointment for a full eye exam with an ophthalmologist by the time you’re 40. Of course an ophthalmologist can also perform eye exams and prescribe glasses, but their main focus is treating eye diseases and performing eye surgeries. In addition, certain subspecialists exist with even more training on specific types of eye disease. If you suspect that you have any kind of eye disease, make sure to contact an ophthalmologist.

What Kind of Procedures Can I Get from an Ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmologists can also perform surgeries for vision correction. Procedures like LASIK are used to correct common vision problems and remove the need for glasses and contact lenses. Other procedures an eye doctor can perform include:

  • EpiLASIK
  • PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy)
  • Phakic intraocular lens implants (PIOLs)
  • Intracorneal ring segments (Intacs)

How Do I Find the Right Eye Doctor?

If you need treatment for an eye disease or want surgery to correct your vision, then you need to pick an eye doctor with the proper qualifications. When you’re trying to find out who can provide quality eye care, it’s important to ask the right questions.

There are a few criteria you can use to try to find the best eye doctor in your area:

  • Are they board certified?
  • Are they in good standing with their medical board?
  • Do they have great patient reviews?
  • Are they ranked as a top medical practitioner in their field?

There are so many details you need to know in order to find the best healthcare professionals—sometimes it might feel a little overwhelming. Fortunately, Leading Medical Clinics of the World® is dedicated to helping you find the best medical clinics and healthcare professionals in your area. If you want access to a database of qualified, screened eye doctors, then call or go their website now.