What are the Differences Between an Opthamologist and an Optometrist?

Eye care

There are so many types of physicians and specialists in the world that it can be hard to know exactly who will be the most helpful for you when you have a condition or a simple question. If you’re looking into physicians to help you with your eyes, for example, you may get stuck on who you need to see. Like, what the difference is between ophthalmologists and optometrists? And should it matter? Though they both work with the health of the eyes, they ARE different. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between ophthalmologists and optometrists.

Optometrists

An optometrist is an eye doctor who examines eyes for both vision and health problems. They are able to prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct issues with vision. Some optometrists may also provide low vision care or vision therapy.

Optometrists are licensed to prescribe medications to treat certain eye problems and diseases. Depending on the state you’re in, they may be allowed to do even more, too. Though many are not trained to perform surgery, some may be able to do so. Often, they can help support your pre- and post-operative care if you do happen to have eye surgery.

Ophthalmologists


Similar to optometrists, opthamologists also examine eyes, and are able to prescribe glasses and contact lenses. Where they differ is in areas of surgery, generally. So, in general, ophthalmologists are trained to perform eye exams, diagnose and treat diseases of the eye, prescribe medications, and perform surgery on the eyes.

Opticians


Hold up, there’s another type of eye specialist? Don’t get confused yet. Opticians are not eye doctors, though they do also work with eyes. They take the prescriptions from your optometrist or ophthalmologist to correctly fit and provide you with your glasses. You will probably see them when you’re shopping for glasses at the mall or at a stand-alone glasses store.

If you’re interested in learning more about the health of your eyes, give us a call at 904-355-5555 to schedule a consultation. We can help you understand what kind of care you and your eyes need.

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