Choosing someone to help you with eye health is not that simple because it requires finding the person who shares the expertise that may help you as well as other factors that will increase your convenience as a patient.
The choice you make will allow you to maintain your vision and gain trust that will help you along the way. Of course, the first step when in need of an optometrist near me means that you should know the difference between ophthalmologists and optometrists, as well as opticians.
- Optometrist – An optometrist is an eye doctor that features OD (Doctor of Optometry) degree. They can examine both eyes for health and vision issues as well as correct refractive errors that are common when prescribing contact lenses or eyeglasses. Some of them can offer you low vision care and therapy that may improve your sight as time goes by. In the USA, optometrists are licensed to prescribe specific medications that may treat eye diseases and problems. State laws regulate the scope of care that they can provide, so you should check the regulations in the state you live in so that you can determine the range of services that you will get with an optometrist. They also tend to participate in pre and post-operative care in case that you have to undergo surgery by an ophthalmologist. They are not trained to perform eye surgeries, which is something you have to remember. In most cases, they have to complete a four-year college degree program as well as post-graduate professional training. Therefore, we can compare them with dentists when it comes to educational requirements.
- Ophthalmologist – On the other hand, an ophthalmologist is a medical Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, and his/her main specialization is in vision and eye care. They are trained to complete eye exams, to treat and diagnose various conditions that can happen as well as prescribe medications and perform surgeries. They can also write prescriptions for contact lenses and eyeglasses. They have to complete four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of internship, as well as three years in ophthalmology. Therefore, to continue the comparison with dentistry, education of optometrist makes him similar to a general dentist, the training and education of ophthalmologist are identical to the ones of an oral surgeon.
- Optician – Finally, the optician is not an eye doctor, but they are still a vital part of eye care because they are the ones that are creating and selling eye wares that ophthalmologists and optometrist prescribed you before. They require a training program as well as the relevant license that allows them to work in the state you live in. Other countries do not expect opticians to obtain formal licensure or training, but they still have to know how to create lenses and glasses so that they can work in this particular area.
By clicking here, you will be able to learn more on ophthalmologists and whether you should choose their practice.
Which Eye Doctor Should You See?
In case your eyes are healthy, and they do not require surgical or medical treatment, the choice of whether you should choose ophthalmologist or optometrist depends on your personal needs and preferences.
Both of them can perform routine eye exams so that they can determine whether you should wear prescription glasses or not.
However, in case you have a medical issue such as cataract, macular degeneration, or glaucoma, you should find someone who features skills and training in treating and monitoring your condition.
We are talking about surgical or medical eye care specialist, so you should choose an ophthalmologist. In severe cases, an optometrist can refer to a colleague that will treat your condition.
Have in mind that most optometrists can provide you medical treatments for eye issues such as infections or dryness, as well as conditions such as glaucoma. On the other hand, specific questions require treatment of ophthalmologist, especially if the surgery is included.
In most situations, both of them are working as a team in a medical facility you have chosen before.
Therefore, we recommend you choose an eye health practice that includes both of them so that you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan without going from one place to another.