Types of Eye Doctors: How Are They Called?

Last updated on April 6th, 2017 at 05:11 pm

Picking an eye doctor is an important health care choice. After all, you will be trusting your optometrist to safeguard your valuable sense of sight and help you maintain a life time of good vision.

Types of Eye Doctors You Should Know

The first step in your decision is to comprehend that there are two types of optometrist: eye doctors and eye doctors. It’s also helpful to understand the third “O” in eye care: opticians.

Luckily, when you comprehend the differences between an eye doctor and an eye doctor, it’s pretty simple to know where you must go, when, and for what. There is significant overlap in specific areas in between the two, but there are also numerous striking differences.

What Is An Eye doctor?

An optometrist is an eye doctor who has actually made the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Eye doctors analyze eyes for both vision and illness, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some eye doctors likewise supply low vision care and vision therapy.

Optometrists in the United States likewise are accredited to prescribe medications to treat particular eye problems and diseases. The scope of medical care that can be supplied by optometrists is determined by state law. (For information about the scope of practice of optometrists where you live, visit the website of your state’s board of optometry.)

Optometrists also may take part in your pre- and post-operative care if you have eye surgery carried out by an ophthalmologist. With a couple of exceptions, eye doctors in the U.S. are not trained or licensed to perform eye surgery.

An eye doctor usually must finish a four-year college degree program in the sciences, plus four years of post-graduate expert training in optometry school. In this regard, the academic requirements of an optometrist resemble those of a dental expert.

Like ophthalmologists, eye doctors are required to satisfy continuing education requirements on a continuous basis to keep their licensure and stay current with the latest requirements of eye care.

What Is An Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) or an osteopathic doctor (DO) who focuses on eye and vision care. Eye doctors are trained to carry out eye tests, diagnose and treat disease, recommend medications and perform eye surgery. They also compose prescriptions for spectacles and contact lenses.

Ophthalmologists generally complete four years of college, 4 years of medical school, one year of internship, and a minimum of 3 years of hospital-based residency in ophthalmology.

So (to extend the example with dentistry), whereas the education of an eye doctor is similar to that of a general dental professional, the education and training of an eye doctor are more just like that of an oral surgeon.

What Is An Optician?

An optician is not an optometrist, however opticians are a vital part of your eye care group. Opticians use prescriptions composed by an eye doctor or an eye doctor to fit and sell glasses and other glasses.

In some states, opticians must finish an opticianry training program and be certified. Other states don’t need opticians to acquire formal training or licensure. Some states enable opticians to fit contact lenses, normally after completing an accreditation program.

Types of Eye Doctors How Are They Called

Which Optometrist Should I See: An Optometrist Or An Ophthalmologist?

If your eyes are healthy and don’t need specific medical or surgical treatment, the kind of eye doctor you pick for a routine eye exam refers individual choice.

Eye doctors and ophthalmologists both carry out regular eye tests and both types of eye doctors are trained to detect, diagnose and handle eye illness that require medical and non-medical treatment.

If you already have a medical eye issue– such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or cataracts– it is very important to seek care from an eye doctor who is highly trained and proficient in monitoring and treating your condition. In a lot of cases, this might mean that medical or surgical eye care by a specially skilled ophthalmologist is in order. In such cases, your eye doctor (or basic eye doctor) may refer you to a colleague who is an expert in treating your condition.

A lot of eye doctors offer medical treatment for common eye problems (such as dry eyes and eye infections) and specific chronic eye illness (such as glaucoma). But certain eye conditions need treatment by an eye doctor, especially if surgery or other specialized care is required.

In a lot of cases, take care of a specific eye issue may be provided by an eye doctor and an eye doctor working as a group. This plan is called co-management.

In co-management, your primary care eye doctor (generally an eye doctor) refers you to an expert (usually an ophthalmologist) for a definitive diagnosis and treatment strategy. The ophthalmologist might choose to manage the issue medically, perform eye surgery, or both. After the condition is managed or surgically dealt with, the professional then sends you back to your primary care optometrist, who continues to monitor and treat your condition or carry out post-operative care based on the specialist’s suggestions.

Co-management is a particularly good solution if you are extremely delighted with the quality of eye care you are receiving from your primary care eye doctor, however you want to have any specific medical eye conditions dealt with by a knowledgeable specialist.

Other Elements When Selecting An Optometrist

When inquiring about the services an eye doctor offers, ask what occurs if an issue is discovered that requires treatment beyond the doctor’s scope of care. Which medical and surgical professionals do they refer to, and where are they located?

Lastly, a major factor you must think about when choosing an eye doctor is the suggestion of that doctor by buddies, relative or coworkers. Word-of-mouth recommendations frequently are the best method to discover a friendly, qualified and caring eye doctor and avoid undesirable surprises when you go to have your eyes analyzed.

Alik Muradov (Eyexan Team Member) / author of the article
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Ophthalmology: Health of Your Eyes
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