Health in Sight: 3 Types of Eye Doctors That Treat Vision Problems

Around the world, roughly 2.2 billion people have some form of vision impairment. And, in many cases, vision impairment can be prevented or treated with the help of eye doctors.

Are you experiencing eye issues or want to get a vision exam? If so, it is important to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor! But which one should you visit?

In this post, we will review the roles of different types of eye doctors: optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians. And, by the end of this post, you’ll be able to understand the difference between these types of eye doctors!

Optometrists

Optometrists are the most common eye doctors, and if you have glasses or contacts, you’ve likely visited an optometrist’s office. They perform a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Eye exams
  • Prescribe corrective lenses (glasses or contacts)
  • Monitor eye problems such as glaucoma or dry eye
  • Care for disease-related eye issues
  • Provide vision therapy

After getting their bachelor’s degree, optometrists spend four years in a professional program to get a doctor of optometry. Sometimes, they also have clinical training or participate in fellowships.

It’s a good idea to see an optometrist if you have blurred vision, dry eyes, or other problematic symptoms. However, optometrists don’t do eye surgeries or complex treatments. So, if your eye issues are severe, an optometrist will likely refer you to an opthalmologist.

Ophthalmologists

Like optometrists, ophthalmologists also perform eye exams and other vision services. They also diagnose, monitor, and care for patients with eye conditions, including those caused by burns or injuries.

Moreover, ophthalmologists perform surgeries on patients with trauma, glaucoma, cataracts, or other eye conditions. And, in some cases, they do plastic surgery to raise droopy eyelids or smooth wrinkles in the eye area.

Without a doubt, ophthalmologists are the most highly trained eye doctors that exist. They attend medical school, participate in an internship for at least one year, and complete a three-year residency. And, sometimes, they follow this training up with a fellowship that lasts a year or two.

If you have an eye disease or if conditions like glaucoma run in your family, it’s a good idea to schedule eye tests with your opthalmologist every year.

Opticians

Opticians aren’t doctors, but they do provide eye care services after studying in a two-year program. Yet, since they aren’t doctors, they can’t perform vision tests. Instead, they fill prescriptions ordered by an eye doctor.

Other tasks that opticians perform include helping patients choose their lenses and frames or repairing glasses.

So, if you already have a current prescription for corrective lenses, you can visit an optician to order new glasses or contacts.

Care for Your Eye Health With These Types of Eye Doctors

If you want to maintain healthy eyes, getting a regular vision exam and monitoring any current conditions is important. Two different types of eye doctors can help you with this- optometrists and ophthalmologists!

And, if you need to order or adjust your glasses or contact lenses, make an appointment with an optician.

Did this post help you understand the 3 types of eye doctors? If so, take a look at more of our health and medical care articles!

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