Optometrist vs. Ophthalmologist

 It is this degree that designates an Ophthalmologist as a medical doctor who has been trained in all areas of eye care including the ability to diagnose and treat eye disorders and diseases. An Optometrist or Optometric Physician is a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.); a health care professional who is licensed to provide primary eye care services. These services include the examination, diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of eye related problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, retina and other ocular diseases. They may also diagnose related systemic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes which may affect the eyes. They examine, diagnose and treat visual conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia and may prescribe glasses, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation and medications as well as perform minor in-office surgical procedures such as the removal of foreign bodies. To become an optometrist, one must complete pre-professional undergraduate college education followed by 4 years of professional education in a college of optometry. Some optometrists also complete a specialized residency training program. An Ophthalmologist is a Medical Doctor (M.D.) who is specialized in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses, to complex and delicate eye surgery. Ophthalmologist diagnose and treat a range of eye related problems including glaucoma, cataracts, retina and other ocular diseases. They may also be involved in eye research. After 4 years of medical school and a year of internship, every ophthalmologist spends a minimum of 3 years of residency (hospital-based training) in ophthalmology. During residency, the ophthalmologist receives special training in all aspects of eye care, including prevention, diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions and diseases. An ophthalmologist may spend an additional year or two in training in a subspecialty, that is, a specific area of eye care such as Cornea and External Disease, Glaucoma, Neuro-ophthalmology, Ophthalmic Pathology, Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Vitreoretinal Disease. At Center For Sight, your Optometrist and Ophthalmologist work cooperatively to manage each patient’s individual needs and on-going care. In many cases, your optometrist will provide pre-operative and post-operative care for surgical procedures such as cataract surgery and laser vision correction.

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