Who is an optometrist?
An optometrist is a health professional who does primary health care for the eye. Optometrists examine the eyes to diagnose any problems in vision and prescribe corrective lenses for them. Optometrists have done a four-year professional program after college to get a Doctor of Optometry degree. They may also get additional clinical training or a specialty fellowship after the optometry degree.
What are the various kinds of eye doctors?
Healthcare professionals who specialize in eye care are mainly divided into three categories:
What functions does an optometrist have?
Optometrists have several roles related to the primary care of the eye. These include:
- Performing eye examination and vision tests.
- Treating conditions such as:
- Prescribing and fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses.
- Providing low-vision aids and vision therapy.
- Detecting diseases, injuries and disorders of the eyes.
What training and functions does an ophthalmologist have?
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor specialized in the medical and surgical care of the eyes. Ophthalmologists have completed medical school and subsequently do an internship for a year and residency for three years. They may sometimes additionally do a one- to two-year fellowship.
Ophthalmologists offer a spectrum of eye health services which include:
- Vision services, including eye exams.
- Medical eye care for conditions like glaucoma, and chemical burns.
- Surgical eye care for trauma, crossed eyes, cataracts, glaucoma, and other problems.
- Diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions associated with other diseases, including cancers of the eye, diabetes or arthritis.
- Plastic surgery to raise droopy eyelids or smooth out wrinkles.
What functions does an optician have?
Opticians are not eye doctors and they cannot examine the eyes. Qualifications include a one to two-year degree, certificate, or diploma. Their roles include:
- Checking lens prescriptions.
- Filling prescriptions given by an eye doctor.
- Providing, adjusting, and repairing glasses, frames, and contact lenses.
- Taking measurements of the face to fit corrective lenses.
- Helping decide which type of lenses and frames will work best, functionally and aesthetically.
- Ordering and checking products, including contacts and eyeglass lenses.
Should I visit an optometrist or an ophthalmologist?
If you want to get a routine checkup of your eyes, you can see either an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
If you believe you have an eye problem like cataract or glaucoma, or a health condition like diabetes that may compromise your vision, an ophthalmologist may be best. Ophthalmologists have advanced medical training that qualifies them to evaluate and treat these conditions.
How often should I get my eye examination done?
We all can benefit by eye examination on a routine basis. If you don’t have any diagnosed vision problems and don’t notice any symptoms, follow the general rules below:
- Young adults: Once in your 20s and twice in your 30s.
- Adults: At age 40 with regular follow-ups, depending on your health.
- Adults 65 and above: Every one to two years.
- Children: At birth, six months, three years, and before entering grade school. Schools may also perform routine eye exams.
Apart from routine visits, you need to go to the eye doctor in the following situations:
Latest Eyesight News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Exactly Does an Optometrist Do Related Articles
Dry EyesDry eyes are caused by an imbalance in the tear-flow system of the eye, but also can be caused by the drying out of the tear film. This can be due to dry air created by air conditioning, heat, or other environmental conditions. Treatment may involve self-care measures, medications, or rarely, surgery.
Eye Anatomy Detail PictureThe eye has a number of components which include but are not limited to the cornea, iris, pupil, lens, retina, macula, optic nerve, choroid and vitreous. See a picture of Eye Anatomy Detail and learn more about the health topic.
Eye Care and Eye Disorder
Many common eye disorders resolve without treatment and some may be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) products. It's important to visit a physician or ophthalmologist is the problem involves the eyeball itself or the condition hasn't improved after 72 hours of use of an eye-care OTC product.
What Are Eye Floaters?Eye floaters are deposits or condensation that forms in the eye's vitreous humor. These deposits cast shadows on the retina, and as the eye moves, the deposits shift position, making it appear as though the shadows are moving or floating.
Eye Health: Macular DegenerationThis eye disease causes more vision loss than cataracts and glaucoma. WebMD shows you what you need to know to protect your sight.
Vision as You AgeConditions like cataracts, glaucoma, droopy eyelids, age-related macular degeneration, and other eye problems are more common with aging. Problems like floaters may become worse as well. An ophthalmologist can assess for eye diseases and address eye problem symptoms early to maximize the chance of a good outcome.
eye lubricant - ophthalmic
Eye StrainEye strain is a symptom caused by looking at something for a long time. Symptoms and signs include redness, light sensitivity, headaches, and blurred vision. Symptoms may be treated by closing the eyes and taking a break from the visual task.
LASIK Eye SurgeryLASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) eye surgery is a procedure in which a laser is used beneath the corneal flap to reshape the cornea. This process is used to treat refractive errors, improve vision, and eliminate or reduce the need for contact lenses or glasses. LASIK eye surgery comes in three main types: conventional LASIK, wavefront-optimized LASIK, and wavefront-guided LASIK.