Ophthalmology, Optometry, and Opticianry
Ophthalmology, optometry, and opticianry: each part of a whole vision care experience.
When you go to have your eyes examined you usually say “I’m going to see the eye doctor.” You’re unlikely to say that you’re going to visit the optometrist, or that you have an appointment with an ophthalmologist or that you need to see an optician. It’s all just the eye doctor. And to an extent, that’s correct: each specialist deals with the health of your eyes. But while they all play a vital role in your eye care visit, levels of training and expertise vary between the three.
Let’s start with ophthalmologists.
Ophthalmologists are the only one of the three that are medical doctors, meaning they have completed college and had at least eight additional years of medical training. Though they will sometimes perform your eye exam, they are also licensed to practice medicine and perform surgery, and can diagnose and treat eye disease. They can also prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses. Many specialize in the treatment of specific eye disorders like cataracts or glaucoma, and sometimes they are also involved in research involving these disorders.
While not a medical doctor, an optometrist is a medical professional trained to perform eye exams such as vision tests, and can diagnose, treat and manage changes in your vision. An optometrist generally has a college degree followed by four years of optometry school, from which they receive an OD. The exact procedures optometrists are allowed to perform vary from state to state, and many optometrists work together with ophthalmologists in the same office in order to ensure that patients have access to complete eye care.
Looking to have your glasses fitted?
You’ll most likely be seeing an optician. While opticians can’t prescribe lenses, they can help pick out which frames fit and flatter your face. Some opticians even specialize in frame design. An optician is likely the first person you see when you walk into a vision care center, and many are directly involved in customer service.
Sterling Vision consists of all three: ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians, many of who specialize in specific disorders. Learn more about our team by reading their bios, or call 866-439-3588 to make your appointment.