Who do i see if I am having an issue with my eyes, eye wear, or sight? This has been a challenge for most people out there who have some confusion over whether to see an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, or Optician. Lets take a look at what each one does and help you make the right choices.
Optometrist are primary healthcare doctors of the eye and visual system who provides comprehensive eye and vision care, which includes refraction and dispensing, detection of disease in the eye, and the rehabilitation of conditions of the visual system. These types of doctors will be able to diagnosis and treat most eye diseases but if the diagnosis is too complex, they will not be able to prescribe some medications or preform surgery. In those cases an Optometrist will refer you to an Ophthalmologist that can handle your particular case.
Ophthalmologist are medical doctors who specializes in all aspects of eye care including diagnosis, management, and surgery of ocular diseases and disorders. Most Ophthalmologist will specialize in one or two specialties. If you are having issues with cataracts you will see a Cataract Specialist, if you are having an issue with your Retina you will see a Retina Specialist, and so on and so forth.
Most Optometrist will work hand and hand with Ophthalmologist to treat complex eye diseases. For example, Pre op and Post op for Cataract Surgery might be done with you optometrist while the Surgery will be preformed by an Ophthalmologist. They will share your medical records with each other to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Opticians specialize in fitting eyeglasses and making lenses to correct vision problems. Opticians are very knowledgeable in what style, lens material, and lens add-on you may need. They will also be able to "troubleshoot" any issues you may have and (under the supervision of your Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) will modify the prescription as needed. Opticians may also be trained on how to cut your lenses into a particular frame of your choosing.
At the end of the day it is your decision on who to see. Trusting your Doctor with your eye health is a major leap. We hope this article has informed you on the The 3 "O's" of Optometry.