When it comes to eye care, it's important to know the difference between an optometrist and an eye doctor. An optometrist is a doctor who has earned a degree in science and a doctorate in optometry. They specialize in eye and eye care, and are usually the doctors who perform eye exams and disease control treatments at local eye offices. They also offer prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists in their levels of training and in what they can diagnose and treat.
Ophthalmologists are specialists and surgeons in eye diseases, and can perform the same functions as optometrists. An optometrist receives the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three or more years of college. Opticians are another type of eye care professional. They use prescriptions provided by eye doctors or optometrists, but they don't test vision or write prescriptions for visual correction. Some optometrists receive additional clinical training or complete a specialized fellowship after finishing optometry school. It's important to know the differences between these three types of eye care professionals, as each plays an important role in providing eye care to consumers.
Your vision depends on seeing the right eye doctor at the right time, so make sure you know who to go to for your specific needs.