Eye doctors and optometrists are both qualified to provide a variety of eye care services, such as diagnosing and treating eye diseases, prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses, and detecting certain medical conditions. An eye doctor is a medical doctor (MD) who has completed four years of undergraduate studies, four years of medical school, and four years of residency in a hospital. An optometrist has a doctorate degree in optometry (OD) after completing four years of undergraduate studies and four years of optometry school. An eye doctor is qualified to perform eye surgery, while an optometrist is not.
When looking for an eye doctor, it's important to understand the similarities and differences between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist. Both are capable of diagnosing a variety of eye diseases and disorders, such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration. During an exam, they can detect certain diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Both can prescribe medications to treat certain eye disorders, such as conjunctivitis, allergies, and glaucoma.
The major difference between an eye doctor and an optometrist is that an eye doctor is trained to perform eye surgery. Whether the surgery is performed in a hospital or in the office, it's important to remember that only an eye doctor is qualified to perform the surgery. It's very important to have routine eye exams even if your eyes look healthy. By undergoing a routine eye exam, your optometrist or eye doctor will not only help you get better vision but also be able to detect many asymptomatic but treatable eye diseases. Ophthalmology is a specialization among doctors, but it can be more specific than that.
Some eye doctors choose a very particular specialization, such as treating glaucoma, problems affecting the retina, or problems affecting the cornea. If you visit an eye doctor, they will be qualified to perform any surgery you need but can also refer you to a subspecialist who has received even more training in a particular area. Ultimately, it's best for your health to visit an optometrist or an ophthalmologist for routine checkups and vision maintenance. If a more serious condition arises, your optometrist or ophthalmologist will be able to identify the early warning signs and provide you with the treatment you need. If they aren't qualified to provide this treatment, they'll refer you to an ophthalmologist.