An eye doctor is a medical professional who specializes in eye and vision care. They are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of eye conditions, from vision problems to more complex diseases. Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists in their levels of training and in what they can diagnose and treat. Having healthy vision is essential for our daily lives.
It allows us to work, play, drive, and recognize faces. Unfortunately, many factors can affect our eyesight, such as other health problems or having a family member with an eye disease. That's why it's so important to see an eye doctor for a complete medical eye exam before age 40 and then as often as your eye doctor prescribes. Optometrists are health professionals who provide primary visual care that ranges from eye tests and corrections to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of changes in vision. An optometrist is not a doctor; they receive the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three or more years of college.
They are licensed to practice optometry, which primarily involves performing eye exams and tests, prescribing corrective lenses, detecting certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases. Opticians are technicians trained to design, verify, and adjust lenses and frames for eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other devices to correct vision. They use prescriptions provided by eye doctors or optometrists, but they don't test vision or write prescriptions for visual correction. Opticians cannot diagnose or treat eye diseases. In addition to providing the same care as an optometrist, an eye doctor can also perform eye surgery for a variety of diseases and conditions. This includes cataracts, glaucoma and strabismus surgery, among others.
It is important to be aware of the signs or risk factors for eye disease so that you can visit an eye doctor if necessary. These signs include blurred vision, double vision, difficulty seeing at night, redness in the eyes, pain in the eyes or head, and seeing spots or flashes of light. Your vision is important for your overall health and wellbeing. Seeing the right eye doctor at the right time is essential for maintaining healthy vision. If you have any of the signs or risk factors for eye disease mentioned above, be sure to visit an eye doctor for a complete medical eye exam.