In most cases, some people get confused about who an ophthalmologist is from an optometrist. Although these two professionals are health workers dealing with human eyes, there are some differences in their means of qualifications, practice, and mode of operations. It is crucial to understand their differences in order to meet the right person for the appropriate treatment. Meanwhile, the differences between an ophthalmologist and optometrist are discussed below.
Who Are They?
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that specializes in caring for human eye and vision WHILE an optometrist is not a medical doctor but a healthcare professional that examines, diagnoses, treats and manages changes in the human vision.
Education and Training?
An ophthalmologist must complete a college and not fewer than eight years of medical training and has the license to practice medicine and surgery WHILE an optometrist must complete three or more years of college education and compulsory four years at optometry school.
An ophthalmologist is licensed to diagnose and treat all eye diseases, recommend and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, and perform eye surgery WHILE an optometrist is licensed to only examine eyes and carry out vision tests, detect certain eye defects, detect particular eye abnormalities, and prescribe medication for certain eye diseases, and give corrective lenses or contacts, but cannot perform surgery.
An ophthalmologist cares for all eye conditions and defects and can specialize in either surgical or medical eye care. An ophthalmologist is required to complete additional one or two years in-depth training called fellowship in one of cornea, retina, glaucoma, pediatrics, plastic surgery, and neurology WHILE optometry does not require any other qualifications after graduation.
An ophthalmologist focuses on performing surgery on eyes WHILE an optometrist examines and treats all forms refraction with medications and contacts or glasses to the point of a surgical intervention when he refers the patient to an ophthalmologist.
To break it down even further, an optometrist examines your eyes with the intention of correcting your vision whereas an ophthalmologist examines your eyes with the intention of treating problems with your eyes through prescriptions and or surgery.
Although there are differences between the two medical professions, there are also a lot of functions of the job that cross over. Ophthalmologists can still write prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. Optometrists on the other hand also have the ability to treat certain eye diseases.