Eye specialists aren’t all the same. Visiting an optometrist in Monmouth County, NJ and elsewhere, for instance, is different from consulting with opticians. Certain vision ailments require a dedicated specialist, while others do not. As such, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of when you should visit an optometrist, versus when you should visit an ophthalmologist or optician. Read on for more.
First things first, who is an optometrist? This specific type of eye doctor holds a Doctor of Optometry degree – a very specialized field of study. Their services may include prescription glasses, contact lenses, vision therapy, and low vision care. In the U.S., optometrists have the license to prescribe medications for certain eye ailments. Among the most recognized Optometry services is a comprehensive eye exam.
Ophthalmologists are doctors who have a medical degree and focus more on optical and systemic health, treatment and maintenance of ocular health. An ophthalmologist can diagnose an ailment, perform eye surgery, and give qualified medical care advice. They’re basically general physicians who focus on the eyes.
Opticians are trained technicians whose field of study involves the design and fit of corrective eye devices. Mostly, this involves the sale of corrective glasses and lenses. Simply put, optometrists and ophthalmologists determine what prescription for glasses is needed and the optician chooses the appropriate lens material and format of the glasses.
Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?
Optometrists usually cater to typical eye problems. This includes dry eyes, chronic eye diseases such as glaucoma, and minor eye infections. If you have issues with visual clarity, an optometrist is your friend. He or she can take care of refraction problems, help fit and prescribe lenses and glasses, treat conditions such as astigmatism and nearsightedness/
Whatever happens, all three groups are important members of the eye field. You use your eyes all the time and rely on them heavily. It’s time you take care of them. And there is no better person to help you do so than an experienced professional.