Types of Eye Doctors: Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, and Opticians

When you make an appointment to meet with your eye doctor, it is with either of the three kinds of eye care practitioners: optometrist, ophthalmologist, or an optician. Each of these eye care practitioners has different levels of expertise and training. Each provides different kinds of services and different levels of care in the area of eye service. 

In this article, we discuss the role of different eye care professionals and review their differences.

Optometrists

Portrait of beautiful female optometrist standing with arms crossed in ophthalmology clinic

They provide primary vision care. They test eyesight and correct them. They also diagnose, treat, and correct changes in vision.

A person who aspires to be an optometrist attends optometry school instead of medical school. It takes 5 years of post-graduate studies after intermediate to obtain a doctorate degree in optometry in Pakistan.

The services of an optometrist involve:

  • Conducting vision exams
  • Conducting eye tests
  • Prescribing corrective lenses
  • Diagnosing certain irregularities in the eye
  • Prescribe medication for various eye problems
  • Performing specialized surgical procedures

The Board of optometry defines which services and drugs an optometrist can provide. Sometimes, an optometrist can prescribe schedule II drugs that contain the opioids:

  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone

Sometimes optometrists are allowed to perform a procedure known as foreign body removal, and sometimes, they are allowed to perform laser eye surgeries as well.

Optometrists are more readily available than an ophthalmologist. It is better to find out whether your optometrist can perform a procedure or test before visiting an ophthalmologist.

Ophthalmologist

Professional ophthalmologist checking eyesight of girl.

The person who wants to be an ophthalmologist has to go to medical school. He will have 8 years of training in medical school. They are licensed to practice medicine and surgery after completing the degree. 

An ophthalmologist provides all the medical services that an optometrist provides, like prescribing and dispensing eyeglasses and contacts to correct vision irregularities. In addition to these services, an ophthalmologist also provides services in:

  • Diagnosing and treating all eye conditions
  • Performing eye surgeries
  • Conducting medical research into the causes and cures of vision problems and eye conditions

Having studied in a medical school for 8 years, ophthalmologists are also able to detect and address health problems that are not directly related to the eye as they appear in a routine eye exam. In this case, he usually recommends the patient to consult their family doctor. 

An ophthalmologist is a specialized doctor, but sometimes he may choose a subspecialty. It means that he continues his training and education in a specific area of surgical and medical eye care. For eye lenses, you can buy original contact lenses from LensPK. They have almost all international brands like Dahab, Bella, LensMe, etc.  You can buy hazel contact lenses from them. 

Following are some of the subspecialties of ophthalmology:

Cornea Specialist

The cornea is the protective layer outside the eyes. It helps in focusing the light entering the eyeball.

A cornea specialist identifies and treats various corneal eye conditions. They also perform surgical procedures like corneal transplantation and refractive surgery.

People with complicated contact lens fittings or trauma to the cornea also consult with a cornea specialist.

Retina Specialist

The retina is a thin layer of tissue that lines the eyeball’s back in the inner part. It receives light and sends visual signals to the brain, where they are processed.

A Retina Specialist diagnoses and treats retinal problems. Sometimes, it involves repairing detached retinas surgically.

Retina Specialists also treat issues with the vitreous. Vitreous is a gel-like thing in the eyeball.  Freshlook lenses in Pakistan are the best lenses for your eyes as they are available in Plano and eyesight.

Glaucoma Specialist

Glaucoma specialists, as the name suggests, treat the eye condition known as glaucoma. Glaucoma causes a certain fluid to build up in the eye. This fluid puts pressure on the eye damaging the optic nerve.

Neurology Specialist

If an ophthalmologist specializes in neurology, he becomes neuro-ophthalmologists. It deals with vision problems in connection to the nerves, brain, and muscles. 

Following are the conditions neuro-ophthalmologists diagnose and treat:

  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Double vision
  • Eyelid irregularities
  • Optic nerve problems
  • Vision loss
  • Unequal pupil size

Pediatric Specialist

A pediatric ophthalmologist treats eye problems in children and infants. He treats the following eye issues:

  • Vision differences between the two eyes
  • Misalignment of the eyes
  • Uncorrected refractive errors

Optician

An optician designs and fits the visual aids according to the prescriptions of an optometrist or ophthalmologist. He deals with:

Optician giving glasses to the patient

  • Eyeglass frames and lenses
  • Contact lenses
  • Other devices that correct the eyesight of a person

They do not have the training to diagnose, and they do not treat eye problems. They simply depend on optometrists or ophthalmologist’s directions to provide prescription glasses or lenses.

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