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Difference between Optician, Optometrist & Ophthalmologist

Difference between Optician, Optometrist & Ophthalmologist

Navigating the world of eye care often feels like solving a complex medical puzzle. That becomes even more true when confronted with terms like optician, optometrist, and ophthalmologist. For many of us, understanding these roles is as challenging as pronouncing their names. Here is a detailed guide to give you clarity if you're also confused between these terms and whom to reach out to in what situation.

In the next few minutes, we’ll have a clear look at the differences between these eye care specialists. We’ll explore their roles, qualifications, and how each contributes to maintaining and improving eye health. Whether you need new glasses, a routine eye exam, or specialised medical treatment, understanding these distinctions will help you make informed decisions about your eye care.

Here’s a small summary to get basic information and differences among these three major professions in eye care:

  • Ophthalmologists handle the serious condition of the eye like eye examination, serious eye diseases, and diagnosis & treatment of eye condition with diabetes or arthritis. It offers medical and surgical eye care altogether.
  • An optometrist renders primary eye care service and conducts examinations. Their major task lies in seeing any changes in the eye and offering a solution. It performs eye tests, checks reflective conditions like myopia and hyperopia, prescribes glasses, and detects eye problems, injuries, and abnormalities.
  • An optician doesn’t offer eye tests or surgical operations. They check a prescription, adjust and repair glasses and lenses, assist with different lens selection and guide about frames.

Let’s get to know about them individually- keep reading!

What Does an Ophthalmologist Do?

An ophthalmologist is a medically trained doctor who has completed their 5 to 6 years in achieving a general medical degree. They also undergo a 2 year foundation training followed by a 5 to 7 years of training in management of various eye conditions and diagnosis detection. Some of their eye care services typically include:

  • Eye exams and vision services
  • Medical eye care treatment such as iritis, glaucoma and chemical burns
  • They perform diagnosis and treatment of a lot of eye issues that are related to other diseases such as arthritis and diabetes.
  • Surgical eye care for crossed eyes, trauma, glaucoma and cataracts.
  • Plastic surgery to smooth out the patient’s wrinkles or raise droopy eyelids.

Opthalmologist - When to consult and educational background

What Does an Optometrist Do?

An optometrist undergoes a training session for 3 to 4 years- they don’t get a doctor of optometry degree. Instead, they get a Bachelor of Science Degree in Optometry (BSc) or Masters of Science in Optometry (MSc). Some of the job roles include:

Optometrist - When to consult and educational background

  • They check vision
  • Prescribe corrective lenses
  • They are responsible for monitoring some eye conditions that are related to diabetes (and some other health issues)
  • Provide vision therapy and low-vision aids
  • They treat and take care of eye conditions like glaucoma and dry eyes
  • At times, both ophthalmologists and optometrists work in collaboration to pamper your vision.

    What Does an Optician Do?

    An optician doesn’t conduct eye exams- they are not eye doctors. But, they complete their diploma course or a 1 to 2 year degree. Apart from that, an optician makes sure to:

  • Check your lens prescriptions
  • They take the facial measurements of the glasses wearers
  • Adjust and provide frames and contact lenses. Besides that, they can repair your glasses as well
  • They check products that include eyeglass lenses as well as contacts
  • They are good at recommending frames and lenses according to your needs and requirements.
  • Optician - When to consult and educational background

    Tips to Choose an Eye Doctor

  • You can get recommendations from your family, friends or doctor (whoever is examining your eye health in the initial stage).
  • Make sure to learn their experience level in this field.
  • Check out their professional credentials.
  • Go through some of the patient testimonials.

  • Final Thoughts

    These are some of the points to be noted while understanding the differences between an ophthalmologist, optometrist and optician. We, at Specscart, offer free eye tests in all our stores. If you’re from Manchester, book an appointment with us and that’s it- we promise to take care of the rest.

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