Difference Between Ophthalmologist vs Optometrist vs. Optician

Nowadays, it has become important to choose an eye doctor who would take care of your vision related health problems. After all, the eye doctor you choose, is the only one who will ensure the safeguard of your one of the precious sense. You never know when you might face eye issues and you desperately need to find an eye specialist. You just cannot simply  approach anyone without having proper knowledge about the eye specialists and the kind specialization they are in.

eye specialist

eye specialist

The first step before choosing any eye specialist is to understand the types of eye doctors one can find for checkups. Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and opticians, these are three types of eye specialists you can approach with your vision related problems. So it is quite natural to get confused under such circumstances. When it comes to vision care and eye health, it can prove to be tricky finding perfect solution for it.

However, once you understand the actual difference between optometrist, ophthalmologist and optician, it will become easy to understand as to whom you should approach for your vision care. Although there are certain areas where one can observe the similarity between these three profession, but there are also several key differences present between them. All the three have their own level of expertise and once you understand the basic difference between them, the task of finding perfect eye specialist will become a lot easier.

So now let us begin all with all eye specialist

What is an Optometrist?

Optometrist are also known as Doctors of Optometry (O.D’s). Their function is to diagnose and treat the patients with vision problems. They were trained professionals who use to indulge themselves with the most common problems such as short sightedness, long sightedness and astigmatism. The major part of their job was to perform diagnosis and prescribe medications. But nowadays optometrist are known as the trained professionals who are eligible for diagnose and provides full treatment to the patient suffering from eye diseases. They are also eligible to treat diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and many such similar broad ranges medical conditions.

Today optometrists have to undergo four years of undergraduate training before entering into the profession during which the trainee have to undergo rigorous curriculum and various health related topics such as disease diagnosis, its treatment and countless hours of clinical work.

Optometrist service

Optometrists can offer you with diverse range of services, which might prove helpful to you. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Generally, the optometrist can provide you with services like examining the eye and enlighten you with the possible threats.
  • Provides with the basic treatments like for the diseases like conjunctivitis, myopia, cataracts and astigmatism.
  • Can prescribe the patients with primary medications such as antibiotics and if necessary can refer you to eye specialist.
  • Can prescribe spectacles or contact lenses.
  • Offers you with pre and post-operative therapy to the patients who all are seeking laser eye surgery.

What is Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist consists of duties similar to that of an optometrist performing diagnosis, prescribing medications and treatment of the disease such as short sightedness and long sightedness. Although, both optometrist and ophthalmologist has a lot in common in between them but there are several major differences between them.

Firstly, ophthalmologists are the only one who are eligible to perform any kinds of eye surgery. Usually, an ophthalmologist performs eye surgery related to the laser treatment for instance LASIK, LASEK and similar other. But if necessary, an ophthalmologist can perform surgeries like removal of cataract, surgery related to burns or minor trauma.

Secondly, ophthalmologists are eligible to treat any kinds of serious medical issues which the optometrist do not have the permission to do so. This is because ophthalmologists receives some additional training in handling such situations. Just optometrist, they to have to attend graduate school for four years but in addition to that, ophthalmologist have to do one year internship followed by post graduation.

Lastly, they are the ones who can prescribe wide range of medication to their patients where an optometrist can prescribe some basic medicines.

Ophthalmologist service

In general, ophthalmologists directly go for the eye surgery procedures instead of going for elaborate process of diagnosing and testing. Although they too are trained to perform all such vision correction activities, which an optometrist performs but they often leave those jobs for optometrist. Hence, all the can say that all the primary work for vision correction is done by optometrist than ophthalmologist.

What do opticians do?

The kind of work, which the opticians do completely, differs from that of optometrists and ophthalmologists. They are not eye specialist doctors, however most of the time people thinks of them as doctors. Opticians generally get the exact piece of spectacles, lenses or eye wears for the patients which suits them. There is no such degree that an optician receives but they do have to undergo certificate course to get into the profession.

Functions performed by opticians

  • The opticians perform according to the prescription issued by the eye specialists.
  • Provides you with eye wear as per y the size and shape of your own choice.
  • Opticians also plays a major role in repairing and replacing lenses, frames and glasses.


If you are seeking eye care and do not know from where and how to begin with, first of all try to get the exact concept of the three ‘O’ i.e optometrists, ophthalmologist and opticians. The better you research about them the better you will understand the concept between three of them. Don’t just rush into conclusions and take hasty steps.

For instance, from the above content, you might get to know the difference between three of them and with some arguments you will agree that opting for optometrist will be a better option for you. It is because they have much more experience in diagnosis than ophthalmologists, as they perform more refraction in daily basis revealing certain important features about the medical condition.

Author: bloggingstudio

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