Differences Between an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, and Optician

If you haven’t been to the eye doctor in a while and it’s time for your eye exam, you may be wondering who you need to see. A quick online search or flip through the phone book reveals that there are opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. Knowing the differences between them and understanding what each one does will make it easy to see which one you need.

Differences Between an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, and Optician
The Optometrist

You’ll want to see a skilled optometrist in Indianapolis or anywhere else for all of your basic eye care needs. Optometrists help patients with changes in their vision and diagnose and treat many eye conditions and diseases.

Your optometrist is the person who will perform your yearly eye exam, diagnose and treat most eye problems as well as write your prescription for eyeglasses or contacts. He is the person you will see most often and will refer you to an optician or ophthalmologist in the Indianapolis area if necessary. All of your eye care should be coordinated through him.

The Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologists are medical doctors that treat severe eye problems. These doctors are the ones who perform eye surgeries when a problem requires surgical correction. You’ll see the ophthalmologist before having any surgeries and will follow-up with him after to make sure you are healing as expected. Usually, however, patients see their ophthalmologist only while being treated for a specific issue. You’ll still need to schedule regular visits to your optometrists while under the care of an ophthalmologist.

The Optician

If it is determined that you need corrective lenses, an optometrist from trusted practices like 96th Street Eye Care will usually refer you to an optician. An optician specializes in eyeglasses and contact lenses. He will help you pick frames for your glasses and make the lenses for them according to your optometrist’s specification. He will then fit your glasses to you so that they work their best. Opticians also handle contacts and will show you how to put them in, take them out and care for them.

Depending on your vision needs, you may only have to see an optometrist in Indianapolis. If, however, you need corrective lenses or have an issue with your eyes, you may need the services of an ophthalmologist and an optician as well.

 

Sources:

Difference between an Ophthalmologist, Optometrist and Optician, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus