Taking care of your eyes is an important part of healthcare. But it can also be a bit tricky. Do you need to see an optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist? Here’s an overview of these three types of eye care professionals.
An optician specializes in designing, fitting and dispensing corrective lenses for poor vision, they do not do eye exams. If you are having trouble seeing, you should book an appointment to have an eye exam to see if you need glasses. If you do, your eye doctor can prescribe the right ones for you at your appointment. Once you are diagnosed with poor vision, you should have your vision checked annually to see if your prescription needs to be changed. You can also schedule an appointment any time your lenses are giving you problems.
An optometrist, or Doctor of optometry, examines, diagnoses, treats and manages eye diseases, such as macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as treating eye injuries and disorders. He can prescribe medications, if necessary, as well as offer low vision rehabilitation. In certain states optometrists are allowed to perform certain surgical procedures such as LASIK. But you will usually need to see an ophthalmologist if your eye problem requires surgery.
If you’re dealing with a major vision impairment or disease, your optometrist can discuss various treatment methods with you at your eye examination. You should make an appointment if you are having risk factors of a serious eye disease, if you injured your eye in any manner, or if you are having symptoms of an eye infection. Your optometrist can also help you decide whether to get glasses or contact lenses.
An ophthalmologist a doctor who specializes on ophthalmology, a branch of medicine that deals with diagnosing and treating eye disorders. He differs from an optician and optometrist in his training and what he is able to diagnose and treat. You should see one if you are experiencing decreased or distorted vision, floaters, blocked vision, loss of peripheral vision, eyelid abnormalities, excess tearing, or a family history of eye disease.
After your visit the ophthalmologist may schedule you for follow-up exams, depending on what she discovers during the exam. You may also be scheduled for surgery if your problem is significant enough, as ophthalmologists are also expert eye surgeons.
Visit Stanton Optical for a comprehensive eye exam and choose from thousands of styles of eyeglass frames the next time you need prescription eyewear. Each of our locations has an optometrist in or next to the store who can check your eyes, detect any vision problems and provide you with a current eyeglass prescription.