Choosing the right eye doctor is just as important as finding a physician. This is because you’re trusting the eye doctor to protect your eyesight and maintain your optical health. However, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone is different and requires different kinds of care. As such, there various types of eye doctors to choose from that specialize in different forms of eye treatments.
Continue reading to learn about the various types of eye doctors and the benefits that come with each.
Types of Eye Doctors
The first step people must take is to understand the four types of eye doctors:
Optometrists are most commonly seen to examine a person’s eyes for both health and vision issues. They are also seen to help fix any refractive issues by prescribing contacts and eyeglasses. In some cases, optometrists may provide vision therapy, which is a non-surgical program of visual activities that meant to help correct any visual problems and improve upon visual skills.
Below are a few of the benefits of seeing an optometrist:
- Optometrists can test for things like glaucoma
- Prescribe eyeglasses and contacts
- Recommend various types of eye care
An ophthalmologist is a bit different than an optometrist. While both specialize in vision care, ophthalmologists are trained to diagnose and treat diseases and typically have more medical background. Ophthalmologists are either a medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO). They are also trained in performing eye exams and surgery. Since they are medical doctors, ophthalmologists are also able to sometimes see other health problems that aren’t connected to the eye.
Seeing an ophthalmologist may be the best choice for everyone as they tend to have more experience than any other eye doctor. Their education and training require up to 12 to 13 years.
Opticians may not be eye doctors, however, they are a very important part of an eye care team. They use the prescriptions written by either an optometrist and an ophthalmologist in order to fit and sell eyewear. On a side note, it is required in some states for opticians to complete a training program and be licensed.
Ophthalmologist subspecialists have one massive difference compared to regular ophthalmologists. Subspecialists focus on one or more aspects of the eye while a regular ophthalmologist focuses on all of them.
Here are a few aspects that a subspecialist can focus on:
- Cornea subspecialist – Diagnoses and treats corneal eye diseases.
- Retina subspecialist – Surgically repairs the torn and detached retinas.
- Glaucoma subspecialist – Glaucoma is a disease that occurs in the optic nerve, a tissue that connects the eye to the brain. Glaucoma subspecialists prescribe medicine and perform surgery to reduce eye pressure.
- Pediatric ophthalmologists – These specialists diagnose and treat eye conditions in children such as misalignment of the eyes and visual differences.
Hopefully, this article has helped you reach a decision. Remember to weigh the pros and cons for each one until you feel comfortable enough to choose.