If you’re getting new contact lenses or are scheduling your first routine eye exam, you may have had to choose between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist. In today’s post, Six One Six Vision Center shares an overview of the differences between the two, and how to choose the best one for your eye care needs.
Optometrist Vs. Ophthalmologist
While optometrists and ophthalmologists are both trained in eye care, there are distinct differences. Optometrists can handle most of the medical aspects of ophthalmology except surgical procedures. Some states limit the type of conditions that can be handled by optometrists. Optometrists will have an O.D. after their names, while ophthalmologists have an M.D. or a D.O. after theirs.
It is also worth noting that opticians are different from optometrists and ophthalmologists. Opticians specialize in processing work orders from the latter two, as well as facilitating your selection of eyeglasses, contact lenses, and lens coatings.
Which One Should You Choose?
Choosing between an optometrist or ophthalmologist depends on your eye care needs. As described above, you can visit either one for most of your eye care needs, such as routine eye exams, minor eye discomfort, and if you need new prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses. In fact, an optometrist is ideal if you prefer contact lenses, as they are more knowledgeable with specialty eyewear and difficult contact lens fittings. Optometrists may also offer recovery assistance to people who have undergone eye surgery.
If you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate a serious eye condition—macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, among others—then you need to visit an ophthalmologist. The same applies if your condition requires any form of eye surgery, such as LASIK or corneal transplants. If you’ve visited one when you should have visited the other, don’t worry: a good eye doctor will point you in the right direction and make referrals if your condition requires a specialist.
Looking for an eye doctor in Eagle and Meridian, Idaho, and the surrounding communities? Call Six One Six Vision Center at (208) 514-1858. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.