Ophthalmologist vs Optometrist: What is the Primary Difference?

Ophthalmologist vs Optometrist: What is the Primary Difference?

Oct 01, 2022

Have you ever searched for an eye doctor and were confused about which professional best suits your needs because different eye specialists are functioning? You might notice optometrists and ophthalmologists all specializing in eye care.

Overview of Ophthalmologists & Optometrists

Ophthalmologists and optometrists are eyecare professionals differing in education, specialty, and scope of practice. Optometrists are general eyecare specialists who examine, diagnose and treat eye conditions. On the other hand, ophthalmologists are medical professionals specializing in surgical procedures of the eyes. Choosing the appropriate eye care professional depends on the services you need.

If you need routine eyecare, you benefit by visiting an optometrist for yearly eye exams or fitting eyeglasses, contact lenses, or prescription eyeglasses. However, if you have vision problems from conditions like glaucoma or cataracts or require laser eye surgery, an ophthalmologist is the professional better suited to treat severe eye conditions.

What are Ophthalmologists and What Services Do They Provide?

Ophthalmologists are medical professionals specializing in surgical eye processes. Therefore, ophthalmologists must complete an entire medical program before they start a residency program in this field. The residency program requires four to seven years to complete depending on the curriculum and school. The residency program covers subjects like diagnosing and managing internal and external eye conditions, training for eye disease subspecialties, and ophthalmic surgical training for all eye conditions.

The residency for ophthalmology also includes hands-on care with patients involving surgical procedures performed under supervision. A one-year internship generally follows a residency program.

Ophthalmologists can expect to generate revenue in the region of $300,000 per annum, confirming the profession is lucrative.

The Ophthalmologist provides routine eye exams or prescription refills if required. However, these professionals can also perform eye surgery for various conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, strabismus surgery, et cetera, because they receive over 12 years of training to perform surgical procedures for eye diseases. As ophthalmologists specialize in eye conditions, they tend to focus on specialties as their primary scope of care.

Explaining Optometrists and the Services They Provide

Optometrists are primary healthcare providers for routine eye care. A program for optometry is a postgraduate course taking roughly four years to complete depending on the school and curriculum. The program covers subjects such as basic and advanced eye examination techniques, client case history, and studies, besides additional courses in natural sciences, which include optics and pharmacology. In addition, the program for optometry coursework includes clinical training full-time as residents during the program’s final couple of years.

Optometrists can expect to generate revenue in the original $115,000 per annum.

If you need your yearly eye exam, you find it beneficial to visit an optometrist or receive medications and treatments for some eye conditions. Unlike the ophthalmologist near you, an optometrist does not specialize in surgeries and will likely refer you to an ophthalmologist for severe eye conditions treatment. However, optometrists can provide the following services.

Optometrists can diagnose eye conditions and perform routine eye exams while providing eye health education. They can also provide prescriptions for eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other visual aids. In addition, they can deliver postsurgical eyecare and provide treatment for minor surgical procedures.

Optometrists can provide prescriptions for controlled medicines for eye conditions. Some optometrists also perform minor surgeries depending on state legislation. The procedures might include foreign object removal, laser surgery, and other additional surgical interventions.

Which Eye Specialist Suits Your Needs?

As described in the differences between optometrists and ophthalmologists, the specific condition affecting you determines which specialist suits your needs the best. While you can receive routine exams and prescriptions for eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other devices helpful for your vision from ophthalmologists, the professionals tend to focus on their specialty and focus on treating severe eye conditions to help preserve vision.

If you require yearly eye exams and prescription eyeglasses, you find it beneficial to visit an optometrist specializing in these fields and not focus on other specialties unless permitted by the state. When choosing suitable professional eyecare services you need, the determination depends on the services you require and not your personal preferences. Therefore you must decide after evaluating both professions carefully when looking for an eyecare specialist to improve vision or treat eye conditions impacting or impeding your vision. However, you can visit our Glendale eye clinic to determine which specialist suits your needs appropriately before you decide on visiting any specialist.

Looking for an Ophthalmologist in Glendale, CA?

Glendale Eye Medical Group provides optometric and ophthalmologic services in Glendale, providing you with comprehensive services under one roof. Whether you need routine exams or treatment for complicated conditions, kindly schedule an appointment with our ophthalmologist near you to receive the treatment required.

818-956-1010 Book Now
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