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I need a doctor to look at my eyes. Who do I go to?

When it comes to eyes, who do I see? Who does what???

This blog is written to clear up some misconceptions about EYE CARE PROFESSIONALS.

There are three titles that come to mind when people need help with their eyes: Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, and Opticians.

Ok so simply put…

An Optometrist attends 4 years of Optometry school to earn an Optometry degree (OD). The graduates can continue on with a residency program if desired. In addition to graduation, an Optometrist must pass National and State boards to gain licensure in the desired state. In order to see patients an Optometrist must be licensed to examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. An Optometrist can do minor surgeries related to the eye.

An Ophthalmologist attends 4 years of Medical school to earn a Medical degree (MD). The graduates continue on with a residency program. In addition to graduation, an Ophthalmologist must pass National and State boards to gain licensure in the desired state. In order to see patients an Ophthalmologist must be licensed to examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. An Ophthalmologist can perform all surgeries related to the eye.

So as you can see, both eye doctors are qualified to meet your eye care needs with one exception: one eye doctor is qualified to handle ALL eye surgical needs while the other eye doctor does not.

Newsflash!!! Opticians are not doctors. They sell, order and dispense contact lenses and glasses. They also make adjustments and clean glasses. Opticians do not have to attend school or be licensed to perform their job duties but the above eye doctors (Optometrists and Ophthalmologists) do. Opticians must operate under the supervision of Optometrists and Ophthalmologists if they are not licensed.