Choosing an eye care provider is an important health care decision. After all, you will be trusting your eye doctor to safeguard your precious sense of sight and help you maintain a lifetime of good vision.
The first step in your decision is to understand that there are two types of eye doctors: optometrists and ophthalmologists. And there is a third "O" among eye care providers: the optician.
What Is An Optometrist?
An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists examine eyes for both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing and contact lenses. Some optometrists also provide low vision care and vision therapy.
What Is An Ophthalmologist?
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are trained to perform eye exams, diagnose and treat disease, prescribe medications and perform eye surgery. They also write prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses.