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There are three types of professionals who specialize in treating the eye. These include ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor specializing in the eye. An optometrist has a doctor of optometry degree and is able to provide full eye care. An optician is not a doctor, but a medical technician specializing in creating eyeglasses and contact lenses. To diagnose and treat eye infections, you would see an ophthalmologist or an optometrist.
In addition, an internist or family physician can prescribe antibiotics to treat infections such as conjunctivitis (pinkeye).
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who are trained in diseases of the eyes and their treatments. Bacterial eye infections can be very serious as they can affect the front, middle and / or back of the eyes. An examination by an ophthalmologist to ensure that vision is normal and that an infection does not threaten sight is important. Bacterial eye infections are treated with antibiotics and are followed closely by a physician. Often, conjunctivitis (infection or inflammation of the membrane overlying the white part of the eye) can be caused by viruses or allergies and can be treated with artificial tears, anti-histamine or possibly steroid drops depending on the examination of the patient. If you have a concern about an eye infection, see a physician.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.