Are all eye doctors the same?

Dr. James J. Salz, MD
Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

If you injure your eye when doing yard work, you should be examined by a medical eye doctor (ophthalmologist) as soon as possible. Yard injuries can be dirty and contaminated with bacteria as well as fungi and can develop into serious corneal infections, so you need to be examined.

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.) with special training to diagnose and treat all diseases of the eye.

To become an ophthalmologist requires a minimum of eight years of medical school and hospital training after college. An ophthalmologist is qualified to provide all aspects of eye care, including cataract, laser and other eye surgery.

Optometrists (O.D.) and opticians are other types of eye care professionals. They are trained and licensed to provide some aspects of eye care, but they are not medical doctors and have not attended medical school. In most states, they cannot prescribe all medications or perform surgery.

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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.