Eye Care

What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

A Answers (1)

  • An optometrist is a doctor of optometry (O.D.) and is licensed to practice optometry, not medicine. The practice of optometry traditionally involves examining the eye for the purpose of prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, screening vision to detect certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases. An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor -- either a medical or an osteopathic doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are specially trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to treating eye diseases and injuries and performing complex and delicate eye surgery. Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research into the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision problems. An ophthalmologist is the only professional who can treat it all: eye diseases, injuries, and eye surgery.
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.
Did You See?  Close
When should I see an ophthalmologist?