Visit an optometrist for routine eye care, such as an annual eye exam or refill a prescription for glasses, contact lenses, or eye medications. Visit an ophthalmologist for medical and surgical treatment of serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and laser eye surgery. You should see your optometrist for general eye care, including eye exams, vision correction, contact lens and eyeglass interventions. For the medical care of your eyes and the ongoing monitoring of chronic eye diseases and conditions, a medical optometrist is ideal for primary eye care.
If you need medical intervention or surgical care, your optometrist can refer you to an experienced ophthalmologist. If you are interested in undergoing vision correction surgery, such as LASIK or PRK, it should be performed by an ophthalmologist; although most eye surgeons work closely with optometrists for pre- and post-operative screening and care of surgical patients. In addition to primary eye care, the medical optometrist also plays an important role in general health care. For those who have eye health problems, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, it is recommended to seek medical attention from an ophthalmologist.
Many eye diseases develop without symptoms, so an eye exam is vital to overall eye control. Because many eye diseases and conditions develop without any symptoms in the earliest stages, having an annual eye exam can help identify threatening problems before damage occurs. Although optometrists are generally not trained or licensed to perform eye surgeries, they can perform pre- and post-operative care related to eye surgery. Often, the optometrist will first diagnose eye diseases, who can refer you or consult with an ophthalmologist to give you the best possible care.
When you talk about the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist, it's almost like comparing your family doctor to a cardiologist. Unlike optometrists, ophthalmologists are doctors (MDs) or osteopaths (DO) who specialize in eye health and eye care. Many ophthalmologists and optometrists work together to provide comprehensive eye care for their patients. They perform comprehensive eye exams and eye tests, prescribe corrective lenses, diagnose certain eye problems, and prescribe medications for certain eye diseases and conditions.
Among them, Columbia University ophthalmologists made Best Doctors of America, Castle Connolly's national, regional and metropolitan lists of the best medical specialists, as well as Super Doctors and Super Doctors - Rising Stars. Tongalp Tezel (retina) was among those included in Castle Connolly's list of the best doctors this year.