What is the Best Kind of Eye Doctor to See?

When it comes to eye care, it's important to know the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist. Optometrists are trained to provide routine eye care, such as annual eye exams and vision correction, while ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating serious eye conditions. For general eye care, such as an annual eye exam or refilling a prescription for glasses, contact lenses, or eye medications, you should visit an optometrist. Optometrists are also qualified to diagnose certain eye problems and prescribe medications for certain eye diseases and conditions.

If you need medical intervention or surgical care for your eyes, your optometrist can refer you to an experienced ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors (MDs) or osteopaths (DO) who specialize in diagnosing and treating serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and laser eye surgery. Many eye diseases develop without symptoms, so it's important to have an annual eye exam to identify any potential problems before damage occurs. Optometrists are not typically trained or licensed to perform eye surgeries, but they can provide pre- and post-operative care related to eye surgery.

Ophthalmologists often work closely with optometrists for pre- and post-operative screening and care of surgical patients. At Columbia University, ophthalmologists have been recognized as 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.

Gregor Potzl
Gregor Potzl

Avid beer practitioner. Devoted travel fanatic. Extreme burrito aficionado. Unapologetic baconaholic. Professional internet fan.

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