Opticians are technicians trained to design, verify and adjust lenses and frames for eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other vision correction devices. They use prescriptions provided by ophthalmologists or optometrists, but they don't do vision tests or write prescriptions for vision correction. On the other hand, optometrists are eye specialists who examine, diagnose, and treat patients' eyes. They receive a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three or more years of college.
Optometrists provide primary eye care that ranges from vision tests and corrections to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. Ophthalmologists are different from optometrists and opticians in their levels of training and in what they can diagnose and treat. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in eye care. They have completed medical school and a residency program in ophthalmology.
Ophthalmologists can diagnose and treat all eye diseases, perform surgery on the eyes, and prescribe medications.Choosing the best eye professional is vital to your vision. If you experience any eye problems such as irritation, dryness, blurred vision, or pain, you should visit an optometrist. An optometrist can detect about 270 conditions that can cause changes in the eyes and vision. On the other hand, if you need to replace your contact lenses or your frames broke, you should turn to an optician.
By seeing an optometrist or ophthalmologist, you can expect the quality of care you would receive with any other healthcare provider. Depending on your overall eye health or the type of problem with your vision, you may need to seek care specifically provided by each of these different eye professionals.