There are two main types of eye doctors — ophthalmologists and optometrists. It can be hard to know the difference between the two and also deal with an optician. Optometrists and opticians can work together to provide you with the best options for eye care. This article will discuss how they are different.
What Is An Optometrist?
An optometrist is responsible for taking care of the primary health care of your eyes. After an optometrist goes to college, they spend four years in a professional program and get a doctor of optometry degree. In addition, some optometrists pursue further clinical training and complete specialty fellowships after optometry school.
Optometrists are responsible for the following:
- Performing eye exams and vision test
- Prescribing and fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses
- Monitoring medically related eye conditions related to diseases like diabetes
- Managing and treating conditions like dry eye and glaucoma
- Providing low-vision aids and vision therapy
Most optometrists work in conjunction with ophthalmologists and opticians to provide treatment.
What Is An Optician?
On the other hand, opticians are not eye doctors and, therefore, cannot conduct eye exams. They generally get a one- or two-year degree, certificate, or diploma. Opticians are responsible for filling the prescription given to you by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. They also:
- Check lens prescriptions
- Provide, adjust, and repair frames and contact lenses
- Take facial measurements
- Order and check products like contacts and eyeglass lenses
- Help you choose which lenses and frames will work best
How Do Optometrists and Opticians Work Together?
In general, optometrists tend to be the first line of care when it comes to your eye health. They can help with routine eye conditions and know when you have to see an ophthalmologist. Most times, optometrists and ophthalmologists work together in the same office. Studies have shown that care is more cost-effective and appropriate when these two doctors work together.
Opticians are usually the last person that you will see in the eye-care team. They help with appointments and are involved in customer service. In addition, they specialize in eyewear and can interpret prescriptions given to you by your optometrist or ophthalmologist.
How to Choose Your Eye Care
When it comes to your eye care, one isn’t really better than the other. It depends on your needs, and the best eye doctor or optician for you should be:
- Recommended by your doctor, friends, or family members
- Someone you know and trust
There are other things worth considering, as well, like:
- For primary eye care, it’s best to start with an optometrist. They can then refer you to an ophthalmologist if needed.
- If you think you have a more serious eye condition or need eye surgery for cataracts, glaucoma, or another eye disease, an ophthalmologist will be a good place to start.
- And if you need your glasses or lenses fitted, an optician can help you get set up.
How to Choose Between Seeing an Optometrist or Optician in White Plains, NY
Not sure whether you should see an optometrist or optician? First, think about the nature of your eye-related issue. Basic vision issues or problems with your eyewear can be fixed with the help of an optician, while optometrists can help with vision care and eye care services.
If you still have questions about the differences between an optometrist and an optician, feel free to reach out to us at Raphael Opticians! We’d be happy to help.