Health and Medical

Learning the Difference Between an Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, Optician

Learning the Difference Between an Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, Optician

When a person goes through any kind of vision problem, the first thing they do is run a “ophthalmologist near mequery on Google. Speaking of eye doctors, you can either go to an ophthalmologist, an optometrist, or an optician. However, you should know that there are NOT the same. Each of them is equipped with a different skillset, training, and expertise so they can provide patients with different levels of care.

If you are not aware of the difference between these types of eye care professionals, today you are going to learn about them. This way, you would know exactly who to look for when suffering from a particular type of vision problem.


These professionals are trained to both design and ensure that the following visual aids are perfect for your eyes and vision needs:

  • Contact lenses
  • Eyeglass lenses and frames
  • Other devices used to help a person see properly

Bear in mind that opticians cannot treat eye conditions as they do not have the necessary training to diagnose eyesight problems. Ophthalmologists and optometrists give prescriptions to the patients that they take to an optician to get the required visual aids. 


An optometrist diagnoses vision changes via an eye exam. They provide primary vision care while providing services such as testing and correcting eyesight, diagnosing and treating different changes in the vision.

Their practice involves:

  • Conducting eye exams and vision tests
  • Detecting eye irregularities
  • Performing specialized surgical procedures
  • Prescribing medication for certain eye conditions
  • Providing visual rehabilitation
  • Providing and dispensing corrective lenses


For a person to become an ophthalmologist, they need to attend medical school and complete 8 years of medical school training. Once they become an eye doctor, they are licensed to practice both surgery and medicine. They can offer an optometrist’s medical services as well such as fitting and prescribing contact lenses and eyeglasses for correcting vision problems.

An ophthalmologist can:

  • Diagnoses and provide treatment for all eye conditions
  • Perform eye surgeries
  • Carry out scientific research to identify and analyze both causes and cures for eye conditions and vision problems

These professionals can also detect if patients are suffering from any health issues that might be leading to a certain vision problem through an eye exam. Although they are specialized medical doctors, they might choose a subspecialty. This involves continuing their education and training in a particular field of medical or surgical eye care.

These subspecialties include:

Cornea Specialist

The cornea specialist diagnoses and treats corneal eye conditions. They might also perform corneal transplants and LASIK surgery. However, it is an expensive procedure, and one should first know the LASIK cost in Dubai to get one.

Retina Specialist

The retina specialist can diagnose and treat retinal eye conditions effectively. This can involve surgical repair of a detached or torn retina.

Glaucoma Specialist

As the name suggests, they treat glaucoma, a condition that causes fluid buildup in the eye that exerts pressure on the optic nerve.

Neurology Specialist

The ophthalmologist who specializes in neurology is called neuro-ophthalmologists. They deal with vision problems such as the communication of the eyes with the brain, muscles, and nerves.

Pediatric Ophthalmologist

They treat infants and children that are born with eye conditions or have other eye issues such as:

  • Misalignment of eyes
  • Vision difference between the two eyes
  • Uncorrected refractive errors

Plastic surgery

There are plastic surgeons with a specialization in ophthalmology who can repair the damage to the bones, eyelids, and other structures around the eye. They might even administer injections in the eye to boost the function and look of facial structures surrounding the eye.

Now, you are aware of the differences between an optician, optometrist, and an ophthalmologist. Choosing the right eye care professional for you is going to depend on the services that you need.

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