What is an Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist, is a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are specially trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to complex eye surgery.

After college, physicians complete four years of medical school and one year of internship where experience is gained in managing general health problems. Every ophthalmologist spends a minimum of three years of residency, in which ophthalmologists receive special training in all aspects of eye care, including prevention, diagnosis and the medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases.

After residency, some ophthalmologists spend an additional one to two years training in a subspecialty, concentrating on a specific area of eye care such as glaucoma, retina or cornea diseases.

A board certified ophthalmologist has passed a rigorous written and oral examination given by the American Board of Ophthalmology.


What is an Optometrist?

An optometrist receives a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree and is licensed to practice optometry which traditionally involves examining the eye for the purpose of prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, and screening vision to detect certain eye abnormalities. After college, an optometrist typically completes four years in an optometric college.


What is an Optician?

Opticians are technicians trained to design, verify and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct focus. They fulfill prescriptions supplied by ophthalmologists or optometrists. Opticians are not trained to diagnose or treat eye diseases.