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What is the difference between an OPHTHALMOLOGIST, an OPTOMETRIST, and an OPTICIAN?

An OPHTHALMOLOGIST is a medical and surgical doctor who specializes in the eyes. He or she went to medical school, and then did at least four more years of internship and Residency before being able to go into practice. An Ophthalmologist can treat all diseases of the eye, perform surgery, prescribe medication, and is trained to perform a more complete eye examination. They can also write prescriptions for eye- glasses and can fit contact lenses.

An OPTOMETRIST is not a medical doctor. An optometrist went to optometry school, not medical school, and then can go into practice. An optometrist cannot treat medical eye diseases or perform surgery. He or she examines the eyes for vision problems, prescribes glasses, and fits contacts lenses. He or she can screen you for medical problems, and then refer you to an ophthalmologist. When working with an Ophthalmologist, an Optometrist may also participate in your pre- and post- op care following eye surgery.

An OPTICIAN is not a doctor. Opticians sell and fit eyeglasses, sunglasses, and specialty eyewear that are made to an ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s prescription.