Medical News Today: What kinds of optometrist exist?

main vision care. Their services vary from vision testing and correction to diagnosing, dealing with, and managing changes in vision.

An individual who is training to become an optometrist will go to optometry school, not medical school. It takes 4 years of postgraduate studies to acquire a doctorate in optometry.

The practice of optometry involves:

  • carrying out eye exams
  • conducting vision tests
  • prescribing and giving corrective lenses
  • spotting specific eye abnormalities
  • prescribing medication for certain eye conditions
  • performing specialized surgeries
  • offering visual rehabilitation

In the United States, each state board of optometry specifies the drugs or services that an optometrist can offer.

Optometrists in some states can recommend schedule II drugs, which include the opioids:

  • hydrocodone
  • hydromorphone
  • oxycodone

Five states enable eye doctors to carry out a treatment called foreign body removal. Eye doctors in the following states are likewise enabled to perform laser eye surgeries:

  • Alaska
  • Oklahoma
  • Louisiana
  • Kentucky

To find out what an optometrist can do in a particular state or nation, a person can consult the pertinent regional boards of optometry.

Sometimes, an eye doctor is more quickly available than an ophthalmologist. It is worth finding out if an eye doctor can perform a test or procedure before calling an eye doctor.

An optician is a technician trained to develop and fit the following visual help:

  • eyeglass lenses and frames
  • contact lenses
  • other devices to correct a person’s vision

Opticians utilize prescriptions from an eye doctor or eye doctor to validate and fit the needed visual aids. They do not have the essential training to diagnose vision issues, and they can not treat eye conditions.

To end up being an eye doctor, a person needs to go to medical school. Ophthalmologists will have at least 8 years of medical school training. Once they become an eye doctor, they are accredited to practice medicine and surgery.

An ophthalmologist can use the same medical services as an optometrist, consisting of recommending and fitting glasses and contact lenses to correct vision issues. Ophthalmologists can also:

  • diagnose and deal with all eye conditions
  • carry out eye surgeries
  • conduct scientific research study into the causes and treatments for eye conditions and vision problems

Sometimes, ophthalmologists can likewise discover health problems that are not straight associated to the eye however become obvious in a regular eye exam. If this takes place, the eye doctor will suggest that the person consult their family doctor.

Ophthalmologists are specialized medical physicians, however some eye doctors may choose a subspecialty. This includes continuing their education and training in a specific area of medical or surgical eye care.

Some subspecialties of ophthalmology include:

Cornea expert

The cornea is the clear, protective outer layer of the eye. It acts as a lens to focus light getting in the eyeball.

A cornea expert can diagnose and deal with corneal eye conditions such as Fuchs’ dystrophy and keratoconus. They might likewise carry out surgical treatments such as refractive surgery and corneal hair transplant.

People who have injury to the cornea or complicated contact lens fittings might likewise speak with a cornea specialist.

Retina expert

The retina is the thin layer of tissue that lines the inner part of the back of the eyeball. Its role is to get light and send out visual signals to the brain.

A retina professional can diagnose and treat retinal eye conditions. This might involve surgically repairing torn or removed retinas.

Retina professionals can also deal with conditions of the vitreous, which is the gel-like compound in the eyeball.

Glaucoma professional

Glaucoma specialists treat the eye condition glaucoma. This triggers fluid to build up within the eye. The excess fluid puts pressure on the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve.

Neurology professional

Ophthalmologists who focus on neurology are called neuro-ophthalmologists. This subspecialty handles vision problems connected to how the eye communicates with the brain, nerves, and muscles.

Some conditions that neuro-ophthalmologists can identify and deal with consist of:

  • vision loss
  • double vision
  • optic nerve problems
  • abnormal eye movements
  • eyelid abnormalities
  • unequal student size

Pediatric specialist

A pediatric ophthalmologist treats infants and children with youth eye conditions and other eye concerns.

Some eye concerns a pediatric professional may treat include:

  • misalignment of the eyes
  • uncorrected refractive errors
  • vision distinctions between the two eyes

Cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgeons who specialize in ophthalmology can fix damage to the eyelids, bones, or other structures around the eye and tear drain system. They might also administer injections to improve the appearance and function of facial structures around the eye.

Ophthalmologists often need additional assistance from nurses, medical assistants, and professionals. The following areas supply more information on these experts.


Ophthalmic registered nurses have gone through extra training in eye care. These nurses can inject medications and help with workplace or medical facility surgical treatments.

Some nurses with specialized training in ophthalmology are clinic or health center administrators.

Medical assistants

Ophthalmic medical assistants can carry out a variety of tests to help an eye care professional during an assessment or treatment.


Ophthalmic technicians or technologists are extremely trained assistants who can assist an eye care specialist with more complex tests and operations.

An ophthalmic photographer, for example, utilizes cams and photographic strategies to document an individual’s eye condition.

Opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists are the 3 most typical eye care experts. Nurses, medical assistants, and service technicians can also concentrate on eye care.

Ophthalmologists detect and deal with all eye conditions. Some ophthalmologists continue their training to focus on a specific eye condition or part of the eye.

Optometrists can provide different services depending on the country or state they operate in. Some optometrists can perform particular laser eye procedures, whereas others can just perform foreign body removal.

Opticians can design and fit visual aids prescribed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

A person should seek advice from an appropriate eye care expert to get the care they require for their specific eye or vision problem.

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