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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Introduction

    An optometrist is an eye care specialist who diagnoses and treats vision issues with corrective eyewear or contact lenses. Optometrists are licensed to practice optometry, an area of eye health that includes performing eye exams, diagnosing eye abnormalities, testing for eye disease, and prescribing medications. Following diagnosis, optometrists assist patients with treating immediate issues and managing vision changes.

    All optometrists are required to complete four years of optometry school to earn a Doctor of Optometry degree. While an optometrist is not a medical doctor, they can provide ophthalmology referrals when patients require surgery or treatment out of their general scope.
  • What is an eye doctor called?

    An eye doctor with a medical degree is an ophthalmologist. Optometrists aren't medical doctors; however, they're licensed professionals who can diagnose a wide range of eye issues, prescribe medications to treat eye infections, and provide continuing care for changing eye health in children, adults, and seniors.

  • What is an optometrist?

    An optometrist is an eye care professional that has a license and certification in optometry. Optometrists hold OD degrees, which allows them to perform thorough eye exams, both visually and through computer technology, diagnose eye abnormalities and infections, and prescribe eyewear, contact lenses, and various types of medication.

  • Are optometrists doctors?

    An optometrist is not a medical doctor. Optometrists hold OD degrees, which are Doctor of Optometry degrees. Similar to medical doctors, optometrists can diagnose and treat eye disease and prescribe medications, such as eye antibiotics, eye analgesics, and ocular antivirals.

  • What does an optometrist do?

    Optometrists have a focus on eye health and vision correction. An optometrist performs visual examinations of the eye and retina through a phoropter machine, diagnoses eye conditions ranging from visual issues to bacterial infections, and prescribes contact and corrective lenses.

  • What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

    An optometrist is a Doctor of Optometry, while an ophthalmologist is an actual medical doctor who has completed traditional medical school with a focus on eye health. Optometrists can diagnose eye conditions and create treatment and management plans, and they can prescribe eyewear. Ophthalmologists can perform eye surgery and treat conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma.

  • What’s the difference between an optometrist and an optician?

    An optometrist is a Doctor of Optometry who diagnoses eye diseases, performs examinations for vision conditions, and prescribes corrective eyeglasses and contacts. Optometrists can also prescribe antivirals, antihistamines, and antibiotics to help treat eye infections, dry eyes, and allergies. Opticians are eye care professionals that aid in fitting eyeglasses and devices to correct vision.

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