Improving My Vision With The Right Glasses

Optician, Optometrist, Ophthalmologist: Who Do You Need to Visit?

Do you suffer from eye problems? Do you want to get treatment, but you're not sure where to go? Unlike other parts of the body, not everyone knows where to go to find an appropriate professional to take care of eye problems. You have to decide whether to see an ophthalmologist, an optometrist, or an optician. While the duties of each can overlap, they vary as to exactly what services they are trained in and are allowed to perform. Here's a look at the basic differences between each specialist. 

Optician: An optician does little more than simply sell glasses or contact lenses. An optician can help you find glasses frames that fit correctly and that work with your face. They are not able to test vision or verify that your old prescription is correct. All they can do is verify that your glasses or contact lenses are the appropriate size and match the prescription as written. If it turns out that the prescription is wrong, they are unable to retest your eyes in order to find out what prescription strength you actually need. 

Optometrist: If you go to a glasses store to have your eyes tested, you're probably seeing an optometrist. An optometrist has the training and licensing necessary to test your eyes in order to find out exactly what prescription, if any, is needed to correct your eyesight. He or she is also trained to detect some kinds of eye abnormalities, such as the beginning stages of glaucoma, and is allowed to write prescriptions to treat a limited number of eye diseases. For many people, an optometrist may be sufficient for most eye care needs.

Ophthalmologist: An ophthalmologist is an actual eye doctor. While you can sometimes find an ophthalmologist in a glasses store or vision center, performing eye exams, it's much more likely that you'll find an ophthalmologist in his or her own private practice.

While an ophthalmologist can test your eyes and write a prescription for glasses, it's unlikely that he or she actually sells any frames in his or her office. Instead, an ophthalmologist typically focuses on diagnosing and treating eye diseases. Some ophthalmologists are more specialized still, restricting their practice to treating people with glaucoma or performing surgery on people with cataracts. If you ever need eye surgery for any reason, it'll definitely be an ophthalmologist who is performing the surgical procedure.

If you need to visit with an eye specialist, start contacting resources like California Eye Specialists Medical Group Inc.