The term eye doctor is loosely defined as anyone who provides vision services. This can be misleading, and it’s important to understand certain differences. Many eye care professionals provide services related to the eyes and vision; not all can address serious eye issues beyond normal vision limitations. The optometrist with some post-secondary training cannot offer the range of services of the ophthalmologist. The latter’s training rises to doctorate levels of education. Each has a place in your vision care; each should be carefully selected based on ability, reputation, and thoroughness.
Optometry Doctors (O.D.s/optometrists) are America’s primary eye health care providers. They represent the frontline in the eye and vision care. As essential health care providers, they are recognized as physicians under Medicare. Their range of services is what you would expect from a thorough eye examination.
An ophthalmologist is an MD and does everything an Optometrist does and more.
An ophthalmologist treats the following issues:
The consensus is as follows. Visit your medical optometrist for primary medical eye care, including eye medication prescriptions, monitoring and managing eye diseases, or emergency eye care services. Visit an ophthalmologist for interventions like surgical treatments for serious eye diseases, advanced ocular problems, or refractive eye surgery.
Be advised that these services do overlap. Many people, especially older people or people with diabetes or other conditions in their family history, choose to visit an ophthalmologist for all their eye care needs. It is up to you.
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If you live in New York or the surrounding areas and are considering LASIK surgery, call 877-274-1797 to schedule a consultation for the best in eyecare and LASIK surgery.