What’s the difference between an Ophthalmologist, Optometrist and Optician?
An ophthalmologist is a specialist in medical and surgical eye disease. Their credentials include a doctorate degree in medicine, followed by an additional four years of Ophthalmology residency training. For more information, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology website or call or call 415.561.8500.
Optometrists are healthcare professionals who provide primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. An optometrist is not a medical doctor. An optometrist receives a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three years or more years of college. They are licensed to practice optometry, which primarily involves performing eye exams and vision tests, prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, detecting certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases. For more information, visit the American Optometric Association (AOA) website or call (800) 365-2219.
Opticians are technicians trained to design, verify and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight. They use prescriptions supplied by ophthalmologists or optometrists to select and fit the best eye-wear products. For more information, visit https://oaa.org or call your local board of optician in your state.
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