Where should you go when you are having difficulty with your eye sight? Your eye health and sight will depend on seeing the right eye doctor. Choosing the right eye specialist will depend on the extent of your problem and the type of treatment. There are three types of eye specialists that you could potentially see including an opthalmologist, optometrist and optician—all of whom play important roles in providing you with the care your eyes need.

What is an Opthamologist?
An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor who specialises in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system. They are also very key in the prevention of eye disease and injury. An opthalmologist is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. As a qualified specialist, an opthalmologist is qualified to deliver total eye care, which means vision services, eye examinations, medical and surgical eye care, diagnosis and treatment of disease and visual complications that are caused by other conditions like aging or diabetes.

Optometrists are eye doctors of optometry. They are trained healthcare professionals who examine, diagnose, treat and manage some diseases and disorders of the eye and visual system. Their vision care services range from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. Like opthalmologists, optometrists are trained to examine the internal and external structure of the eyes. However, an optometrist is not a medical doctor and they are not trained to perform eye surgery or to care for and manage all diseases and disorders of the eyes. Their role in your eye health care is to determine the presence of vision problems and visual acuity, prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, eye exercises, low vision aides, vision therapy and medications to treat eye diseases.

Good eye health and life long vision is the result of a working partnership between you and your eye healthcare provider. You should be sure to visit your eye doctor—either an optometrist or ophthalmologist—for an eye exam once a year. Because you eye sight is so important, don’t be afraid to be proactive in the care of your eyes. Choose a qualified eye doctor that is informative, can give proper diagnosis and treatment and promotes the best possible results and care for the eye health of his or her patients.