Sure thing! An Opthamologist (MD)is a Dr. who went to medical school and then specialize in opthamology through residency and rotations. He/she is qualified to to surgical procedures on the eye.
An Optometrist (OD) is a primary eye care provider who completes a four year program at an accredited college/school of optometry. After certification/graduation an OD can refract patients, prescribe contact lenses, and diagose and treat eye diseases (more in some states than others). They generally cannot perform surgical procedures. (although they can perform PRK in Oklahoma)
Hope this helps! Feel free to fill in other things if I left something out, guys!
Not at all. In the US opticians basically just make the glasses and help the customer pick the best frame and lens option for their prescription (correct me if I'm wrong Jubileee) They cannot refrect, prescribe, or perform procedures.
Optometrists PRESCRIBE the glasses after doing a thorough eye exam. Optometrists dilate patients eyes to check for occular disease.. and can fit you for contacts. They can also remove foreign bodies that are imbedded in people corneas and a plethora of other non-surgical procedures. There is a pretty vast difference between opticians and optometrists.
Hope this helps!
There are three basic O's in the optical industry.
Ophthamologists or OMDs as Christine mentioned go through four years of medical school, plus rotations and residencies to specialize in the eye. They are considered specialists in surgical procedures and all forms of disease management. IE the health of the eye and systematic diseases that affect the eye..
Optometrists are your actual vision specialists. They go through four years of school plus clinicals at the same time to study the visual system. They are the primary care givers of the eye. They do the refractions, basic eye health checks, visual field, some treatment of diseases and occular injury. They also are experts in the contact lens and vision therapy arenas. IE there primary focus is on vision.
Opticians are the ones help you make the most out of either doctors prescription. They help you select the best frame, lens materials, lens designs, and coatings to enhance the rx. They also take all the measurements to be able to make sure the lenses are specific for you. If you have trouble with your new glasses they are the first person to see, that way they can see if it is possibly not the rx, but some other factor affecting the prescription. (bifocal placement, pd, oc..etc...) Opticians also routinely help in the contact lens dispensing and training for the ODs and OMDs. They double check the accuracy of all manaufactured eyewear to make sure they are withing federal tolerances to the dr's rx.
They also often work in the labs as well to guide them in the manufacture of the eyewear. (This is actually where I got my start in optical..I was a lab rat )
Along with these three professionals there are also certified ophthalmic or optometric techs. These are the ones who do the majority of the pretesting for the doctors and in the case of the OMDs, may be doing the refraction. They too are trained in the contact arena for dispensing and contact classes as well. They are also sometimes called COAs or certified ophthalmic assistants...
Opticians also are excellent trouble shooters. When I send someone back to the doctor, I often know what prescription changes are coming forth.
They can ensure that it isn't the fit, alignment, or the adjustment of the glasses. They can double check the accuracy of how the glasses were made, and the measurements as well. They also will compare your old to your new to see how different your rx is ...was there prism that the doctor elected not to use? Was your reading rx decreased instead of increased? Have you had a major change and it is something that you need to give a few days of adjustment to?
These are just some of the things we can check for. I also often will use finished lenses to see if going a quarter diopter any will make the fuzzies go away....
Who gets tired of hearing she is just a glorified sales person
I saw on the Allopathic forum that you wondered if it was necessary to see both or if they work together.
Most people see an optometrist till they need the services of an ophthalmologist. So OMDs are considered the specialist. Of course there are exceptions to this such as with the pediatric area and the older population.
While OMDs are certainly trained and capable of doing all the things that ODs do, most do not want to do routine eye exams. It has also been stated by many that ODs are far more accurate in the visual aspects, such as the refraction and the final rx. Most OMDs view themselves as surgeons or disease specialists.
In many situations they work together. Co-management is quite common in the surgery aspects with the OD doing the pre and post op checks and the OMD doing the actual surgical procedure. Often times as well...ODs will refer OMDs patients if they see something in the examination and OMDs will refer patients to ODs for routine check ups. Some practices are even set up this way with ODs and OMDs working together for total patient care..