It's that time of the year when you need to visit the eye doctor. You might have heard the term "optometrist," but there are several other types of eye doctors, such as an optician and an ophthalmologist. When making a decision on where to go, you will need to know the differences between each professional.
The Role of an Optometrist
The optometrist is the eye doctor who you'll visit to examine and diagnose your eyes. After determining that there is a medical problem with your eyes, the optometrist might propose a treatment. However, there are some treatments that an optometrist is not able to perform, such as eye surgery. When eye surgery is necessary, an optometrist will typically recommend an ophthalmology service.
If you want to skip your visit to the optometrist, you may simply visit an ophthalmologist. He or she is able to perform the same services as an optometrist. However, given the amount of training that an ophthalmologist receives in surgery, he or she will likely focus on surgery as the primary mode of care. After your eye surgery, the ophthalmologist will also guide you through your recovery process.
Optometrists and Eye Surgery
You may also visit an optometrist to undergo some surgeries. However, an optometrist is limited in the variety of surgeries that he or she can perform. Fortunately, when you need to undergo a surgery that the optometrist is not qualified for, he or she can recommend you to a specialist.
One of the most common conditions that an ophthalmologist will treat is glaucoma. Sometimes, there are nonsurgical treatments for this condition, while other times, surgery is necessary. If you have a cataract, you'll likely need eye surgery to remove it. Also, those who have traumatic eye injuries may require surgery to restore vision.
Some eye surgeons will also perform plastic surgery to improve your vision. Some are trained to remove wrinkles around the eyes and are also trained to correct drooping eyelids. You may work with a team of plastic surgeons that includes an ophthalmologist.
The Latest Research
One of the advantages of ophthalmologists is that they are often performing research into eye diseases and are on the cutting edge. Therefore, if you have an eye condition that you are struggling with that is less common, you may be able to receive a new treatment that would lead to better results.