If you are experiencing any trouble with your vision, or are having any other eye health concerns, finding an eye doctor that is right for you can be more complicated than it should be.
If you have ever tried to find an eye doctor on your own you are no doubt aware that there are a number of different types of eye doctors, but what services do they offer, what are the areas of expertise, and which is right for you?
Below is a list of eye doctors and what each name means.
Opticians – This type of eye care professional is only qualified to fit and dispense glasses, contacts and other vision improvement aids. This also includes artificial eyes and all opticians must be licensed in the state or province in which they practice.
They are not qualified to make prescriptions or treat or diagnosis eye diseases.
Optometrist – Optometrists are the primary health care providers of the eye care profession. They are qualified to treat and diagnosis diseases of the eye and prescribe corrective lenses for various vision problems.
They are also required to be licensed in order to practice and have at least a four year degree to qualify them. They are not, however, a medical doctor and cannot perform eye surgery.
Behavioral Optometrist - Behavioral Optometrist support natural vision improvement programs like the Rebuild Your Vision Program and is an expanded area of optometric practice that claims to use a “holistic” approach to the treatment of vision and vision information processing problems. The practice of behavioral optometry incorporates various vision therapy methods and has been characterized as a complementary alternative medicine practice.
Ophthalmologists – These are the only eye doctors that have a medical degree and are qualified to perform eye surgery, such as Lasik surgery. They are also qualified to perform the same services as an optometrist, including prescribing corrective lenses and diagnosing eye diseases.
They must have a medical degree, be licensed, and be members of a professional college of ophthalmologist in order to be qualified to practice.
Finding the right eye care professional and one that is qualified to perform the treatments and procedures you need is important.