Types of Eye Doctors and What Each One Means

Types of Eye Doctors and What Each One Means

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.

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Behavioral Optometrist – Behavioral Optometrist support natural vision improvement programs 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.

About the Author

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics with the dreams of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science degree in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he and his brother decided to start Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent over a decade studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.

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12 responses to “Types of Eye Doctors and What Each One Means”

  1. Stephanie says:

    I have for a Dr an Ophthalmologist, however I am very fearful of the treatment for Macular Degeneration

  2. Tom Mckernan says:

    Thanks Tyler, for this article about the types of eye professionals. I had simply failed to consider that four types of eye experts work in eye care.
    What I had experienced over the past ten years was confusion from listening to these four ‘experts’. I will adjust my expectations in future dealings.
    Regarding your remedial theme, I see better am aware of what both of my eyes do. For example, my mid and long distance vision capabilities work ok, as in I can see what is what in excellent detail. Warm regards, Tom

  3. Joseph L. Massaquoi says:

    I am suffering from blurry vision begun when I suffered a stroke in March of 2005. I have since then been seeking treatment from optometrists, ophthalmologists but my vision remains blurry. If my vision could be corrected to a 20/20 level, I will be most grateful.

  4. Chetan says:

    Hi…Tyler..i would like to know whether can i improve my vision to 20/20 in a year time since i currently have vision of 20/50..waiting for your reply

  5. Bessie says:

    Hi Tyler. I have had LASIK 10 years ago and know have terrible astigmatisms. Can you help me.



  6. Laurie Dahlke says:

    I have just seen my optician an he recommended that I see a specialish due to a caraarct. I sthere anything to help with that without the normal surgery?

  7. Tyler Sorensen says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Many people are in the same boat you are in. I would suggest reading the following article I wrote titled “Five Steps to Help Prevent Macular Degeneration”.


    To your vision — for life,


  8. Tyler Sorensen says:

    Hi Chetan,

    Many people with 20/50 vision have improved their vision using the Ocu-Plus Formula. Check out their personal stories at the link below.


    To your vision — for life,


  9. Tyler Sorensen says:

    Hi Laurie,

    Please visit the following page to learn about what nutrients help protect against Cataracts.


    To your vision — for life,


  10. Salman bacha says:

    Dear sir
    I am a student 30 years old. My eye diseases are 1) Nystagmus 2) photopobia and 3) Macular degeneration. Can my eyes improve?

  11. Tyler Sorensen says:

    Hi Salman,

    For Macular Degeneration I would highly recommend reading my blog post titled “Five Steps to Help Prevent Macular Degeneration”.


    For Nystagmus I’m going to start the research on it and post a blog on it soon.

    To your vision — for life,


  12. Paul Diana says:

    What about direct eye injuries,who is most qualified for treatment of a hit and possible eye damage

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