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Posted on 03-29-2018

Ophthalmologist vs Optometrist vs Optician: What's the Difference?

Your vision is important to so many aspects of your life. That's why you need to care for your eyes. Preventative measures such as a yearly exam are part of making sure your eyes stay healthy. 

But what kind of eye care professional should you see? You've probably heard the terms "optometrist", "ophthalmologist", and "optician" before, but you may not know the differences between them.  The team at Hendersonville Eye Care can help you learn what you need to know about these types of eye care specialists. 

female patient with optometrist in Hendersonville during an eye exam

What Does an Optometrist Do?

Optometrists care for your eyes by giving examinations, prescribing vision correction measures, diagnosing and treating problems, and prescribing medication. An optometrist is not a medical doctor, but many years of schooling are necessary to become an optometrist. First, optometrists earn a bachelor's degree. Then they complete a four-year Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) program. Optometrists must also obtain a state license. 

An optometrist is well-qualified to care for most aspects of your vision. If you need surgery or more specialized care, your optometrist can refer you to an ophthalmologist. 

What Does an Ophthalmologist Do?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that specializes in diseases and conditions of the eye. To become an ophthalmologist, you need an undergraduate degree, followed by a medical degree, followed by four years of specialized training. 

Ophthalmologists and optometrists share many job duties. The difference is that many ophthalmologists also complete surgical procedures. 

What Does an Optician Do?

An optician's main job is to assist with vision correction. An optician can't write your prescription for glasses or contact lenses, but he or she will help you find eyewear that fits you and your lifestyle. Opticians usually complete a certification program, and some states require a license.

Optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians are all occupations that care for your sight. Depending on the kind of services you need, you may see all three during or after your annual eye exam.  

Contact our Hendersonville Optometrist Today

Here at Hendersonville Eye Care in Hendersonville, NC, we provide a variety of professional optometry services to care for your eyes. To make an appointment today, call (828) 693-5205 or request an appointment online

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