Optometrist or Ophthalmologist: What’s the Difference?

February 12, 2021
By: Dr. Dimple Kapoor

To ensure a lifetime of clear and healthy eyesight for you and your family, you’ll need to choose the right eye specialist.

But you should understand that there are two types of eye doctors–optometrists and ophthalmologists. Depending on the eye problem you’re experiencing, you have to know when to visit one or other. The premier orthokeratology specialist in the area, Eye & Vision Care, shares their differences.

What is an Optometrist?

This refers to an eye doctor who has earned a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. They should finish at least a four-year college degree in the sciences, then attend an accredited school or college of optometry to obtain a four-year OD doctorate degree. Optometrists, such as Eye & Vision Care may provide the following services:

  • Perform a comprehensive eye exam
  • Diagnose a range of eye health problems and conditions
  • Prescribe vision correction solutions, such as eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Conduct contact lens fittings
  • Provide eye exams before or after vision correction surgery, such as LASIK or cataract surgery
  • Offer low vision examinations, and prescribe and manage vision therapy

What is an Ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmologists must earn a four-year college degree in the sciences, attend medical school and acquire a four-year doctorate degree to become a physician (MD). They also need to complete a one-year internship, along with a three-year residency in medical and surgical eye care. Unlike an optometrist, an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) that provides eye health services, including comprehensive medical care and management of eye conditions. This type of eye doctor is also licensed to perform eye and vision surgery.

Between the two eye doctors, optometrists like Eye & Vision Care are more accessible. You can visit us for a wide range of eye health services, including routine eye examinations, contact fittings, and eyeglass prescriptions. And while the services of both optometrists and ophthalmologists are generally covered by medical or vision insurance, the routine eye exams performed by the former are more reasonably priced.

Eye & Vision Care is your top choice for high-quality eye care services. We proudly Fairfax, VA, and the nearby areas. Call us today at (703) 783-1297 or fill out this contact form to schedule your appointment.