Types Of Eye Care Professionals
Who do you see when you can't see? That's what we are about to find out. For those of you with vision problems, finding the right doctor to treat your vision problems may be hard than the actual treatments offered.
Many different vision professionals are readily available to help you care for your vision. Let's learn about each of them so you have the tools you need to make a good decision when selecting a professional to examine and care for your eyes.
Most people will visit an optometrist at least once in their lifetime. An optometrist (OD) is an eye doctor specializing in the care of eyes, eye diseases and visual problems. Doctors of optometry or optometrists are qualified to provide care for the internal and outer structure of the eye and associated systems. An optometrist may diagnose certain disease of the eye. These may include cataracts or glaucoma. Most do not attend medical school, but often complete a short residency so they can learn more about a specialty area of eye care.
Often an optometrist will diagnose common vision problems including near and farsightedness, astigmatism or age related problems like presbyopia. Optometrists may also test visual acuity and provide patients with a prescription for contact, glasses or other vision enhancements needed to improve ones eye health.
This unique breed of eye doctor can do everything an optometrist does, but practices as a qualified medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy. Many ophthalmologists train in one or more specialty areas, including surgical care for the eye. Ophthalmologists provide complete care for the eye, including surgery, basic eye care, and diagnosis and/or treatment of common diseases that affect vision. If someone has normal vision with no risk factors for complications, they can probably see an optometrist for the most part, unless they develop significant problems resulting in the need for advanced care including surgery.
An optician is also an eye professional that works with either an ophthalmologist or optometrist to provide various services including providing basic eye exams and working with patients to find lenses that will meet their ongoing needs the best way possible. Many times you will see an optometrist or ophthalmologist before checking in with an optician about your prescription.
Choosing The Doctor That's Best For You
The type of doctor you choose to care for your eyes will differ depending on your needs, wants and overall health. Remember when meeting with an eye doctor, just like when meeting any other healthcare provider, your goal is to form a lifelong relationship with this person. For this reason it is a good idea to ask for references before meeting with an eye professional, or take advantage of a free consultation.
Here are some important considerations to think about when selecting your eye doctor:
- What are the eye doctor's credentials?
- Have any malpractice complaints been logged on the doctor or eye care center?
- What type of training does the eye doctor have, and how does it meet with your needs?
- What qualifications does the person have?
Sometimes the best way to choose a doctor is by referral, so make a point to ask friend and family members who they see for help "seeing" and chances are you'll find a good doctor, or at least one capable of referring you to a specialist (should you need one). Take care of those peepers!
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