Unless your profession is in the eye health field, there is likely to be a big blur when it comes to understanding who does what and defining terms related to eyes and eye care. One such point of confusion revolves around the responsibilities of the two main types of eye doctors: optometrists and ophthalmologists. While you’ve probably heard of optometrists, do you know what they actually do? What about ophthalmologists? Although both are interested in the health and care of our eyes, there are some differences between them that will be good to know before visiting an eye doctor in Oshkosh, WI.
For general vision and eye care services, you may go see an optometrist for an eye exam. Like visiting your primary healthcare physician, you should plan on making annual eye appointments for yourself and your family. Optometrists are knowledgeable eye doctors who went to medical school in order to provide their patients with quality healthcare services and eye health information; they are medical professionals, but not physicians. Your optometrist is the person who not only conducts your eye exam, but also writes prescriptions for corrective lenses, whether eyeglasses or contact lenses, that you will then take to an optician to fill.
Being evaluated by a recognized optometrist is how you will find out if your vision issues are due to a condition like nearsightedness or farsightedness, or if there’s some other underlying physical ailment. In addition, optometrists are trained to assess and diagnose eye health problems, such as cataracts, glaucoma, conjunctivitis and macular degeneration. Furthermore, in some U.S. states, optometrists are licensed to prescribe medications to treat diagnosed diseases.
A total eye care physician specializing in eye and vision care is called an ophthalmologist. He or she went to medical school, took on internships and had a few years of residency to get to where they are in their career. They not only provide eye exams and medical care for eye conditions like glaucoma, but they can also treat chemical burns and perform surgery for eye-related trauma, birth defects and other eye problems.
Another skill an eye health physician has is diagnosing and treating disease-connected eye conditions, including arthritis and diabetes, as well as conducting plastic surgery to smooth out skin around the eyes and fix droopy eyelids. Sometimes an ophthalmologist may seek the assistance of an optometrist to take part in caring for patients who are going to have or who are recovering from eye surgery.
When it comes down to it, which type of eye doctor you should go see depends on your eye health needs. But if you don’t have a regular eye doctor in Oshkosh, WI, a good place to start would be to consult your primary health care physician for recommendations. And should your eye care needs be better suited to a different type of eye doctor, one eye doctor can always refer you to another.
If you’re due for an eye exam, look no further than Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe for an eye doctor in Oshkosh, WI. From the moment you walk into our office to answering your eye questions to thoroughly checking your eyes, we will be there to provide you with the greatest of care.