Many titles are associated with vision professionals, and it is easy to get them confused. When you visit an optical boutique in Oshkosh, WI, you will find that the success of your vision needs depends on the skills of several well-trained professionals. Here is an explanation of the titles and roles in vision care so you can understand your treatment process better:
- Optometrist: If you visit an eye clinic, you will most likely meet an optometrist. Generally referred to as the “eye doctor,” an optometrist earned a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree in a postgraduate program. They examine eyes for vision correction and health problems. If you require correction, they will also design your prescription by determining the adjustments you need in eyeglasses and contacts to help you see better. They can also prescribe drugs to treat eye conditions and diseases, so if you see your optometrist for a case of pink eye, you will likely be able to get an antibiotic just as easily as you secure new eyeglasses each year. Optometrists do not perform eye surgery, but you will likely see them for pre- and post-surgical consultations. In rare instances, they are trained in procedures like laser eye correction.
- Ophthalmologist: You will find ophthalmologists in general practice clinics as well. While people may confuse them with optometrists because they perform many of the same tasks, they are medical or osteopathic doctors who specialize in eye and vision care. Generally, their education includes four years of college, another four years of medical school, an internship and three years of hospital residency in their field. You will find them performing eye exams, diagnosing and treating eye diseases, prescribing medication and performing surgeries. Those in general practice write contact lens and eyeglass prescriptions, much like optometrists.
- Optician: While not a medically trained professional, opticians are important staff members at every vision clinic. Their job is to review prescriptions and help you find the best eyeglasses for your needs and lifestyle. When you choose frames and have the lenses mounted, the optician adjusts your glasses for the best fit. Some opticians complete additional certification, so they can assist with contact lens fittings, too. If you are a patient using contact lenses for the first time, it is likely an optician who is teaching you how to put them in your eyes.
- Ophthalmology specialists: There are also specialists in eye care, as in other medical fields. While you will usually be referred out to them rather than encounter one in a general clinic setting, they are vital for specific eye treatment needs. Specialists are ophthalmologists whose focus can include cataracts, degenerative conditions and more. Some specialize in less dire conditions, like chronic dry eyes and eye infections. Many are also skilled surgeons. When an optometrist finds something about your eyes that requires further examination, you may have to consult with one of these specialists.
Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe is an optical boutique in Oshkosh, WI offering a full range of vision care services. Call us today to schedule an eye exam.