Difference Between Ophthalmologist & Optometrist?

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Jun 16 Blog | News

Your eyes make it possible to see all the beauty the world offers. Quality eye care can help you maintain your vision so you can continue to enjoy the view. When it comes to choosing an eye doctor, it’s important to know whether an ophthalmologist or an optometrist is right for you. Southern Eye Group of Alabama is happy to explain the difference to you.

What is an Ophthalmologist?

Several of our eye doctors at Southern Eye Group of Alabama are expert ophthalmologists. An ophthalmologist is either a medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) who specializes in vision and eye care. In addition to writing prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses, ophthalmologists perform eye exams, prescribe medications, perform eye surgery, and diagnose and treat eye diseases.

Because ophthalmologists have such a precise and specialized job, they undergo extensive training. Following four years of college, ophthalmologists attend four years of medical school, followed by a one-year internship. Finally, each ophthalmologist completes a minimum of three years of hospital-based ophthalmology residency. For more information about our ophthalmologists, read the bios of our esteemed, Dr. Zloty, Dr. Gross, and/or Dr. McDaniel.

What is an Optometrist?

Another type of eye doctor is an optometrist. An optometrist must have a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists conduct eye exams to determine vision and health problems. Additionally, they can prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. While an optometrist may assist in pre and post-operative care during eye surgery, optometrists are typically not trained or licensed to perform eye surgery. Instead, an ophthalmologist will perform your eye surgery, and an optometrist may assist. Our practice is proud to be home to some of Alabama’s most talented optometrists: Dr. Wilder and Dr. Kidd.

Choosing an Eye Doctor

Understanding the difference between these types of eye doctors is an important first step to selecting your provider. When deciding on your eye doctor, there are also a few additional factors to consider.

1) If your eyes are healthy and you have few vision concerns, it may be a simple matter of preference. Since both an optometrist and an ophthalmologist can conduct eye exams and write prescriptions, both types of eye doctor could meet your basic vision needs.

2) Meanwhile, though an optometrist can treat some eye and vision issues, certain eye disorders require the treatment of an ophthalmologist.

3) Another factor to keep in mind determining what type of eye doctor to use is insurance. Determining if a certain ophthalmologist or optometrist accepts your insurance can help you figure out how much you will need to pay for each exam or visit. You can get financial information for Southern Eye Group of Alabama online; you may also contact us directly at our Mobile, Foley, or Fairhope locations.

Visit Southern Eye Group of Alabama

Our ophthalmologists and optometrists are dedicated to providing you with lifelong vision and eye health. When you visit our eye doctors in Mobile, Foley, and Fairhope, you can expect quality care in a comfortable environment. If you have questions about any eye treatments we offer, reach out to us today. We look forward to working with you!