THE O'S OF EYE CARE
Ophthalmologists are also known as eye physicians or surgeons who specialize in eye care. Ophthalmologists are specially trained to provide the full spectrum of vision care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses, to complex and delicate eye surgery.
Optometrists are doctors who perform full vision evaluations, including prescribing glasses and contacts, as well as evaluating the eye movements (motilities) and focusing abilities (accomodation). Therapeutic optometrists also undergo special training and licensing for detection and treatment of ocular diseases, including glaucoma and macular degeneration. Therapeutic optometrists can also do in-office procedures such as foreign body removals.
Ophthalmic assistants are technicians trained to perform preliminary vision and eye function testing, and explaining to patients about eye medications or procedures. Ophthalmic assistants work closely with optometrists and ophthalmologists to gather information necessary for an eye exam and diagnosis.
Opticians are technicians trained to fit, adjust, and verify glasses and other visual aids based on prescriptions written by optometrists and ophthalmologists.