A 32-year-old member asked:
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i have a bad eye infection, who should i go see first? my optometrist or primary doctor?

3 doctor answers
Dr. David Kira
21 years experience Ophthalmology
Neither: If you have a bad eye infection, you need to see an ophthalmologist not an optometrist or primary care physician (unless you need referral). Some serious eye infections need culture prior to antibiotic therapy and an ophthalmologist is most skilled at obtaining the specimen. Also it may not even be an infection...!
Answered on Feb 15, 2020
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Dr. Jon Fishburn
30 years experience Ophthalmology
Eye infection: Either is okay. If your health care provider requires help based on the type of infection, a referral may be necessary to an eye md (ophthalmologist). Preferably any serious eye infection should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist.
Answered on Dec 10, 2013
Dr. Richard Bensinger
52 years experience Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist: Eye infections can by far best be handled by an ophthalmologist - a fully trained eye specialist. Optometrists are good at eyeglass fitting and contact lenses but are not medical doctors.
Answered on Nov 2, 2012

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Dr. James Ferguson
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Depends: Some optometrists are licensed to care for eye infections in some states.Your pcp also treats them.The choice sometimes comes down to who's available ... Read More
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YES!: Opthamologists have better testing capabilities for potential problems such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. You will be in much better hands.
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Dentist: Start with your dentist to rule out any dental issues. Gingival swelling and pain is almost always dentally related.
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