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A 37-year-old member asked:

what is the difference between an opthalmologist and optometrist?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sheila Calderon
Internal Medicine 41 years experience
Education: The ophthalmologist has been to medical school and then had an internship and residency. This physician can do eye surgery diagnose and treat eye diseases, help prevent blindness, do corneal transplants, fit patients for contacts or glasses. An optometrist went to optometry school and then is able to measure eyesight for glasses or contacts.

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A 29-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between optometrist and ophthalmologist?

10 doctor answers33 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jay Pepose
Ophthalmology 39 years experience
Medical School: Ophthalmologists (eyemds) are doctors of medicine or osteopathy who complete 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, an internship, and a 3 year residency in ophthalmology. They can deliver complete medical and surgical eyecare. Optometrists are trained to diagnose and treat vision conditions, identify cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal disease, and to use some medications. They are not mds.
Dr. Thomas Patrianakos
Specializes in Ophthalmology
I agree
Nov 8, 2011
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
The public is woefully lacking in understanding the difference between an optometrist and an MD ophthalmologist. I always explain the difference as that between a lawyer and a legal assistant which somehow the average person understands.
Feb 2, 2012
CA
A 26-year-old member asked:

Any recommendations for an optometrist in palo alto?

2 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Not for optometrists: A person who might need glasses or contact lenses for nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia (needs reading glasses), but otherwise has no eye symptoms, can see an optometrist (a non-medical doctor). Healthtap in 2011 has only medical doctors as experts, so has ophthalmologists (medical eye doctors who do eye surgery, treat eye diseases, prescribe medications, etc...).
Dr. Ilan Cohen
Dr. Ilan Cohen commented
Ophthalmology 25 years experience
Many optometrists can prescribe medication and medically manage eye diseases.
Mar 3, 2012
A 37-year-old member asked:

Would I see an optometrist or an opthalmologist in my situation? Want to see if it's ok for me to get contacts?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Matheson Harris
Ophthalmology 16 years experience
Either: Both can help you with this. Optometrists tend to specialize more often in complex fitting of contact lenses, but some ophthalmologists also do this.
A 43-year-old member asked:

Please advise what is the difference between an optometrist and an opthalmologist?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Tim Conrad
Ophthalmology 34 years experience
Many: But the main difference is level of expertise. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors with extensive training in eye disease and eye surgery. The training is at least 8 years. Optometrists complete a four year program that focuses on prescribing glasses and contact lenses.
A 48-year-old member asked:

What are the differences between an opthalmologist and optometrist?

1 doctor answer6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
Training: Optometrist go to a four year training school after college which includes two years of eye treatment and two years of business school. Ophthalmologists due one years of internship, fours years of residency only doing eyes, and commonly two more years of subspecialty training. Ophthalmologist treat all aspects of eye disease including surgical; Optometrists limited to glasses, contacts,medical.
Dr. Alan Levine
Dr. Alan Levine commented
Pediatrics 34 years experience
Opthalmologist is an MD, optometrist is not and cannot prescribe or perform surgery.
Mar 16, 2017

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Last updated Nov 9, 2012

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