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A 33-year-old member asked:

what are the differences between an optometrist, an ophthalmologist and an optician?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Scartozzi
Retinal Surgery 19 years experience
See below: An ophthalmologist is an md (went to medical school) who can treat medical and surgical diseases of the eye, in addition to prescribing glasses/contacts. An optometrists is an od who can prescribe glasses/contact and treat some medical eye conditions (depending on state law), but not do surgery on the eye. An optician (lo) can not treat any eye diseases or prescribe. They can tailor eyeglasses.
Dr. Keshav Narain
Retinal Surgery 29 years experience
Focus and training.: An optician is licensed to sell and make lenses. The optometrist examines eyes for glasses and diseases. Typically four years after college are needed. Ophthalmologists go to medical school, then do four years specialization in eye care which includes surgical training. Subspecialists do additional training after residency in ophthalmology in areas such as oculoplastics, retina, refractive, etc.

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Similar questions

A 29-year-old member asked:

What's the difference between the optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Paul
Ophthalmology 39 years experience
Education: Ophthamologists are mds, who then specialize in eye diseases and surgery. Optometrists do not attend medical school, but in many states can treat eye diseases with drugs in addition to prescribing glasses and contact lenses. Opticians are not "doctors" but are licensed experts in filling other doctors prescriptions for contact lenses and glasses.
A 48-year-old member asked:

Whats the difference between an optometrist and an opthalmologist and an optician?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Matheson Harris
Ophthalmology 16 years experience
Eye MDs : Ophthalmologists are medical doctors and surgeons, trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the eye with medicine or surgery. Optometrists are trained to diagnose and treat some eye disease, but mainly treat refractive errors with contacts and eye glasses and refer other treatments to ophthalmologists. Opticians specialize in eyeglass and contact lens dispensing. All have their place.
A 41-year-old member asked:

The difference between an optician, an optometrist, and an ophthalmologist?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
Education: Opticians are technicians who fix, assemble and fit glasses according to a prescription. Optoms go to a combination business, trade school and are skilled in eyeglass and contact lense fitting. They treat some simple eye disease. Ophthalmologists a fully trained doctors who then take 5-8 years of training in surgical and medical eye disease. They are the first line in sight diagnosis/treatment.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok commented
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Optometrists have 4 years of training after college, to become Doctors of Optometry. They have expanded their field beyond prescribing and fitting glasses and contact lenses. Optometrists are also trained to evaluate and treat some minor eye disorders.
Feb 16, 2013
A 48-year-old member asked:

What's the difference amongst optometrist, ophthalmologist and optician.?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Ham
Ophthalmology 27 years experience
Training: Ophthalmologists are full md specialists of medicine and surgery of the eye who have graduated from medical school, internship, and residency. Optometrists do not go to medical school, or even pre-med. They go to optometry school where they learn about prescribing eye glasses as well as basic information about diseases of the eye. Opticians are certified through a course to fit eye wear.
A 35-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between optometrist, ophthalmologist and optician?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
Training, scope: Opticians are qualified to fit and adjust glasses but have no medical qualifications. Optometrists are very good at dealing with the need for glasses and contacts; they have a little medical eye training. Ophthalmologists are the only trained physicians of these three having gone to medical school residency and usually training after that. They only can do surgery and handle complex eye problems.

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