15 doctors weighed in:
What are different type of eye doctors. Ophthalmologist, optometrist, optician?
15 doctors weighed in

Dr. Stephen Hamilton
Ophthalmology
4 doctors agree
In brief: OD, MD
An opthalmologist goes to medical school and gets an md, then spends 4 more years of training in medicine and surgery with 3 years of emphasis on eye treatment and eye surgery.
Some ophthalmologists spend additional years in fellowship training. An optometrist goes to a 4 year optometry school and does non-surgical eye treatment, glasses and contact lenses. An optician makes and fits glasses.

In brief: OD, MD
An opthalmologist goes to medical school and gets an md, then spends 4 more years of training in medicine and surgery with 3 years of emphasis on eye treatment and eye surgery.
Some ophthalmologists spend additional years in fellowship training. An optometrist goes to a 4 year optometry school and does non-surgical eye treatment, glasses and contact lenses. An optician makes and fits glasses.
Dr. Stephen Hamilton
Dr. Stephen Hamilton
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Dr. Mahaveer Mukkamalla
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree
In brief: Technician vs physic
An optician is a technician who makes correction eye glasses, he does not deal with any of the medical or surgical stuff.
An optometrist deals with few medical problems related to eye such as prescibing correction glasses and some of them even perform the laser surgeries on the eye. An optholmologist is a full blown medical and surgical eye doctor who deals with everything.

In brief: Technician vs physic
An optician is a technician who makes correction eye glasses, he does not deal with any of the medical or surgical stuff.
An optometrist deals with few medical problems related to eye such as prescibing correction glasses and some of them even perform the laser surgeries on the eye. An optholmologist is a full blown medical and surgical eye doctor who deals with everything.
Dr. Mahaveer Mukkamalla
Dr. Mahaveer Mukkamalla
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1 comment
Dr. Theodore Wu
Only ophthalmologists go to medical school and study human diseases.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Big difference
Opticians are technicians who fits eyeglass frames and make the glases.
Optometrist call themselves doctor but go to a four year training school, part business, and cannot do surgery. They are like a legal assistant and have no board certification. Ophthalmologists are md's, fully trained to do medical and surgical diagnosis, have 8-10 years of training and are board certified. For eyes see an md.

In brief: Big difference
Opticians are technicians who fits eyeglass frames and make the glases.
Optometrist call themselves doctor but go to a four year training school, part business, and cannot do surgery. They are like a legal assistant and have no board certification. Ophthalmologists are md's, fully trained to do medical and surgical diagnosis, have 8-10 years of training and are board certified. For eyes see an md.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Dr. Richard Bensinger
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Dr. David Speck
Ophthalmology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Eye practitioners
Optician are technicians who makes glasses and contacts to other practitioners' prescriptions.
Optometrists can prescribe glasses and contacts, but are not doctors of medicine. In some jurisdictions, optometrists can prescribe meds or even do surgery. Ophthalmologists are physicians (md or do) who specialize in diseases and surgery of the eye. They can diagnose, prescribe and operate on diseases.

In brief: Eye practitioners
Optician are technicians who makes glasses and contacts to other practitioners' prescriptions.
Optometrists can prescribe glasses and contacts, but are not doctors of medicine. In some jurisdictions, optometrists can prescribe meds or even do surgery. Ophthalmologists are physicians (md or do) who specialize in diseases and surgery of the eye. They can diagnose, prescribe and operate on diseases.
Dr. David Speck
Dr. David Speck
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Dr. Donald Morris
Ophthalmology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: The are different
Ophthalmologist is an md who has completed 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 1 year of internship, 3 years of post=graduate residency training, and perhaps another year of sub-specialty training.
An optometrist has graduated college and has taken 3 years of optometry school, for an od.. An optician fits the glasses according to an an eyeglass prescription.

In brief: The are different
Ophthalmologist is an md who has completed 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 1 year of internship, 3 years of post=graduate residency training, and perhaps another year of sub-specialty training.
An optometrist has graduated college and has taken 3 years of optometry school, for an od.. An optician fits the glasses according to an an eyeglass prescription.
Dr. Donald Morris
Dr. Donald Morris
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics
In brief: Ophthalmol. is an MD
A person who might need glasses or contact lenses for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia (need reading glasses), but otherwise has no eye symptoms, can see an optometrist (a nonmedical doctor).
Healthtap has only medical doctors, so has ophthalmologists, doctors who do eye surgery, treat eye diseases, prescribe drugs, etc... Opticians make glasses from dr.'s prescriptions.

In brief: Ophthalmol. is an MD
A person who might need glasses or contact lenses for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia (need reading glasses), but otherwise has no eye symptoms, can see an optometrist (a nonmedical doctor).
Healthtap has only medical doctors, so has ophthalmologists, doctors who do eye surgery, treat eye diseases, prescribe drugs, etc... Opticians make glasses from dr.'s prescriptions.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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Dr. Glenn Pomerance
Ophthalmology
In brief: The 3 "O"s!
Ophthalmologist: eyemd, medical doctor specializing in diseases of the eye and visual system and surgery optometrist: non-medical doctor specializing in measurement of optical error, recognition of ocular disease and treatment of some diseases and conditions of the eye optician: licensed provider of devices for correction of optical errors- not licensed to make diagnosis or treat disease.

In brief: The 3 "O"s!
Ophthalmologist: eyemd, medical doctor specializing in diseases of the eye and visual system and surgery optometrist: non-medical doctor specializing in measurement of optical error, recognition of ocular disease and treatment of some diseases and conditions of the eye optician: licensed provider of devices for correction of optical errors- not licensed to make diagnosis or treat disease.
Dr. Glenn Pomerance
Dr. Glenn Pomerance
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