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Eye Care Specialists

What is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is either a medical doctor (MD) or an osteopathic doctor (DO). They provide comprehensive eye care. This includes exams, diagnosis, and treatment for many eye disorders. They are skilled in all types of eye care. They can prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as do complex eye surgery. Many also specialize in one disease or part of the eye (such as glaucoma specialist or cornea specialist).

What is an optometrist?

An optometrist is a doctor of optometry (OD) who specializes in eye care. They give exams, and diagnose and treat many eye disorders. They don’t often do surgery. But in a few states they can do minor surgical procedures and laser surgery. Some specialize in low vision, contact lenses, or vision rehabilitation. 

What is an optician?

An optician is a technician. They fit, adjust, and fill the prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses prescribed by ophthalmologists and optometrists.

What is an ocularist?

An ocularist is a skilled professional. They make and fit artificial eyes (called prosthetic eyes or ocular prostheses). They also give people instructions on how to care for their prosthesis.

Online Medical Reviewer: Chris Haupert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2020
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