Brass Eye Center Post

The Difference Between an Optometrist and an Ophthalmologist
Posted on 06/27/2016
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We get a lot of questions here at Brass Eye Center, and one of the most common is as to the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist. This is understandable - both are effectively 'eye doctors,' caring for their patients' vision and helping to treat or manage eye conditions. There are crucial differences, though - both in how they are trained and what functions they can perform.

Training & Procedures

One of the major differences is the type and amount of training each specialist undergoes. An optometrist generally completes four years of undergraduate study in one of the sciences, followed by four years of -post-grad training at an optometry school. Ophthalmologists, however, complete four years of college, four years of medical school, a one-year internship, and at least three years in a hospital-based ophthalmology residency program, totaling 12 years of training.

As you might imagine, this leads to differences in the capacities of treatment each specialist can perform. Optometrists are general eye doctors who can perform eye exams for vision and functional problems, prescribe glasses or contacts. The optometrists at Brass Eye Center are certified to prescribe prescription eye drops for infections, manage glaucoma, and screen for diabetic eye disease, along with our ophthalmologists. 

An Ophthalmologist, on the other hand, is a medical doctor with a specialty in eye care. In addition to the capacities of an optometrist, an ophthalmologist can diagnose and treat eye diseases, prescribe medications, and perform eye surgery. In short, optometrists are like general eye doctors who can provide basic services and diagnose problems, while ophthalmologists are comprehensive eye specialists who can provide all types of eye care as well as perform eye surgery. 

Contact Your Albany, NY Ophthalmologist

Have more questions or want to come in for an appointment? We're happy to help. Feel free to call us at 518-782-7827, or schedule an appointment at our Latham office using our convenient online form. We look forward to hearing from you soon!