When Should You Visit An Optometrist And When An Ophthalmologist? 

Optometrist v/s Ophthalmologist

Most of the time we get confused about who is an ophthalmologist and who is an optician? Experts explain the role of optometrists and who needs to be contacted at which point of need?

If you had to define optometrists from them, you’d probably get a little confused, which is fine. The world of optics and vision is full of terms that often sound quite similar to us. To put an end to the question of “who to reach first –an optometrist, an ophthalmologist or perhaps even an optician here is the article for you to define the differences.

Opticians, like dental technicians, are also technicians – only of lenses. They specialize in cutting and polishing lenses by prescription, can help adjust the frame and adjust it according to the patient’s face.


Who are Optometrists? 

Optometrists are those who usually perform a vision test before purchasing glasses or for some confirmation of the state of vision, such as the one required to obtain a driver’s license. Their area of authority – optometry – is a paramedical profession. They are not doctors and they are not required to be.  At the same time, optometrists are required to qualify by the ministry of health and for this degree, they undergo about 4 years of academic training.

Who are Ophthalmologists? 

Ophthalmologists specialize in a specific field related to eye health. By this authority, they are entitled to diagnose diseases related to the eyes, such as inflammations, infections, or hereditary.

Eye Exam vs. Vision test 

As you may have already realized, the optician part is less relevant to us when we come to examine our eyes or vision but it is more of a “behind-the-scenes” act. If so, you should focus on the last two professions: optometrists and ophthalmologists.

So, whom do you contact for which need? 

It is true that both diagnose and treat visual impairments and have professional interactions. There are true quite a few tangential points between their field of occupation, but how do you know when it is mandatory for you to contact an ophthalmologist and when it is better to contact an optometrist?

Ophthalmologists should be contacted whenever infection or inflammation arises, for example, in the case of barley in the eye. Barley is a common inflammation caused by bacteria. It is important to note that not all eyeglasses shop owner is a licensed optometrists. An optometrist must study for at least four years for an undergraduate degree at a recognized academic institution.

Some optometrists can identify problems such as a certain disease or pathology, but unlike ophthalmologists, they are not allowed to give the patient a formal diagnosis or a prescription for a diagnostic drug.


What is the specialization?

Optometrists specialize in diagnosing the simple impairments of eye function, which require wearing glasses. They check the entry of the rays of light into the retina of the eye. An optometrist is allowed to perform vision tests, monitor visual acuity, and adjust glasses for children. They can know if there is a defect that impairs the sharpness of vision, the focus, causes colour blindness, and so on. Also, optometrists ‘save’ doctors the task of fitting the lenses and a lot of bureaucracy. For example, to perform a vision, integrity test to obtain a driver’s license, one should contact an optometrist.


An error in a vision test can lead to a glasses prescription that is not suitable for you, which can cause headaches and fatigue because the eyes struggle to correct the gap. For this and other reasons, in recent years, the issue of optometry training has been regulated strictly. And all those involved in the field are obligated to obtain a license from the ministry of health. It is recommended to check the vision from the most expert optometrists of optics.

Related Articles

Back to top button