When it comes to eye care, the two primary doctors that deal and specialize in the field are ophthalmologists and optometrists. The two can often work together on the same patients even, however, executing different tasks and procedures entirely. They also differ in terms of background training and education requirements.

For any questions on the right eye care procedure for you, consult the eye experts at Universal Vision Medical Center with the advanced technology and skillful hands of Orange County’s most trusted ophthalmologist, Farnoosh Tinoosh M.D.

What is an Optometrist?

Think of an optometrist as your primary care doctor for your eyes. Their primary focus is on providing patients with general vision care and referring patients to specialists if anything is out of the ordinary. However, they are not medically trained doctors. Instead, optometrists attend optometry school after 4 years of college to obtain a doctor of optometry degree (OD).

Here’s a breakdown of an optometrist’s duties:

  • Perform eye and visions examinations
  • Prescribe eyeglasses or contact lens
  • Monitor overall eye health and conditions related to diabetes
  • Provide vision therapy or minor aid
  • Treat minor conditions such as dry eye or glaucoma

What is an Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist can essentially perform all the same duties as an optometrist with the added bonus of providing surgical eye care as well. An ophthalmologist is a medically trained doctor that attended medical school along with completing a residency in ophthalmology. This increased specialization qualifies them to perform extensive medical and surgical procedures for eye care patients.

Typically, patients need a referral from an optometrist to schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist. Here’s a breakdown of an ophthalmologist’s duties:

  • Medical care for glaucoma, iritis, and chemical burns
  • Surgical care for eye trauma, cataracts, glaucoma, and other conditions
  • Cosmetic plastic surgery procedures to smooth wrinkles or raise eyelids
  • Diagnosis of overall eye health and treatment of eye conditions or diseases.

Final Takeaway

Optometrists and ophthalmologists can work together to diagnose and treat eye care patients. Optometrists can diagnose, prescribe and treat minor eye conditions, while ophthalmologists can do all of those duties plus major medical and surgical eye procedures including LASIK and cataracts.

Be sure to explore all of your options in eye care with an experienced professional dedicated to your successful vision recovery. Farnoosh Tinoosh M.D. is a bona fide expert in the field with over 40,000 successful surgeries in LASIK and Cataract. He has numerous prestigious accolades in Orange County for quality, success, and attention to care for every patient.