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Optometrist vs. Optician: What Are the Differences?



Over two billion people in the world have some sort of visual impairment. And, all those people need medical treatment to ensure that their eyes function as well as they can.

But, who should you make an appointment with if you have a problem? Let’s go through the differences between optometrist vs. optician so you know which you need.

What Is an Optometrist?

An optometrist is an eye doctor. If you’re worried that you might need glasses, you would make an appointment at an optometrist.  An optometrist gets their credentials by earning a Doctor of Optometry degree.

If you need an eyeglass prescription, you would see an optometrist. The same is true if you’re considering trying contact lenses for the first time. An optometrist will evaluate your color vision and test for different types of color blindness.

An optometrist can also help resolve some minor medical issues. For example, if you have something lodged in a tear duct, an optometrist should be able to dislodge it. They can also help you with problems like astigmatism, or if you have a significantly different vision in each eye.

If you’re wondering what you should be asking your eye doctor, check out

What Is an Optician?

Unlike an optometrist, an optician is not a doctor. An optician helps make sure that your glasses fit. An optician can also ensure you have the right contacts for your eyes.

An optician can help recommend the right size glasses based on your prescription. They can also help you pick styles that suit your face. They can adjust your new glasses to ensure that they stay properly balanced on your face.

However, an optician is not a medical doctor. An optician cannot evaluate medical issues or perform eye exams. For those, you’ll have to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

What Is an Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor. An ophthalmologist can help you with the same services as an optometrist. But, they can help you with more specialized concerns, as well. If your optometrist comes across something irregular in your annual eye exam, they may refer you to an ophthalmologist so that they can do more testing.

If you’re interested in ways to stop wearing glasses, you would also see an ophthalmologist. They can evaluate if you’re a candidate for LASIK, and perform the procedure if it works out.

As you get older, you may have more and more problems with your eyes. Many of these problems can be addressed with an ophthalmologist. Some of these issues can include cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, chronic dry eyes, temporal arteritis, and glaucoma.

Optometrist vs. Optician: Get Started

With this info, you should understand if you should book an appointment with an optometrist vs. optician.

Are you searching for more information about medical issues and more? Scroll through a few of our other helpful posts for all of the tips and tricks you need.

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