There are so many different kinds of doctors and specialists; it can be confusing knowing which one you need to see for your specific medical need. Within the vision and eye specialty, there are three general types of eye doctors: ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. So how do you know when you need to see an ophthalmology specialist in the Oklahoma area? Understanding what types of services they can provide, and understanding your own needs will help to make that decision.
What Does an Ophthalmologist Do?
Not all eye doctors are trained and licensed to treat some types of vision problems. This is much like other areas of medicine. For example, a pediatrician is not the same as a pediatric surgeon. With vision care, an ophthalmologist would be considered the full-spectrum eye care provider. In other words, this is the type of eye doctor that can treat all types of eye problems from prescribing corrective lenses to eye surgery. A few of the services an ophthalmologist can provide include:
– Glasses or contact prescriptions
– Annual eye exams
– Refractive surgery such as LASIK
– Anterior segment surgery
– Treatment for cornea, external, and ocular surface diseases
– Neurological ophthalmology
What Additional Qualifications Does an Ophthalmologist Have?
Unlike other specialized concentrations of eye care, ophthalmologists have licenses to practice medicine and surgery. In order to obtain such a high level of certification, an ophthalmologist must complete: four years of college, four years of medical school, a one-year internship, and at least three years of medical residency in a hospital specifically working with diagnosing and treating (both medically and surgically) eye conditions.
The other types of eye care providers would have the following educational background: – Optometrists have a doctorate degree in Optometry, not in medicine. This means they can prescribe corrective lenses and perform exams as well as various screenings and prescriptions for certain eye diseases, but they cannot perform ocular surgery.
– An optician is someone who is trained to work with the design, verification, and fit of corrective lenses (both glasses and contacts). They do not write prescriptions or conduct eye exams. They are not licensed to diagnose any eye conditions.
The Right Choice for You
Vision problems only seem to progress once you have them. Choosing and setting an appointment with Oklahoma ophthalmology specialist will save you the hassle down the road of having to find a new physician who can help with all of your vision needs.