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What You Need to Know About Eye Doctors

June 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 230

Vision-care, while extremely important, often goes overlooked until there is a problem. While we should be heading to our local eye doctor regularly (about once every year, possibly two years), it doesn't always happen until we start to experience concerns with vision, soreness, etc. If this is the first time your eyes are starting to irritate you, or you're just shopping around, and you're getting ready to head to one of your local eye doctors, there are some things you should know. Medical professionals in the optical industry can actually be rather confusing. The main three eye-care specialists that you will likely come across are opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists. Enjoy this guide on the different kinds of eye-care specialists available, and what you need each one for.

Opticians One very common misconception about many vision-care medical professionals is exactly what opticians do. Opticians are not doctors; they do, however, play an extremely important role in the health of your vision! Opticians are the craftsperson for prescription eyeglasses. They take the prescriptions we receive from our eye doctors and with their expertise and knowledge of vision-care, produce the lenses to the exact optical needs we have. While they are not doctors, they are licensed in opticianry.

Optometrists Optometrists and opticians probably get confused the most. Optometrist is likely the person you most often see and they are your actual eye doctor; they will have an OD (Doctor of Optometry). They are the ones who will actually conduct the eye tests in order to determine your prescription needs. They can correct refractive errors with the prescription of glasses and contacts, as well as offer vision therapy and low vision care. Along with prescriptions for lenses, they can also prescribe other medications should you suffer from any eye diseases or serious problems. They are usually your primary eye-care physician.

Opthalmologists Ophthalmologists are usually medical doctors (with an MD), or osteopathic doctors (DO) that specialize in vision-care. These doctors usually treat more serious optical problems, such as diseases and eye surgeries. They too can perform eye exams, as well as prescribe any needed medications (and prescriptions for eyeglasses and contacts). One way of better understanding the difference between optometrists and ophthalmologists is looking at them much like the medical professionals of dentistry. An optometrist would compare more closely to a general dentist, while an ophthalmologist would be more similar to an oral surgeon.

Now that you know more about the optical-medical professionals you have available, you will be able to plan your next appointment a bit easier. Remember, you are more likely to receive your eyeglasses prescription from your local optometrist or ophthalmologist, while your actual prescription glasses will be coming from an optician. Buying glasses online is a very common, new way to obtain vision-care without spending so much money. This is made possible by receiving your prescription details from your local eye doctor, and then allowing the optician that works for the online eyeglasses company to produce the lenses. No matter where you're getting your specs, don't be afraid to ask the important questions, and be better informed on what you need to know about your eyes!

Elea Kalin is a fashion stylist - turned optical specialist. Her focus is on accessories and statement pieces - like prescription eyeglasses. She is currently working for GlassesUSA.com - the easiest way to buy glasses online, which now offers free shipping all over the US, with the code FreeShip10.

Source: EzineArticles
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