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The "O's" in Eye Care


OPHTHALMOLOGIST:

A physician having an M.D. degree with advanced training in the care of medical and surgical diseases of the eye and related structures. (S)he has had four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of internship, and 3 - 5 years of surgical residency in the field of ophthalmology. An ophthalmologist is qualified to perform comprehensive surgical and medical treatment of all diseases and conditions of the eye, including the dispensing of glasses and contact lenses.

OPTOMETRIST:

Trained to perform routine eye exams and to correct visual disorders by prescribing and dispensing corrective aids. In some states such as North Carolina, optometrists can prescribe medications. Optometrists do not perform surgery.

OPTICIAN:

An allied health technician with the proper training and proficiency to competently and accurately translate the written prescription into proper eyewear. They have training in grinding and polishing lenses and they fabricate eyewear by assembly of the various components. They cannot do eye exams nor can they prescribe corrective lenses.

OCULIST:

Another term for ophthalmologist.

OCULARIST:

A highly skilled individual that designs and fits prosthetic (artificial) eyes. They are not physicians, and they do not provide medical or surgical care.

ORTHOPTIST:

A trained individual in the science of eye movement, binocular vision, and related disorders of the eyes. They evaluate and assist in the treatment of imbalance in and disorders of binocular vision. They use non-surgical means such as glasses, prosms, patches, and exercises to help both eyes coordinate as a unit and to help misalignment. They generally work with an ophthalmologist.


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