Ophthalmologist (Eye Doctor)?
An ophthalmologist –is a medical or osteopathic doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are specially trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to complex and delicate eye surgery. Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research into the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision problems.
How is an ophthalmologist different from an optometrist and an optician?
Ophthalmologists are different from optometrists and opticians in their training and in what they can diagnose and treat. As a medical doctor, an ophthalmologist is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, performs eye surgery and prescribes and fits eyeglasses and contact lenses.
While all ophthalmologists specialize in eye problems and can treat all conditions, some decide to specialize in a specific area of medical or surgical eye care. This person is called a subspecialist. He or she usually completes a fellowship, which is one or two more years of additional training in the chosen area. Common areas of subspecialty include glaucoma, retina, cornea, pediatrics and plastic surgery.
When should I see an ophthalmologist?
You should have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist if you have any of these signs or risk factors for eye disease:
• decreased vision, even if temporary;
• distorted vision;
• new floaters (black “strings” or specks in
the vision) and/or flashes of light;
• a curtain or veil blocking vision;
• haloes (colored circles around lights);
• an eye injury or eye pain;
• red eye;
• bulging of one or both eyes;
• misaligned eyes;
• double vision;
• loss of peripheral (side) vision;
• high blood pressure
• diabetes mellitus;
• thyroid disease-related eye problems
• a family history of eye disease;
• excess tearing;
• eyelid abnormalities;