Finding the Right Doctor for your Eye Problems

There are a lot of health care professionals that are trained to take care of your eyes. In this article, we will take a closer look at the three major types of eye specialists that you can find in your community. It will help you choose the right health care professional for your eye needs.


These professionals are licensed physicians who are allowed to diagnose and treat different kinds of ocular conditions. They can also do eye checkups and can prescribe you with vision corrections. With four years in post-graduate training in optometry or the equivalent of the undergraduate program for a medical degree, they are called “doctors of optometry.”

These professionals like an optometrist in Bonita Springs FL, are held to the same standards as other doctors of medicines, including passing a national board exam, as well as receive continuing education to make sure that they stay current in their practice.

These professionals are allowed to practice or perform eye examinations like the kind required to diagnose serious eye problem, including macular degeneration and glaucoma, in every state in the country. They can also prescribe topical drugs like eye drops and ointments, as well as injectable medications. In some states, Optometrists are allowed to prescribe oral medications like antibiotics, antiviral, pain medications, and even oral steroids, for different optic conditions.

Optometrists can also be trained in surgical operations for things like foreign body removal, lacrimal (or tear duct) and eyelid diseases, corneal injury, elimination of skin folds and other forms of surface lesions around the optic area. Every State differ as to what procedures Optometrists can perform.

In some states, they are licensed to perform any types of laser surgeries after they finished their optometry degree, some of them complete one or two-year residency in specialized areas like ocular diseases, geriatric eye care or Neuro-optometry. It equips them to care for any visual conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma.


Opticians are not a doctor or physician, but a professional who is trained to fit, dispense and design devices to correct the eyesight, including contact lenses, glasses, ophthalmic prosthetics and low vision aids. They practice in different settings like medical offices, optical care centers, hospitals, as well as retail stores.

Their training differs from other related professions and may consist of a two-year degree, a four-year degree or on-the-job training. In the United States alone, opticians who are registered with SAO or the Society of Advance Opticianry, a national accreditation agency, have a four-year college program in optical science, as well as advanced certification and state licenses in dispensing and fitting contact lenses and eyewear.

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In general, these professionals are not trained to treat or diagnose eye diseases. But they are appropriately trained in fitting your eyewear, or vision aids to help correct your vision after vision loss or vision problems have been diagnosed.


These professionals are licensed physicians or doctors who received the most significant amount of training on the physiology, anatomy and different diseases of the eye. They undergo specialized training to help them accurately diagnose and treat different optic disorders. Not only that, aside from their four-year degree in medicine, they also need to complete a four-year residency program that focuses on medical and surgical Ophthalmology.

That is why they had 12 years of college and post-graduate training under their belt, compared to the usual eight-years optometrist training and four-year optician training. These professionals can be medical doctors (MDs) or MDs or can be doctors of osteopathy (DOs). But regardless of their titles, Ophthalmology training will be the same.

Similarly, Ophthalmologists need to be board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, as well as the American Board of Ophthalmology. In addition to that, they also need to pass a state-licensure examination and they are required to keep updated with continuing medical education.

As both specialists in medical and surgical Ophthalmology, they are trained to perform any types of ocular operations. But not all ophthalmologists do surgeries in their practice; also, not all ophthalmologists are trained to do laser surgery.

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Why is it important to choose the right optical doctor?

A lot of people have problems with their visions and have it checked by a professional on a regular basis. And as people age, most of them start wearing contact lenses or corrective eyeglasses and have their prescriptions adjusted. The bad news is, only a few people have their visions checked for any presence of vision-robbing diseases like glaucoma or macular degeneration.

Because of this, both disorders are considered as the leading cause of blindness and vision loss among older people. That is why it is very important to choose the right optical doctors since, not every professional in this industry knows or allowed to diagnose or treat different types of ocular diseases.