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You Have to Know The Difference of Ophthalmologist, Optometrist and Optician

There are three types of eye health professionals, namely an ophthalmologist, optometrist and optician. 

If you want to have your eye health checked, be sure to consult the right eye specialist that suits your examination needs. 

An ophthalmologist, optometrist and optician each play an important role in a person's eye health. 

These three professions look similar, but are actually different based on the licenses, qualification levels and training they have received. 

The following are the differences between an ophthalmologist, optometrist and optician.

The ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in eye and eyesight care. 

Based on their level of training and what they can diagnose or treat, ophthalmologists differ from optometrists and opticians.

To become an ophthalmologist, a person must complete medical studies and then continue with additional medical training (residency) in ophthalmology that can last from three to four years. 

Ophthalmologist we generally know as an ophthalmologist.

Ophthalmologists are allowed to practice medicine and surgery. 

An ophthalmologist is able to diagnose and treat all kinds of eye diseases or ailments, perform surgery and prescribe glasses or contact lenses to correct a person's vision problems. 

Ophthalmologists are also heavily involved in scientific research into the causes and cure of eye diseases or disorders.

Some of the authorities of an ophthalmologist, namely:
  • Take an eye exam
  • Perform eye care - such as for glaucoma, irritation and chemical burns
  • Perform eye surgery - for example for trauma / accidents, strabismus, cataracts, glaucoma and other eye problems
  • Diagnose and treat eye diseases related to other diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis
  • Perform plastic surgery - such as to stretch eyelids or correct wrinkles.

Although ophthalmologists are equipped to treat all eye health problems and conditions, some ophthalmologists continue special training or education in certain areas of medical or surgical eye care. 

They are called subspecialists. Its training varies from one to two years in major areas of subspecialty, such as glaucoma, retina, cornea, pediatrics, neurology and plastic surgery, among others.

An optometrist is an ophthalmologist, but not a medical ophthalmologist. 

Optometrists earn their degree as optometrists after completing about four years of study at an optometry college with two previous years of pre-vocational education (bachelor's degree). 

In optometry schools, students receive education about the eyes, but do not receive a comprehensive education about the whole body and the processes of systemic diseases. 

Optometrists are authorized to practice optometry. Some of the duties of an optometrist include:
  • Take an eye exam
  • Treat eye conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism
  • Prescribe glasses or contact lenses
  • Offer visual therapy or visual aids
  • Diagnosis of eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and conjunctivitis
  • Prescribing medications for certain eye conditions / conditions
  • Participate in pre- or post-surgery for patients who require surgery.

An optometrist and an ophthalmologist can work together to treat a person's eye problems.

Several optometrists also perform additional postgraduate residency in optometry subspecialties, such as low vision rehabilitation, primary eye care, geriatric optometry, pediatric optometry, family eye care, contact lenses, sports vision, or visual therapy.


An optician or optician is a trained technician who is given the authority to design, check, and adjust the lenses or frames of glasses, contact lenses, and other devices to improve a person's vision. 

An optician works on the basis of a prescription from an ophthalmologist or optometrist, but does not test vision or prescribe to improve vision. 

Opticians are not allowed to diagnose or treat eye diseases. 

The duration of education for an optician is between 1-3 years. Opticians are better known as opticians.

Some of the duties of an optician include:
  • Evaluate the prescription of the lens from an ophthalmologist or optometrist
  • Provide, remove and repair glasses and contact lenses
  • Helps determine the most appropriate / best type of goal and framework
  • Order and store products such as glasses and contact lenses
  • Choose an eye specialist doctor.
Maintain eye health

Without healthy eyesight, our ability to work, play, school, or even recognize faces will be severely affected. 

Many factors can affect vision, including those caused by other diseases or conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. 

If there are other family members who have certain eye diseases, then you also have a high risk of experiencing them.

Here are some of the symptoms or risk factors for eye diseases. If you have any of these, consult an ophthalmologist immediately. 

A correct and correct eye health check by an ophthalmologist can be the first step to save your eyesight. These symptoms or risk factors include:
  • One or both eyeballs come out
  • There is a closed view that blocks the veil
  • The vision decreases, although it is temporary
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Distorted view (observing objects / straight lines become wavy)
  • Double vision
  • Excessively watery eyes
  • Eyelid abnormalities
  • Family history of eye diseases
  • Seeing haloes or rainbows (such as seeing a rainbow around a light bulb)
  • High blood pressure
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Eye injury
  • Peripheral vision loss (lateral / lateral)
  • Both eyeballs are not parallel (such as strabismus)
  • You see flashes of light or dark spots
  • Eye pain
  • Thyroid disease - associated eye problems (Graves' disease)
  • Unusual red eyes.
Often, eye diseases have no symptoms at first and are difficult to detect. 

Therefore, meet your eye health professional at the right time to check your eye health. 

That's why it's so important to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist when you're 40 years old. 

The next examination interval depends on the ophthalmologist.

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