Opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists all provide eye care services. Optometrists and ophthalmologists examine eyes and prescribe vision correcting lenses; opticians manufacture and dispense corrective lenses.
The following descriptions may aid you in selecting the eye care professional to meet your personal needs.
An optician makes, verifies and delivers lenses, frames and other specially fabricated optical devices and/or contact lenses upon prescription (from an optometrist or ophthalmologist) to the intended wearer. The optician's functions include prescription analysis and interpretation; determination of the lens forms best suited to the wearers needs; the preparation and delivery of work orders for the grinding of lenses and the fabrication of eye wear, the verification of the finished ophthalmic products; and the adjustment, replacement, repair and reproduction of previously prepared ophthalmic lenses, frames and other specially fabricated ophthalmic devices.
OPTOMETRIST / OPTOMETRIC PHYSICIAN
An optometrist is the doctor of choice for routine eye health and vision examinations. An optometrist may work with corneal specialists, retinal specialists, glaucoma specialists and oculoplastic surgeons.
Doctors of optometry – optometric physicians – are independent primary health care providers who specialize in the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and disorders of the eye and associated structures as well as the diagnosis of related systemic conditions. Optometric Physicians prescribe and treat glaucoma, eye infections and eye inflammations. They fit and dispense glasses and contact lenses, thus providing total eye health and vision care for all ages. Optometric physicians do not perform surgery.
An ophthalmologist has the degree Doctor of Ophthalmology (M.D.) and is a primary and secondary, medical/surgical eye care provider treating diseases of the eye. Ophthalmologists may also perform intricate surgical procedures including cataracts removal and lens implant, corneal transplant, glaucoma surgery and various laser procedures.
Regular visits to the optician are recommended in order to detect early signs of visual impairment.
Since iritis is an inflammation inside the eye, the condition is potentially sight-threatening. Proper diagnosis and prompt treatment of iritis are essential. To minimize any loss of vision and avoid blindness, the patient should have a complete eye examination as soon as symptoms occur. A slit lamp, which illuminates and magnifies the structures of the eye, is commonly used to detect any signs of inflammation.
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