What is the difference between an Optometrist and Ophthalmologist?
Traditionally, Optometrists were trained to diagnose and treat vision conditions like farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism, as well as fit and prescribe contact lenses and prescription eyeglass lenses. Today’s Optometrist’s like Dr. Peck and Dr. Nguyen are trained in Disease Diagnosis & Treatment. They receive rigorous and comprehensive training in not just optics and refractions, but also the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease, as well as other systemic conditions that can effect vision and eye health.
Although Optometrists are not M.D.s, most current Optometrists can prescribe certain medications, as well as diagnose and treat a broad-range of medical conditions that impact the eye, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, retinal disease and ocular disorders associated with diabetes and high blood pressure. In fact, it’s not unusual for a skilled optometrist to be the first health care professional to spot developing conditions like diabetes and cancer during routine eye exams.
Unlike Ophthalmologist’s, optometrists are not licensed to perform surgical procedures. Optometrists refer recommended surgical procedures to an Ophthalmologist. However, Optometrists are trained to do many of the pre-op and post-op exams.