Ophthalmology Vs. Optometry

Difference Between Ophthalmology And Optometry

As far as the terms Optometry and Ophthalmologist are concerned there are a lot of confusions among the people. It is true that both are concerned with troubles with the eyes; there are other factors as well which make them different. The first and foremost reason of the confusion is that while a lot of people think that the optometrists are eye doctors, they do not have a medical degree. However the ophthalmologists possess a medical degree.
The Doctor of Optometry degree is indeed awarded to the optometrists but this only allows them to practice optometry. These people are not allowed to practice medicine. The practice of optometry includes eye examination and the supply and prescription of proper lenses and the non surgical cure of a few diseases like cataract. The practice of optometry varies from place to place and someplace allows the use of more pharmaceutical substances than other.
However the domain of an ophthalmologist is much broader. An ophthalmologist is a full blown medical doctor whose specialization ranges from analysis as well as the surgical treatment of all the optical diseases and problems.
As far as the training of the two are concerned there is a big difference as well. Generally an optometrist undergoes a training that lasts a period of seven years in an optometric college. On the other hand an ophthalmologist undergoes a minimum training that lasts for a period of 12 years that includes four years where they study in college, another four years of medical college and at least one year of medical and surgical training. After that they have to spend three years in a resident eye program generally in a hospital. After all these training there is at least one year of subspecialty fellowship program that the person has to undertake.
Apart from the analysis of refractive inaccuracies, the optometrists do not have much experience in the treatment of major eye diseases. However an ophthalmologist has an extensive and complete medical knowledge and also a lot of clinical and surgical training that is related to their concerned field. He generally is endowed with a lot of experience in handling the toughest and the most critical of eye problems.
As far as optometrists are concerned they will seek all the other forms of treatment at first unlike the ophthalmologist who will suggest major surgeries at the first go. Thus we can see that unless you have a big and critical problem, you can seek an optometrist who will be a pocket friendly option.

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  • Sillowine Sanderson

    Very insightful and educative article, thanks! Where can I find more info on finding an optometrist in Edmonton? Im in dire need of a checkup, my glasses broke!