Optometrists, ophthalmologists and dermatologists all play an important part in providing affordable eye care to many consumers throughout the nation. However, the degrees of experience and training for each kind of provider are very different. Here is a short look at the top three kinds of eye care providers:
An ophthalmologist is a doctor that takes care of eyeglasses and contact lenses as well as performing examinations and helping diagnose eye diseases. There are a few colleges that provide accredited ophthalmology programs in the United States. Some of these programs are two-year programs, while others are four-year programs. Upon completion of an ophthalmology program, the students become eligible to take the NCLEX-PT test that measures students’ knowledge and ability to provide eye care. Some ophthalmologists work on a part time basis for family practices or privately for other healthcare providers, depending upon their schedule and location. They may choose to become full-time ophthalmologists or prescribe eye wear for indigestion or other conditions as independent consultants.
Optometrist are doctors who specialize in treating eye diseases. They are trained to diagnose and treat eye disorders. In some areas, optometrist is also referred to as optometrist specialists which is what the majority of people call them. These doctors treat eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Many optometrist offices provide free vision screenings and examinations to all ages and provide information about eye care in general.
A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the skin and the eyes. They can diagnose and treat common skin conditions such as acne, eczema and warts. The most popular eye care issue that they deal with is cataracts. Cataract patients can go to an optometrist for cataract surgery if the need arises. Sometimes a patient will need both ophthalmology and dermatology to solve problems related to their eye condition.
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in corrective lenses, eyeglasses and similar eye care issues. They are trained to help treat various eye diseases that include eye fatigue, blurred vision and headaches. Some common eye care issues that these doctors deal with include myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism. Some of these ophthalmologists also perform certain eye surgeries such as laser eye removal and corrective lenses.
Vision care is important to everyone. Having regular eye exams and seeing your eye doctor regularly will allow you to monitor your vision and keep any eye diseases at bay. Remember that even if you do not have any serious eye care problem now, it is always better to be safe than sorry. See your eye doctor for routine eye exams and get your vision checked when you need it the most.