What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

By Francis Clark M.D. on August 01, 2016

WHAT IS AN OPTOMETRIST?

An optometrist is a health care professional that provides primary care for the eyes, they are considered your non-surgical eye doctor. To become an optometrist, one must complete four years of pre-professional undergraduate college education followed by four years of optometry school.  In optometry school, optometrists receive training on systemic disorders with emphasis on how they are correlated to the eyes. Optometrists must pass the board examination in order to become licensed.

The primary functions of an optometrist are to perform comprehensive eye examinations, (including the prescribing of glasses and contact lenses), as well as diagnosing, treating and managing many ocular diseases. Optometrists are licensed to prescribe both topical and oral medications to manage eye infections and glaucoma. When surgery is needed or treatment for certain retinal disorders, an optometrist will refer their patient to an ophthalmologist.


WHAT IS AN OPHTHALMOLOGIST?

An ophthalmologist completes medical school and a year of internship; every ophthalmologist spends a minimum of three years in a university medical center and hospital-based residency specializing in ophthalmology. During residency, the ophthalmologist receives special training in all aspects of eye care, including prevention, diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions and diseases.

Ophthalmologists are your surgical eye doctor. They have a knowledge of systemic diseases and their treatment and how they can affect the eyes. An Eye M.D. can deliver total eye care, including performing a complete eye examination, diagnosing and treating eye diseases, and performing surgery on the eyes and the area around the eye.


WHICH EYE DOCTOR SHOULD YOU VISIT?

At Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons, our optometrists’ and ophthalmologists’ work hand in hand to provide comprehensive eye care, treat eye diseases and provide post-surgical care. In most situations, patients will see an optometrist first and schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist only if medically necessary.  “All the doctors in our practice work closely together to provide the best quality, comprehensive eye care that we can to all of our patients” stated by Francis Clark, M.D.

To schedule an appointment at Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons, give us a call at one of our seven convenient locations in the greater Philadelphia area.

 

Our Optometrists’ at Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons:

MICHAEL J. SPONBERG, O.D.

 

LINDSEY BAROUH, O.D.

 

KEVIN CORCORAN, O.D.

 

KRISTIE DRASKOVIC, O.D.

 

GUY BRIGNOLA, O.D.


 


Our Ophthalmologists’ at Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons:

FRANCIS J. CLARK, M.D.

 

MARK C. MONTAG, M.D.

 

JON PEET, M.D.

 

STEVEN KANOFF, M.D.

To schedule an appointment at Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons, give us a call at one of our seven convenient locations in the greater Philadelphia area.

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Ste 300

Bethlehem, PA 18018

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Levittown, PA 19057

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Spring House, PA 19477

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Collegeville Eye Physicians and Surgeons

753 W Main St
Ste D
Trappe, PA 19426

Open Today 8:00am - 4:00pm

Blue Bell Office

1179 Dekalb Pike
2nd Fl
Blue Bell, PA 19422

Open Today 8:00am - 4:00pm

Spring House Office

909 Sumneytown Pike
Ste 201
Spring House, PA 19477

Open Today 8:00am - 4:00pm

Hatboro Office

331 N York Rd
Hatboro, PA 19040

Open Today 8:00am - 4:00pm

Bethlehem Office

65 E Elizabeth Ave
Ste 300
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Open Today 8:00am - 4:00pm

Levittown Office

1609 Woodbourne Rd
Ste 303
Levittown, PA 19057

Open Today 8:00am - 4:00pm