Differences Between Optometrists and Ophthalmologists

Posted by administration on October 3, 2013

Many people think all eye doctors the same. They use the terms Optometrist and Ophthalmologist interchangeably. The truth is that these are two very different types of eye care professionals.


Optometrists have earned a Doctor of Optometry Degree (OD). Optometrists have completed a four-year Bachelor’s Degree, plus four years of post-graduate professional training in optometry school. Their main focus is to provide primary eye care, including vision checks, eye disease diagnosis and overall eye health review. They prescribe corrective lenses to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, and they can prescribe some medications. Optometrists often work closely with ophthalmologists to provide pre- and post-op care for eye surgery patients.


Ophthalmologists are Medical Doctors (MDs) or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) who have achieved a Bachelor’s Degree, four years of medical school encompassing care for the whole body, internships, at least three years of hospital-based residency and additional years of training in eye disease treatment and eye surgery. Ophthalmologists diagnose and treat eye diseases, perform eye surgery, perform eye exams and write prescriptions for medications or corrective lenses.

Certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration, are managed and corrected by ophthalmologists. Eye surgeries such as LASIK or Cataract Surgery and Intraocular Lens (IOL) implants should only be done by an eye surgeon who is highly experienced and using the latest technologies.

Frequent eye exams, even if you aren’t experiencing any vision problems, can provide early detection – and treatment – of developing issues.

Visit the website of ophthalmologists Dr. Write and Dr. Fromm at Great Plains Eye Specialiststo schedule a Vision Consultation in Rapid City. Visit https://wrightvisioncenter.com or call 877-576-0202 today. 


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