The Difference Between an Optician and an Optometrist

The average person may not understand some terms used in the medical profession. Hence, defining them is essential to help patients seek help and make the appropriate decisions whenever they need medical help. 

The eyes are a sensitive part of the body. However, determining whether to see an optician or optometrist can be confusing. Read on to help you make informed decisions when seeking eye care help.


Who Is an Optician?

An optician is a professional with the training and license to design and fit devices like contact lenses and eyeglasses for vision correction. 


Who Is an Optometrist?

An optometrist is an eye specialist with the training and license to offer primary vision care. Their main task entails detecting changes in your eyes and giving you solutions.


What Is the Difference Between an Optician and an Optometrist?

The job description of an optometrist differs from an optician. Optometrists test, diagnose and treat eye and vision problems, while opticians design and fit devices to help correct vision problems. An optometrist can treat defects, injuries, or diseases that affect your eyes or sight. They can also write prescriptions. However, opticians cannot.

Education is a primary factor that distinguishes opticians and optometrists. They are all medical doctors. However, optometrists undergo a demanding program that formally trains them in eye care and vision. They also must go to optometry school for four years to get a Doctor of Optometry degree. They must go to college for three years to get a license before they start practicing.

Opticians may have formal training or not. Most get on-the-job training and start working as assistants under an apprenticeship program. Later, the National Contact Lens Examiners board and the American Board of Optometry give an exam for licensing for practicing as opticians. Some community colleges or institutions in some states accredited in offering associate degrees in optometry offer formal training that lasts for two years to individuals who want to be opticians.


Which Eye Doctor Is Ideal to Treat Your Eyes?

The best eye doctor for treating your eyes depends on your condition. Your eye problems will require an expert who specializes in dealing with them. Optometrists are ideal for eye issues like dryness, irritation, pain, or blurry vision. They can help with examining your eyes and giving you a prescription. They also conduct vision therapy and tests.

Your optometrist in Norwood will help monitor eye conditions caused by systemic health conditions like diabetes. They manage eye health conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, and iritis. They prescribe topical and oral medications to help treat your eye disease.

Your optician can help with issues like frame fitting to check and ensure you get the right fit for your face. They help repair eyeglass frames and select eyeglasses and sunglasses and their lenses. They also review the prescription accuracy of your eyeglasses.


When to See an Eye Doctor

It is vital never to skip your annual visits to the optometrist. Eye exams are ideal for everyone, even if you have no problems with your vision. They help catch eye problems before you start showing symptoms. Your eye doctor in Norwood can also detect issues such as diabetes early enough to mitigate further damage to your vision and eye health.

For more about opticians and optometrists, visit Norwood Family Eye Care at our office in Bartlett, Tennessee. Call 901-617-8095 to book an appointment today.

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