Optometry: The Entry Point to Eye Care
Eye care is confusing because of the 3 O’s - the optician, the optometrist, and the ophthalmologist. It’s easy to get them all jumbled up. My wife and I are optometrists, which means we went to a 4-year doctorate program after undergraduate studies. When explaining the differences, I like to over-simply the roles of the 3 O’s: opticians can only make glasses, ophthalmologists like to do surgeries, and optometry bridges the two spheres, serving as the main entry point into eye care.
If you are having problems with your eyes or your vision you may not be sure where to start. Is it a vision problem? An issue with my glasses? Do I need a new prescription or is something going on with eye health? Is it a medical issue with my eyes? As optometrists, we are perfectly positioned to be the starting point for your quest to solve your problem.
If you simply need an prescription change in your glasses, we can take care of that easily. If the blurry vision you suffer from is actually due to something going on with the health of your eye (for example: cataracts), we will diagnose the problem, educate you on treatment necessary (i.e. cataract surgery), and then guide you to an ophthalmologist in the area we know and trust who is very good at what they do. Other times, it’s an eye problem that we can treat right there in our offices. We often treat patients who suffer from ocular allergies, dry eyes, and various types of eye infections. Many times, we can catch an underlying, undiagnosed medical condition just by examining the inside of your eyes. Diabetes, high blood pressure, impending stroke/heart issues, autoimmune diseases, and neurological conditions all can leave warning red flags in our eyes. And as eye care professionals who routinely monitor your eye health year after year, we are often the first ones to notice.
So as optometrists, we can handle a lot of your eye problems- and if we can’t, we know the specialists in the area who can. And since we have the co-working relationships with them, we can get you into their offices and seen in a timely manner.
So the next time you need eye care, you can’t go wrong with starting with an optometrist that you trust to guide you through the world of eye care.