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Optician vs Optometrist vs Ophthalmologist: What's The Difference?

by Giri Bhardwaj


There are three kinds of people who help us with our eye care: ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. You might get confused about who these people are and what's the difference between them. However, you don't need to worry as, by the end of reading our blog, you will understand eye care optics and the difference between them. 

Choosing an eye care doctor is a significant health decision. It's an important decision as you will be trusting them to safeguard your sense of sight. They also help you maintain a good vision for the rest of your life. 

The first step of finding the right eye care specialists for you is to research them. Understanding the difference between an optician, optometrist, and ophthalmologist is also essential.

Who is an Optician?


An optician is responsible for providing you with the perfect eyeglasses. In addition, they run vision care centres where you can get eyeglasses and help you get comfortable with them. 

An optician isn't a doctor, and they don't conduct eye exams. Instead, they get a degree certificate or a diploma to become an optician. It is the job of an optician to fill out the eye doctor's prescription.

Besides all this, an optician has other responsibilities too. Some of which are: 

  • They check the patient's prescriptions for eyeglasses
  • An optician provides, adjusts, and repairs eyewear for the patients
  • It is their job to take facial measurements to make perfectly fitting eyecare

An optician ensures that you are most comfortable with your eyewear and have the relevant prescription for usage. In addition, they will help you decide which kind of lenses and frames will work the best for you. 

Who is an Optometrist?


An optometrist is a professional who provides patients with their primary vision care. In addition, they perform services like sight testing to correct the treatment and management of vision changes. 

Optometrists aren't medical doctors as they don't go to medical colleges. Instead, they complete a four-year course in an optometry school with three years of college and once completed, they receive an optometry degree. 

However, the services of an optometrist aren't limited to this. Here are some other things an optometrist takes care of: 

  • They give you eye exams and vision tests
  • It is the job of an optometrist to prescribe and fit glasses or contact lenses for you
  • They monitor medically related eye diseases in the patients

An optometrist will provide you with low-vision aids and vision therapy. Optometrists and ophthalmologists work together to give you the best eye care service. 

Who is an Ophthalmologist?

Who is an Ophthalmologist

An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in providing patients with eye care and vision care. They complete college and have up to eight years of medical training. Ophthalmologists have a license to practice and perform medicine and surgery. 

It is the job of an ophthalmologist to diagnose and treat problems related to the eyes. In addition, they treat eye diseases, perform surgeries, and prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses for you.  

Here are some things which an ophthalmologist does: 

  • They conduct vision services for the patients 
  • An ophthalmologist checks and provides eye care for medical conditions
  • It's their job to provide surgical eye care for patients suffering from trauma, cataracts, and other problems. 

Most ophthalmologists have the expertise to care for all your eye problems and conditions. However, many doctors specialize in specific eye care or surgical eye care areas. These doctors are known as subspecialists. 

Difference Between an Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, and Optician

Ophthalmologists and optometrists are both healthcare professionals. They both conduct eye tests and prescribe different eyeglasses when required for the patients. The main difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist is their medical background. 

An ophthalmologist spends several years studying in a medical school. They can even choose to subspecialize in a particular thing. However, an optometrist studies and receives a degree in optometry.

Another critical difference between the two is that ophthalmologists can conduct eye surgery for patients. If a patient has vision problems that require surgery, an ophthalmologist performs these surgeries. They give the patients pre-operative as well as post-operative care. 

Opticians play an integral role in ensuring that your eyes remain safe. They provide you the best assistance possible and offer you the best pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses for your prescription that suit you the best. They come into the picture once you’ve completed the preliminary diagnosis after visiting an ophthalmologist and an optometrist. So, if you’re on the lookout for the best sunglasses from a reliable source, book an eye test appointment with the Optica branch nearest to your home.