There has been a lot of confusion regarding the terms ophthalmologist, optometrist, and optician. Optometrist and optician could be used interchangeably, but an ophthalmologist is a bit different.
Opticians are not eye doctors and they cannot conduct eye exams. However, they are professionally trained when it comes to filling in prescriptions for eyeglasses and adjusting frames for proper fit. Some may even be licensed to fit contact lens for patients. Opticians usually work very closely with an optometrist or ophthalmologist at the same practice or some may even have their own practice.
Dr. Scott Lam at MPO Eyecare is an optometrist, a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.), someone whom you visit when you go in for an annual eye exam. Optometrists are medical professionals but are not physicians. Most optometrist goes through an additional clinical training after optometry school but mainly focuses on regular vision care and eyeglasses prescriptions. Some other services that they also provide would be treating nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. They can also diagnose eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, conjunctivitis, as well as prescribe medication for some eye conditions.
An ophthalmologist on the other hand is a physician who is a medical or osteopathic doctor who specializes in eye and vision care (Eye M.D.). Just like any other optometrist, an ophthalmologist can provide vision services such as eye exams and prescribe glasses. What pulls them apart from others is that they can medically treat your eye and deliver surgical eye care for concerns such as trauma, crossed eyes, cataracts, glaucoma, etc. Some even provide plastic surgery services for conditions like drooping eyelids and smoothing wrinkles around the eye.
Now that you have a clearer vision of each of the three O’s, be sure to get your eyes checked and make sure you are seeing the right eye care professional for your needs. If you have any questions regarding which eye care professional to visit, please feel free to call us at (626) 573-9336 and MPO Eyecare would be more than happy to assist you.