In general, people can pick from two primary specialists in eyes, that is ophthalmologists and optometrists. These two types of practitioners undergo similar training only that the training for ophthalmologists is much deeper and comprehensive. However, both practitioners can treat, prevent, and diagnose several kinds of illnesses affecting the eyes with a high degree of efficiency.
Optometrists treat certain diseases and prescribe medications, but they cannot perform eye surgery because they are not qualified to do so. Optometrists complete four years of medicine school in Optometry and may take part in programs that allow them to specialize in certain diseases of the eyes. On the other hand, ophthalmologists are qualified to treat all diseases and perform surgery. In addition to spending four years in medicine school, ophthalmologists complete another four years in a residency program.
Although it is not a requirement, some ophthalmologists go through further training to have specialization in specific subspecialties of ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists are well trained in dealing with all diseases, disorders, and defects which affect human eyes. Some get employed in public or private facilities to do research on the best methods of treating certain diseases.
Some people find it hard to choose between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist. In general, for general eye exams or other consultations, either of the practitioners can work just fine. If one is unaware of the problem their eyes have, they should consult an optometrist. Most diseases can be diagnosed sufficiently by optometrists. Ophthalmologist should be sought only if a diagnosis cannot be made by the optometrist.
Another situation under which it is advisable to seek the help of an ophthalmologist is when one has an ongoing condition such as cataracts. These specialists are highly specialized in treating any condition using surgical and non-surgical methods. People with problems that require fitting of eyeglasses and contact lenses should see optometrists. They can give all necessary information concerning contact lenses and eyeglasses.
Whichever specialist one decides to go for, they must ensure that they are well qualified. They must be licensed and properly documented to work in the state they are practicing in. One should request to see a license as well as other relevant documents. It is best to ask for referrals from friends, workmates, and family members before settling on a specific practitioner.
Different rates are charged by different practitioners. Rates charged depend on various factors including experience, location, and qualifications. It is best to compare prices among various service providers before settling for a certain practitioner.
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