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What do optometrists do?

So the million dollar question is...

What's the difference between an optician, an optometrist, and an ophthalmologist?

This has been confusing people for many years and Insight would love to clear up the confusion.

OPTICIANS specialize in frames and lenses. They help you select a frame that best fits your facial features and prescription needs. They explain your lens options and tailor them to fit your work and lifestyle needs. Opticians take precise measurements to ensure your glasses are custom fitted to your head and face in order to get the clearest and most comfortable vision. This is especially important in fitting multifocal lenses like progressives. They repair broken frames and replace lenses and hardware. They verify that your lenses have been made to national standards insofar as prescription accuracy. Opticians also troubleshoot problems you may have with your glasses. The careful attention that opticians pay to all these aspects of selecting, fitting, verifying, and customizing your prescription eye wear is crucial to ensure clear and comfortable vision.


OPHTHALMOLOGISTS specialize in surgery and certain treatments of advanced ocular diseases. Some examples include injections of medicine into the eye, ocular implants, and surgically altering the muscles surrounding the eye. They also perform cataract surgery and comprehensive eye care. Many ophthalmologists specialize in a particular part of the eye. For example, if you had a retinal disease, you would go see a retina specialist.

OPTOMETRISTS specialize in glasses and contact lens prescriptions. Optometrists also treat and manage eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. They have expertise in treating eye posture, eye teaming, and eye focusing problems. Optometrists are primary care providers which means they are the gate keepers of your eye health needs. What does primary care provider mean? To explain using a general example: if your hand hurts, what do you do first? Do you schedule an appointment with a hand surgeon? Of course not. You would see your family doctor or primary care physician first to determine the cause of the pain. They would then refer you to the hand specialist if necessary. Similarly, your optometrist is your first stop for all general eye needs. They provide annual eye exams, contact lens evaluations, and address red eyes, allergies, and vision problems. They give diabetic eye exams, treat eye teaming problems, treat dry eye syndrome and many other eye conditions.


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