Meet the 3 Os of the eye care team

Optician, Optometrist and Ophthalmologist

Each of the 3 Os of the eye care team plays a critical role in delivering quality eye care. But do you know who is responsible for what? Keep scrolling to explore a virtual visit with each of these eye care professionals below.

The Optician
Let’s start with the first O of the eye care team: the optician. An optician is a licensed health care professional who owns or works in a store that sells eyewear.

Opticians have completed post-secondary education, have gone through a period of practice experience with a licensed optician and passed an exam before they received their own license…

A visit to an optician might be in order if you are looking for eyeglasses or corrective lenses, and you have a prescription for eyewear.

The Optometrist
An optometrist is a licensed health care professional who can perform eye exams, write prescriptions for glasses, contact lenses, some medications, and diagnose and treat some eye diseases.

Following an undergraduate degree, an optometrist completes 4-5 years of training at a School of Optometry before they obtain their professional designation as a Doctor of Optometry.

An optometrist is often the first eye care professional you’ll encounter when you have an issue with your eyes or your vision. Even if you don’t have any immediate issues with your eyes, it’s still a good idea to have regular eye examinations with your optometrist or ophthalmologist.

The Ophthalmologist (say “OFF-thuh-MALL-oh-gist”)
The last O of the eye care team is the ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist, also called an eye MD, is a medical doctor who has had specialized training in the management of eye disease.

Following a 4-year undergraduate degree, an ophthalmologist spends 4-5 years in medical school to become a physician, then an additional 5 years of specialized training to become an ophthalmologist. Those who subspecialize in a specific area of eye disease take an additional 1-3 years of training beyond this.

Ophthalmologists can diagnose, treat and prevent serious eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

On top of being medical specialists, ophthalmologists are also highly trained surgeons who perform a range of procedures like corneal transplantation and repairing damaged retinas using a variety of specialized tools from lasers to microsurgical devices.




So, there you have it. The 3 Os of the eye care team – each with very specific roles in eye care, but all dedicated to ensuring the best eye care possible!

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