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Optometry is a vast field. There are lots of choices for most patients as well as a wide range eye care of providers. People are often confused about the differences in these providers. Optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians are some of the different terms you may have heard, and they are often used interchangeably. This can be pretty confusing for most people.
With so much confusing information, how do you understand and choose the best options for eye care? Before you make any choices, you must understand the features, benefits, and differences between optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians. Understanding these different optometry roles will help you understand the options you have for an optometrist Brentwood, NY.
An optometrist is typically what most patients think of when they think about an “eye doctor.” They are the primary care providers in optometry, and their focus is on providing regular, routine eye care. While these eye doctors are not medical doctors, they have a doctor of optometry (O.D.) degree, requiring four years of specialized training and advanced education.
Since they provide eye care to a wide range of patients, their jobs include a wide range of tasks. Brentwood optometrists perform eye exams and prescribe eyeglasses or contacts as needed. They also provide eye therapy when it is necessary. These eye doctors can treat a wide variety of eye conditions.
An optometrist doesn’t just help those individuals with eye or vision problems. Everyone in Suffolk should see an optometrist as a part of their routine health care because optometrists also work to ensure that healthy eyes stay healthy.
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that specializes in the eyes, meaning they went to med school and completed an internship/residency. It also means they have a medical license, just like any other doctor in Suffolk County.
So what makes an ophthalmologist different from an optometrist? They not only do all of the things that your optometrist can do (including general vision services, eye exams, and diagnosing eye conditions), but they can also provide medical care for more complex conditions (glaucoma, cataracts, etc.). Many ophthalmologists can provide surgical eye care for those conditions and are often trained to treat eye emergencies. Finally, they can also identify, diagnose, and treat other diseases like diabetes when they impact the eyes.
An ophthalmologist can serve as your primary eye doctor; however, they are not the first line of care for most people. Many individuals will first see an optometrist to handle their routine care and they only see an ophthalmologist if that optometrist discovers something that needs more in-depth medical attention. Other times a primary care doctor might refer you to an ophthalmologist if they suspect a medical concern with your eyes.
Like other doctors, ophthalmologists often specialize, so they don’t all offer the same services. Your optometrist will typically be the best place to start if you think you need an ophthalmologist because they can refer you to one that is familiar with your specific needs.
The third type of eye care provider is an optician. These providers are not typically eye doctors. Instead, they are trained to fill your eye prescription after your exam with either the optometrist or ophthalmologist. Typically they have 1-2 years of professional training before they begin serving patients. Often they work directly with a local eye doctor in Brentwood, NY as part of a team.
Many offices in Long Island include both an optometrist and optician in the same space, however, independent optical shops do exist. Also, any optician can fill a prescription from any eye doctor even if they typically work with a specific doctor.
Since in Suffolk, an optician’s job is to fill your prescription for glasses or contact lenses, their goal is to help you find the best possible fit. There are several options to consider when filling your prescription, and an optician guides you through each of those options so your glasses or contacts work the best they possibly can. First, they check to make sure that your prescription is accurate. Next, if you are ordering glasses, an optician will measure your face to ensure that the frames fit properly and match you with the best types of lenses for your eyes and your needs. Finally, they order your products and make sure that those orders are filled accurately. They also help keep your glasses in proper working order by providing adjustments and repairs as needed.
Anytime you search for a new eye care provider in New York, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all of the options. There are many providers in Brentwood, NY. Don’t let the optometry terminology make the decision process more difficult. These different types of providers do not necessarily compete with one another. Instead, they are all professionals who work together as a team. Everyone working in optometry realizes that the patient is the most important part of that team.
Our team’s goal at North Shore Advanced Eye Care is to provide you with the high-quality care you need to protect your vision and your eyes. If you would like to join our team or need some help getting started, visit https://www.nsaec.com or contact us at 631-642-2020 today!