Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, and Opticians
Optometrist/Doctor of Optometry (OD)
An optometrist, or Doctor of Optometry (OD), is the primary health care professional for the eye. Through comprehensive eye exams, optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. Optometrists prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision disorders.
An optometrist has completed pre-professional undergraduate education in a college or university and four years of professional education at a college of optometry, leading to the doctor of optometry (OD) degree. Some optometrists complete an optional residency in a specific area of practice. Optometrists are eye health care professionals state-licensed to diagnose and treat diseases and disorders of the eye and visual system.
An ophthalmologist is a medical or osteopathic doctor (MD) who specializes in eye and vision care. This type of medical doctor has completed college, four years of medical school, and a two year residency program relating to the diagnosis and treatment, including surgery, of eye diseases.
Ophthalmologists are licensed to practice medicine and surgery and diagnose and treat all eye diseases. An ophthalmologist may also prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems.
An optician is a technician trained to design and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight according to prescriptions supplied by optometrists and ophthalmologists. Opticians assist optometrists and ophthalmologists with certain portions of a comprehensive eye exam, but do not test vision or write prescriptions for visual correction. Opticians are not permitted to diagnose or treat eye diseases. Education consists of trade school with certification.
Public Resource Links:
The Ohio Optometric Foundation is committed to improving the vision and eye health of children and other Ohioans in visual need by providing access to necessary eye care. A not-for-profit Ohio charitable corporation chartered in the state of Ohio, its purpose is to accept and administer charitable donations to improve the visual health and welfare of Ohio's citizens.
The American Optometric Association offers extensive information relating to the eyes and vision health.
Think About Your Eyes is a public awareness campaign focused on the importance of vision. The website includes resources for patients and a doctor locator tool.
Optometry Cares—American Optometric Foundation Charitable Resources
The AOA Foundation is committed to its mission – expanding eye health and vision care access to everyone in the U.S. in order to enhance human performance and quality of life.
Comprehensive infant eye exams between 6 and 12 months of age as a no-cost public service.
Vision Simulator Cards "simulate" what it may look like to have common vision disorders and diseases.