The Difference Between an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, and Optician

You check your calendar and realize it’s time to see an eye doctor. Setting up the eye appointment is the easy part but knowing what type of eye care professional you may need can be confusing. To help clear the confusion, we’re breaking down the difference between an optometrist, ophthalmologist, and optician.

 

1. What is an optometrist?

An optometrist is typically the most common point for comprehensive vision and eye care. That includes the refraction and dispensing aspect of your care, which many think of as “getting glasses.” Optometrists can also play a key role in the detection and management of certain diseases in the eye, such as diabetes and macular degeneration. Finally, these eye doctors also rehabilitate certain conditions, like lazy eye.

Tram Ho, OD, is a board-certified optometrist on the team of dedicated providers at Astorino & Associates Eye Center. Dr. Ho has deep clinical experience in diagnosing and treating eye disease and fitting specialty contact lenses for multifocal needs and astigmatism; she also helps to perform cataract surgeries and LASIK.

With a passion for using her skills to give back to those in need, Dr. Ho has completed humanitarian mission trips to Baja California in Mexico, El Salvador, and Kenya. Through these trips, she is able to provide eye care for underprivileged populations.

 

2. What is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in all aspects of eye care including the diagnosis, treatment, and surgery of eye diseases and disorders. Typically, someone will have their primary eye care with an optometrist and then be referred to an ophthalmologist for specific diagnoses or emergent care, if needed.

Arthur Astorino, Jr., MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist who has been practicing since 1988. He provides exceptional eye care to his patients and believes in treating his patients as collaborators in their care. He always takes the time to educate them on their conditions and treatment options while bringing warmth, compassion, and professionalism to his services.

His friendly demeanor and medical expertise have made him a highly sought-after provider in his community and has earned him numerous awards, including the Patient Choice Award, the Compassionate Doctor Award, and America’s Most Honored Professionals Award.

Dr. Astorino is excited to meet new patients and to continue his care of returning clients at Astorino & Associates Eye Center.

 

3. What is an optician?

An optician is a specialist in fitting eyeglasses and making lenses to help correct your vision problems. They do not perform any visual acuity or medical exams. You’ll likely visit an optician after seeing an optometrist who performs your eye exam.

David Greening, ABOC, is our resident optician, and has been in optics since 2002. He has extensive experience, having managed his own practice for many years prior to arriving at Astorino & Associates Eye Center. He is a licensed American optician (ABOC) and is well-recognized for his quality of service, attention to detail, and patient care.

David is one of few opticians in California to have an honors degree in ophthalmic dispensing-- meaning that not only does he understand style, but he understands the math and physics behind the optical properties of the lens too. 

Each of these professionals brings a different aspect of care to your overall health based on your specific needs. If you have more questions about who you need to see, you can always call your VSP network eye doctor’s office and they can help you set up an appointment. The most important thing to remember is to have your eyes checked annually by an eye care professional.

Author
David Greening David Greening, ABOC, BS(HONS) Ophth. Dispensing David is our resident optician, and has been in optics since 2002. He attained his Bachelor of Science degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing in Kent, England (2014). He has extensive experience, having managed his own practice for many years prior to arriving at Astorino & Associates Eye Center. He is a licensed American optician (ABOC) and is well-recognized for his quality of service, attention to detail, and patient care.

You Might Also Enjoy...