Eyes are one of the most important organs of the human body that helps us see the world. It is our duty to ensure that our eyes are healthy and free from any disease. An eye exam is one of the best ways to prevent the vision as an eye exam can detect the eye problem at an early stage. Regardless of age, it is important for everyone to have a regular eye examination. A detailed eye exam not only determines the need for glasses and contacts but it also checks the eye for any eye disease. A regular visit to an eye specialist is necessary to maintain the health of the eyes. There are different types of eye specialists and people commonly confuse between the types of eye specialists but there are important differences between them.
The eye can be defined as a hollow ball, known as eyeball which is filled with fluid and rest in a socket of the skull, known as orbit. Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine that deals with an eyeball and orbit. An ophthalmologist is a specialist in medical and surgical eye disease or is a medical doctor who is specially trained in the medical and surgical care and treatment of the eyes. Ophthalmologists are allowed to medically treat eye disease, implement laser therapy or perform any surgery whenever needed. Twelve or more years of advanced training and education is required to become an ophthalmologist as it includes, 4 years of college, 4 years of school, 1 year of internship and doctor also undergo 3 to 5 years of hospital residency to train in the medical specialty of ophthalmology. Some of the common diseases that are diagnosed and treated by an ophthalmologist include cataract, glaucoma, dry eyes, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.
Optometry is a specialization which deals with the examination of eyes and management of eye disorders along with diagnosing visual system for any defects or abnormalities Optometrists are healthcare professional who provides primary vision care and it includes sight testing, treatment, and management of vision defects or changes. Optometrists are the important member of an eye care team and have been developed into multiple roles with ever increasing scope and responsibility. They work closely together with other eye care professionals such as ophthalmologists. They work complementary role to ophthalmologists in the tertiary eye care setup. Optometrists are given license to practice optometry and they are permitted to perform eye exams and vision tests, prescribe and dispense corrective lenses and detect certain eye abnormalities. It receives a degree of optometry after completing four years of optometry school and three or more years or college.
Orthoptists are eye care professionals who are involved in diagnosis and treatment of ocular motility and diseases related to the vision. Orthoptists are considered to be in childhood vision screening and undertaking primary vision of screening of children aged four to five years. Orthoptists play an integral part of the eye health team and provide investigative testing of diseases such as glaucoma, management of eye movement disorder and restoring the health of a person with vision loss due to eye diseases. The orthoptist carries out a series of diagnostic tests and measurements on patients with visual function deficit such as amblyopia or lazy eye, strabismus or misaligned eyes, and diplopia or double vision. Orthoptists should be intelligent, sound judgment and should be able to relate will patients of all ages, especially infants and children. Orthoptists are more likely to be involved with infants and children as compared to the adults.
An optician is a professional who is specialized in designing and fitting eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses and other products to correct the eyesight. Opticians are not allowed to diagnose or treat any eye disorder instead, they use prescription given by ophthalmologists or optometrists. They do not test the vision or write any prescription to correct the vision of an individual. They provide the clients with the best advice on the type of glasses to suit their needs. It is the duty of an optician to ensure that the spectacles match the prescription given by ophthalmologists or optometrists and is appropriate to the client’s lifestyle and needs.
An ocularist is a specialist who is specialized in the invention and fitting of an ocular prosthesis for people who lost their eyes or vision due to trauma or any medical condition. Ocular prosthesis, also known as glass eye is an artificial eye that replaces the natural eye. The prosthesis fits under the eyelids.