When it's time to "get your eyes checked," make sure you are seeing the right eye care professional for your needs. Ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians each play an important role in providing eye care to consumers. But the levels of training and expertise are quite different for each type of provider.
An ophthalmologist, Eye M.D., is a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists and opticians in their levels of training and in what they can diagnose and treat. An ophthalmologist receives a medical degree (MD). Ophthalmologists complete college and at least eight years of additional medical training and are licensed to practice medicine and perform surgery. Ophthalmologists diagnose and treat eye disease and perform eye surgery. Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research on the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders.
While ophthalmologists are trained to care for all eye problems and conditions, some Eye MDs specialize in a specific area of medical or surgical eye care. This person is called a subspecialist. He or she usually completes one or two years of additional, more in-depth training, called a fellowship, in one of the main subspecialty areas such as glaucoma, retina, cornea, pediatrics, neurology, and plastic surgery, as well as others.
Eye Care Specialists' has four fellowship-trained physicians. David J. Westrich, MD, FACS and Tatyana I. Metelitsina, MD are retinal specialists. D. Shawn Parker, MD, FACS is a corneal and refractive specialist and Linn M. Mangano, MD is fellowship trained in pediatric ophthalmology. This added training and knowledge prepares these physicians to treat more complex or specific conditions in certain areas of the eye or in certain groups of patients.
Optometrists are healthcare professionals who provide primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. An optometrist is not a medical doctor (MD). An optometrist receives a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three or more years of college. They are licensed to practice optometry, which primarily involves performing eye exams and vision tests, prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, detecting certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases. In the instance an optometrist finds concern with your vision, he or she may refer you to an ophthalmologist or subspecialist, depending on the issue.
Opticians are technicians trained to design, verify, and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight. They use prescriptions supplied by ophthalmologists or optometrists, but do not test vision or write prescriptions for visual correction. Opticians are not permitted to diagnose or treat eye diseases.
Eye Care Specialists Referral Network
The physicians of Eye Care Specialists collaborate with a large referral network of optometrists and healthcare providers for the medical care of our patients. Our doctors integrate treatment with the care provided by the referring doctor, who remains an important participant in our patient's eye care. Our practice fully informs the referring doctor of the care a patient receives by our physicians.
Eye Care Specialists Affiliations
The highly skilled and well-trained physicians of Eye Care Specialists are committed to innovation and excellence in providing the highest quality of eye care available with state-of-the-art diagnostic, treatment, and surgery options.
Our physicians are passionate about preserving vision and fighting blindness. They continually stay abreast of new treatments and technologies related to eye care and hold memberships in a variety of organizations with the same ambitions. When conducting research online, it is imperative to use knowledgeable, established, and trusted resources when gathering information. Here are some of the affiliations of the physicians at Eye Care Specialists and organizations we confidently feel provide reliable information to the public: