There is a big difference between the ophthalmologist and the optometrist. Although both professions concentrate on the eyes and sight, the difference is acute and can be explained very well. There are also many similarities between the two which may confuse a lot of people with regards to the responsibilities of each.
In this profession, the specialist concentrates on the eyes, the sight and the diseases and conditions that may occur in the visual area. Care for the organs is what the professional is trained to do especially in maintaining their health and their condition. The specialists can diagnose and prescribe glasses and contact lenses for the patient. He can also perform surgery in the organs themselves or any part or area near them when necessary. An ophthalmologist assesses, diagnoses, treats, corrects and operates on many of the conditions of the eyes that may need these. Surgery is a subspecialty that the practitioner needs to study and concentrate on when he graduates from college. Surgery of the eyes can be as complicated as retinal implants and as easy as the removal of foreign objects from the organs. The graduate can also just practice as soon as he passes the exams for the course which will certify and qualify him for the practice.
These practitioners also concentrate on the eyes and sight of their patients. There are also some diseases that the optometrist can treat after properly diagnosing them. These include, but are not limited to, glaucoma, diseases found in the retinas and cataracts. They might also deal with the side effects of other diseases which are not in the eyes but usually affect them and their function. The optometrist might also examine a patient's sight and prescribe the necessary treatment for any deficiencies that he might encounter. These may include farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. Treatments for these usually fall under the prescription of glasses or contact lenses. The practitioner might also perform some minor forms of surgery such as the removal of small objects that may have gotten stuck in the eye. Specifics under this field suggest that the professional is different from the ophthalmologist because of the scope of his responsibilities. These practitioners also need to be educated in this course as well as pass through exams that will certify them and make them qualified to see patients.
Despite the many differences and similarities between the two, there are also many specifics which can dictate when one is needed over the other. The patient should consult an ophthalmologist when he suspects that he may be suffering from a disease or condition of the eye that cannot be resolved by the prescription of glasses or contact lenses. On the other hand, the diagnosis and assessment of one's sight can be easily done by the optometrist without the aid of the other professional. In many cases, both professionals might work together to help resolve a patient's issues with regards to his eyes and his sight. Some optometrists can also recommend the other to their patients if they think that the individual needs to see an ophthalmologist.