Eye is one of the most sensitive organs of the body, and is one of the five sense organs in the body. There are a number of eye diseases that can happen to you during your life span. The disorders or eye diseases may be caused by a number of factors like a microbial infection in the eye or damage in the retina or in the cornea.

What is ophthalmology?

Ophthalmology refers to a branch of medicine that deals with the study of the anatomy, functions and diseases related with the eyes. People who study ophthalmology are referred to as ophthalmologists. An ophthalmologist is a physician who is specialized in the surgical operations of the eye as well as prescribing various medications related to the nature of your eye disorder.

What does an ophthalmologist do?

Ophthalmologists basically provide services like prescribing contact lenses or glasses and providing medicines to treat eye diseases. They are also trained in performing various surgeries, both simple and complex ones, in order to treat vision related diseases. An ophthalmologist performs diagnosis related to eye disorders and also treats different kinds of refractive or medical problems as well as performs different kinds of surgeries related to eye disorders. He or she is trained to perform surgical operations like Lasik Vision correction, cataract surgery, operations concerned with treatment of eye trauma, retinal detachment or burns in the eye.

What is optometry and what does an optometrist do?

Optometry refers to a specialty in vision eye care which is mainly concerned with the visual system, the eye’s health and health of the structures related to the eye. Therefore an optometrist refers to a health care professional who is concerned with diseases related to the function of the eye. They can also detect eye diseases and perform eye examinations.  Optometrists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders like astigmatism, farsightedness or near sightedness. They are mainly concerned with performing exams related to vision correction. They can also help in fitting contact lenses and prescribe eye glasses or lenses.

They are mainly trained in optics, refractions, diagnosis as well as treatment of various kinds of eye diseases. They can also treat various systemic conditions which affect vision. They can treat medical conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, ocular or retinal disorders which can be caused due to diabetes and hypertension.

Optometrists can provide a large range of services like:

  • A general examination of the eye and treating conditions like amblyopia and strabismus
  • Diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, conjunctivitis, macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy
  • Prevention of any sort of injury to the eye
  • Fitting eye glasses and contact lenses
  • Providing vision related therapies like eye exercises or low vision aids
  • Providing pre as well as post -operative care to those who have undergone any form of eye surgery or laser treatment of the eye

It is important to keep in mind though that not all optometrists provide all of these services. Optometrists also tend to have more eyewear products like prescription sunglasses or eye glass frames and therefore majorly perform vision correction procedures.

However, both optometrists and ophthalmologists can help you out with a number of eye diseases and you must consult them if you face any eye problems.

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