What is the Difference between an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, and an Optician?

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When it is time to visit an eye care professional, how do you know who you need to visit? There are different roles in the eye care industry, and these people can support your vision in important ways. Here is some clarification about the differences in the roles of an optometrist, ophthalmologist, and an optician:mco_square-black


A licensed doctor of optometry is an OD, and the training is focused on the treatment of eye diseases. Most of their time is spent helping people improve their vision through the use of contacts and glasses. Optometrists often work hand-in-hand with ophthalmologists for pre- and post- operative care.


In comparison, an ophthalmologist is a licensed medical doctor (MD) who can perform eye surgeries. An ophthalmologist can offer all of the services as an optometrist, such as prescription lenses, exams, and routine treatments. But, the training is more in-depth to include surgical procedures as well. Patients who need LASIK, a corneal implant, or any other type of surgery need to visit with an ophthalmologist.


If an optometrist or ophthalmologist has prescribed glasses for you, then you will visit with an optician. Even though an optician is not a doctor, they play an important part in the office. This person helps you choose frames, and then they assist with fitting and adjusting the glasses after your lenses are in the frames. An optician can help you consider features that will improve your comfort while wearing glasses. These services are also beneficial to help you choose the styles that fit your preferences and lifestyle.

Schedule an Appointment

As you can see, there are important and distinct roles played by optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians. If it is time for a general eye exam, then the most common practice is to schedule an appointment with an optometrist. Then, this person can direct you to talk to other people in the industry if needed.

Call Dr. Gio Venitelli and Dr. Katie Dugan of Temecula and Murrieta Creek Optometry to schedule an appointment. You can choose from two locations: Murrieta at (951) 600-9226 or Temecula at (951) 302-1331