I Need an Appointment with an Eye Doctor

Does that Mean Ophthalmologist, Optometrist or Optician?

Are all eye care visits created alike? Nope! 

If you’re relatively new to scheduling an eye exam or you are about to set up your first appointment with a new eye doctor, you may be wondering which kind of eye doctor is the right one for you. It can seem a little confusing at first, but The Vision Council has you covered.

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

An optometrist – an OD – is a health care specialist who assists patients with the health of the eyes and related vision. Optometrists are trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision. They also diagnose and treat various eye diseases.

An ophthalmologist – an MD or DO – has expertise in medical and surgical eye problems and can perform operations on the eyes. 

An optician is a specialized practitioner who designs, fits and dispenses lenses for the correction of a person's vision. Opticians determine the specifications of various ophthalmic solutions – from prescription, to eyeglass frames and lens technology – that will give the necessary and best correction to a person's eyesight.

Can all three – Ophthalmologist, Optometrist and Optician – perform an eye exam?

Only an ophthalmologist and optometrist can perform a comprehensive eye exam. When you’re ready to set up your next appointment, use our doctor locator to find an eye doctor in your area!