Millions of people have vision problems, some of which have no telltale signs and may cause permanent vision loss if not treated in time. So it’s very important to have a good eye doctor for your eye care. Eye doctors can not only detect your visual acuity but also detect many things that you can’t, such as fluid pressure, blood pressure, and even diabetes, high cholesterol and brain tumors.
There are two kinds of eye doctors: optometrists and ophthalmologists. So the first step in choosing an eye doctor is to make sure which kind of eye doctor is suitable for you. An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned the doctor of optometry degree after completing a four-year college degree program in the sciences and a four-year post-graduate training in optometry school. This kind of eye doctors can examine your eye’s vision and health problems, and prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct refractive errors. In recent years, some optometrists are also licensed to provide low vision care and vision therapy. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor specializes in eye and vision care. This kind of eye doctors get more education than optometrists, besides eight years in medical school, they also have a year of internship and a minimum of three years residency in hospital. Although ophthalmologists can do all the work that optometrists do, they spend more time in diagnosing and treating disease, prescribing medications and performing eye surgery. Besides these two kinds of eye doctors, there is an optician. An optician is not an eye doctor, but he/she can use the prescriptions written by an eye doctor to fit eyeglasses or contact lenses for you.
Finally, if your eyes are healthy, you may find a friendly, competent and caring eye doctor, either an ophthalmologist or an optometrist, who is recommended by your friends or family members.