News and Advice on Myopia and General Eye Care for Patients and Professionals

How to Know if You Need to See an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist

Paragon Vision September 24, 2019 CRT Lenses, optometrist, Eye Doctor, nearsightedness, eye health, vision health, eyes


There are many kinds of healthcare providers out there so when it comes to your health you can see the doctor who will best be able to treat your condition. For example, if you needed to have a skin tag removed, you would see a dermatologist. If you were dealing with a bout of the flu, you would visit your general practice family doctor to get suggestions on how to best treat and get over the illness sooner.

Likewise, when it comes to your eye health, there are a couple of different kinds of eye doctors that you might go to see: Optometrists and Ophthalmologists. Although they both treat conditions of the eye, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists are different kinds of eye doctors with different expertise. So, what is the difference between an Optometrist and Ophthalmologist, and what kind of eye doctor should you see when you’re dealing with different kinds of eye problems?

The Difference Between an Optometrist and Ophthalmologist


When people think of eye doctors, they often think of Optometrists. Optometrists diagnose and treat vision changes through eye exams and vision tests. They can help you treat blurry vision, such as nearsightedness, through the help of corrective lenses like glasses or contact lenses. In addition, optometrists will check for ocular abnormalities and diseases, like glaucoma and cataracts, to try to catch them early on and prevent them from getting worse.

Like Optometrists, Ophthalmologists can conduct eye exams and prescribe treatments for blurry vision; however, their expertise is in surgical treatments of the eye. An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who has chosen to specialize in eye care. They are who you would see when you are ready for cataract surgery or require any surgery in or around the eye.

These two professions work together to provide a wide array of eye care and treatment options for patients. Additionally, Ophthalmologists and Optometrists assist with scientific research and development to help learn more about eye diseases and find cures.


What You Might See an Optometrist For


Getting a routine eye exam is important and if your eyes are otherwise healthy, an Optometrist is the type of eye doctor you can see to make sure your eyes are staying in good shape. If you have noticed that your vision is blurring, you are suffering from dry eye, or an eye infection, an Optometrist can diagnose and treat your eye problems, helping you maintain the best eye health possible.


What You Might See an Ophthalmologist For


While an Ophthalmologist can perform routine eye exams, generally they handle more serious cases involving surgery. If you have already been diagnosed with a serious eye problem requiring surgery, then an Ophthalmologist will be the most appropriate doctor to see. Even if you don’t have a serious eye condition, you may see an Ophthalmologist if you choose to correct blurry vision with LASIK surgery. In some cases, you may also be referred to an Ophthalmologist if you are dealing with chronic eye infections, diseases, or have developed a more serious eye problem like a retinal detachment.

The Benefits of Regularly Going to an Eye Doctor


Whether you see an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist, it’s important to visit the eye doctor annually as recommended by the American Academy of Optometry and American Academy of Ophthalmology. When you visit on a yearly basis, your eye doctor will be able to detect any developing diseases early on and help prevent them from progressing too quickly or perhaps even reverse them completely. They will also be able to help treat blurry vision as a result of nearsightedness and can help you find the perfect treatment option for you whether it be glasses, daytime contacts, LASIK, or orthokeratology.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) uses gas permeable contact lenses which gently reshape the cornea to focus light correctly on the retina. Paragon CRT® is the first FDA approved overnight Ortho-K lenses.1 Worn while you sleep, in the morning remove the lenses for clear vision that lasts all day without the need for daytime contacts or glasses. If you are interested in this convenient treatment option, we encourage you to ask your eye doctor about Paragon CRT®.  If you haven’t been to the eye doctor in a while, find an eye doctor near you and make an appointment today in order to maintain your best eye health possible.





[1] FDA Approval Letter