Taking A Close Look At The Care Offered By an Ophthalmologist

When it comes to your health, you likely already know that there are different types of medical doctors that you would see for various ailments or parts of your body. For example, you may see a podiatrist for your feet or an orthopedic doctor for your bones. What many people do not realize is that there are also different types of doctors for your eyes. Even though most eye doctors are simply referred to as optometrists, and in fact a good portion of them are, you may also need the specified attention of an ophthalmologist as well. Here are a few of the usual questions regarding ophthalmology.

What exactly is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

An optometrist is a doctor who specializes in the health and vision of the eye. The primary treatment offered by a traditional optometrist will involve treating conditions that relate to poor vision and diagnosing vision problems. While an ophthalmologist can do the same, their range of care goes much further to include eye diseases and treatments, including surgical procedures. The ophthalmologist has more training than an optometrist and may have as many as eight years of extra training and education.

What are some of the conditions you may have to see an ophthalmologist to treat?

Because of their extensive training, ophthalmologists will treat an array of different eye conditions and issues in addition to the traditional treatment you would get for your vision. It is imperative that you understand the difference between who is qualified to treat your eye conditions. A few of the most common conditions treated and assessed by an ophthalmologist will include

  • macular degeneration
  • cataracts
  • thyroid-related eye conditions
  • genetic eye disease
  • misalignment of the eyes
  • pediatric eye diseases, such as inferior radius and bulging
  • peripheral vision problems

Will you have to be referred to an ophthalmologist for care?

In most cases, a referral from your optometrist will be what leads you to see an ophthalmologist. However, the referral is not typically a requirement for an appointment. If you feel you have signs and symptoms of an eye disease, it is a good idea to go ahead and call an ophthalmologist for an appointment.

Your vision is one aspect of your health that you will always have to have a specialized doctor to treat. The key to understanding how specialized your care should be is all about understanding the different level of professional eye care. To learn more, contact a professional like Jo Johnson, M.D.