Do You Really Know Your Eye Care Provider?

Do you really know your eye care provider? A survey was done recently among Americans and the results were astonishing. Most people think that all eye care providers need to have a medical degree. In fact, this is not true. The eye care profession only needs to be board certified. But once again it is not mandatory for the profession to be board certified. However, the eye care doctors, themselves, are trying to lobby for a regulation of some kind that will regulate the eye care industry.

Most Americans do not realize that there are different types of eye care providers and they perform different services. Some are qualified to do certain procedures and prescribe medication and some are not. To help the patients of eye care providers better understand what services the different doctors provide, a web site has been set up so that people can learn about each member of an eye care provider’s team and understand which functions each member is qualified to perform and what training they should have.

Eye Care Professionals

There are several different types of eye care providers and not every type of eye care doctor can give the same type of care. Opticians specifically perform the function of fitting people for contact lenses and eyeglasses. They do not have a medical degree and can not perform surgeries or prescribe medication. Optometrists can look at the eye to determine weather there are problems with vision or abnormalities in the eye. They can actually write the prescriptions for reading glasses and contact lenses, as well as prescribe some medications.

The best eye care provider to have would be an ophthalmologist. This type of eye care provider has a medical degree and can perform all duties related to eye care including eye exams, eye surgeries, and prescribing medications. As you can see it is important to do some research to find out exactly the kind of training that your eye care provider has and whether or not he or she can perform all medical duties. The knowledge of the total eye care professional could make the difference between treating an infection or losing your vision.

It is amazing to realize that the many people who wear contact lenses and glasses today are so ill-informed about eye care providers. Hopefully, consumers will educate themselves by using the tools and web sites that have been made available for them to find the eye care provider that is right for them.

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The American Optometric Association represents approximately 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians.