What’s the Difference Between an Ophthalmologist, an Optician and an Optometrist in Chillicothe, OH?

November 19, 2019 8:55 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Choosing a care provider is always an important decision, and that goes for everyone from your primary physician to your eye care provider. Your eye doctor will be tasked with protecting your eyesight and ensuring you maintain good vision into your old age.

Of course, the field of eye care can get a bit confusing for patients, who often mistake the three most common types of eye care providers, which include two types of doctors (optometrists and ophthalmologists) and opticians.

Here’s a quick overview of the differences between these eye care specialists.


Ophthalmologists are medical doctors with a specialty in eye and vision care. They are capable of performing eye exams, diagnosing and treating ocular diseases, prescribing medications and performing surgeries on the eyes. They also write prescriptions for contact lenses and eyeglasses.

To become an ophthalmologist, a doctor needs to complete four years of undergraduate college work, four years of medical school, a year of internship and at least three years of residency in a hospital, with a focus primarily on ophthalmology.


Optometrists in Chillicothe, OH are eye doctors who have a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree versus an MD. These specialists examine the eyes for vision or health problems and correct refractive issues by prescribing contact lenses and eyeglasses. They may also provide vision therapy or low vision care.

Optometrists are also licensed to prescribe medications for the treatment of certain eye problems and diseases, but the scope of medical care they provide varies from state to state in accordance with state laws. Optometrists are often involved in pre- and post-operative care conducted by an ophthalmologist. They will not, however, perform eye surgeries themselves.

Optometrists will be required to complete a four-year degree in the sciences, plus four years of post-grad professional training in optometry schools. These requirements are very similar to those of a dentist. Like ophthalmologists, they must also continue to fulfill certain continuing education requirements to keep their licenses.


Opticians are not eye doctors like the other two professions described above, but they do play an important role in eye care. They use prescriptions written by an ophthalmologist or optometrist to fit and sell eyeglasses, contact lenses or other types of eyewear.

Opticians in some states must complete opticianry training programs and be licensed, but there are other states that do not require their opticians to complete any formal training or achieve a license. Other states allow opticians to fit contact lenses after they have been certified to do so. Therefore, the requirements to become an optician are much lower than those to become an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between these eye care professions or need to know which one you should visit for your specific eye care issues, we encourage you to contact the team at Price Family Eye Care Professionals LLC today. We will be happy to point you toward an optometrist in Chillicothe, OH or another expert who can assist you with your needs.

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