Choosing an Eye Doctor – Ophthalmologist or Optometrist?


It can sometimes be difficult to determine what type of eye doctor you need when you are seeking out care for your eyes. This can be especially problematic when you find yourself unsure of what an optometrist can do for you versus what an ophthalmologist can do for you. Choosing the right eye doctor for you is an important decision and one that you must make carefully. Get to know some of the key scenarios in which you may go to see an eye doctor that can help you determine which type of eye doctor is right for you. Then, you can schedule your eye doctor appointment in Scottsdale, Arizona as soon as possible.

You Need a Routine Eye Exam

A routine eye exam is perhaps the most common reason that you may find yourself needing to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. These eye exams usually involve a test of your vision as well as a close look at your eyes for signs of damage or changes. And, if you already wear corrective lenses, you may go for a routine eye exam to update your prescription (for progressive vision loss).

This is an example of a scenario in which you should visit an optometrist rather than an ophthalmologist. Optometrists are eye doctors that specialize in such routine care and visual exams and can easily update a corrective lens prescription for you.

You Suffered An Eye Injury

If you were in an accident or another situation in which you injured your eye, you will likely need to seek out the care of a medical doctor, namely an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists are eye doctors who have also gone to medical school and therefore have more extensive training than an optometrist. They tend to specialize in eye care that is surgical.

Eye injuries are not always severe enough to require surgery. However, going to an ophthalmologist for a serious eye injury can save you a step when it comes to treating and recovering from your eye injury and their medical background and expertise can only serve to help you.

You Are Experiencing Vision Disturbances or Pain

When you begin to have trouble with your eyes in the form of vision disturbances (like blurry vision in one or both eyes, difficulty reading small text, or shaky vision) or even pain in your eyes, you may be tempted to jump right to the conclusion that you have a serious medical condition. While it is true that conditions like cancer, diabetes, and even high blood pressure can cause eye problems, you should not jump to any conclusions if you experience symptoms.

Instead, schedule an appointment with an optometrist to determine if the cause of your eye problems is merely a common form of vision loss, or a standard eye disorder like cataracts or glaucoma. This can save you time and energy if all you need is a pair of glasses rather than extensive medical tests and treatments.

Now that you know a few of the more common reasons that you may need to pay a visit to an eye doctor, you can better decide if an optometrist or an ophthalmologist is the right choice for you.

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