Health and Fitness Tips

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Lasik eye surgery

If you have an eye infection, or suspect that you need eye glasses, do you know whether you would visit an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or optician? Most people do not even realize that there is more than one eye doctor, never mind that they all have different specializations. The next time that you need an eye exam, you can use this guide to determine which specialist you should go see.

The Problem. Glaucoma, cataracts, or other eye diseases or trauma where surgery or medicine may be required to correct an eye issue.

The Solution

Find an ophthalmologist. These eye doctors receive higher levels of training and education, and so are licensed to diagnose and treat eye-related diseases, as well as provide services around all other less serious issues, such as vision problems. Many are also able to perform LASIK eye surgery. Did you know that 20.5 million people in the United states have cataracts, according to the CDC? If you need complete eye care, then an ophthalmologist is a good first choice.

The Problem. Impaired vision.

The Solution

Find an optometrist, or an ophthalmologist. The CDC defines visual impairment as a measured visual acuity of 20/50, or worse. Approximately 60% of the entire American population has farsightedness, according to Statistic Brain. An optometrist primarily provides eye exams and provides prescriptions for contact lenses and eye wear. In some states they can provide prescriptions for medications, and many are able to diagnose eye diseases and issues. If you require eye surgery, you may find that an optometrist helps with pre or post-op procedures.

The Problem. Eye wear.

The Solution

It is rare that someone would have to seek out an optician, since they are generally on staff at your eye care center, but an optician is the person that you would need if you were having trouble choosing and having eye wear fitted. Opticians are not licensed to give eye exams, but they can evaluate prescriptions, and help you with the process of choosing and fitting contact lenses or eyeglasses.

Unfortunately, only about 42% of Americans lacking health insurance have eye-related health care, according to the CDC. Some eye infections can progress to blindness, so seeing the right eye specialist is important to protecting your vision. If you are experiencing vision impairment, or painful or irritating symptoms related to your eyes, then it is important to visit an ophthalmologist or optometrist to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Now that you know the difference between the various eye specialists, you can find the right eye doctor for your needs. Continue your research here: