When you’re looking for an eye doctor in Indianapolis, things can get quite confusing. After all, there are basically three types of eye specialists. It can be hard to tell whether you need to visit an optometrist like one from Moody Eyes, an ophthalmologist at a hospital or clinic, or an optician.

Eye Doctor

You can narrow it down easily though. To start with, if you have an issue with your eyes concerning more than just your eyeglasses, you’ll want to skip the optician. Opticians are mainly trained to fit and sell eyeglasses and contact lenses. For more serious eye issues or vision problems, it’s best to consult with either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. To make an informed choice between the two, you’ll need to know more about them.

What’s an Optometrist?

An optometrist is a Doctor of Optometry. This is earned by completing four years of undergraduate education then followed by another four years of studying at a college of optometry. This education focuses on how the eyes work and how to treat different types of eye conditions. Once finished, a student would then be eligible to get a license as an optometrist.

Similar to other doctors, the license for practicing optometry is a requirement for operating in a state. This gives optometrists the right to perform eye exams and diagnose vision-related issues. They are also allowed to recommend treatment for various conditions. Their main limitation is that they can’t perform surgery on the eyes in an operating room, though minor surgical operation like the removal of foreign bodies is allowed. The main job of optometrists is to provide general care and an initial diagnosis of a patient’s ocular condition.

What’s an Ophthalmologist?

An Indianapolis ophthalmologist has received more specialized medical training than an optometrist. For one, they go into medical school for four years after their pre-med course, then move on to an additional three years of specific training in ophthalmology. They also receive full training in how to perform eye surgery. Most of them also need board certification before they can practice.

Which One?

So which eye doctor should you entrust your eyes to? For routine eye exams, it’s typically best to go to an optometrist. Both are trained to perform them and detect any problems; however, it’s probably better to consult with an optometrist first before an ophthalmologist. It’s similar to visiting a general doctor before going to a specialist. This can save you money and time in the long run.


How to Choose the Right Eye Doctor, AllAboutVision.com

Ophthalmologists and Optometrists: Similarities and Differences, Medicine.Net