Florida Eye Doctors
If you’ve lived in Florida a while, you have likely seen quite a few doctors, some of which were probably eye doctors. There are actually two types of eye doctors — ophthalmologists and optometrists – and patients are often confused about who does what. Choosing Florida eye doctors like the physicians at Elmquist Eye Group gives you the best of both worlds because we offer a comprehensive set of vision and eye health services.
What is an ophthalmologist?
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who attend medical school, followed by a one-year internship, a 3-year medical residency, and often a one- to two-year fellowship, like our doctors do.
Ophthalmologists offer complete eye care services, including vision and eye exams, as well as medical eye care. Most often, we diagnose and treat conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, and troubleshoot eye conditions that are related to other diseases you might have, such as arthritis.
What is an optometrist?
An optometrist is primarily responsible for eye health. This is the doctor you usually see for annual vision exams. Optometrists are doctors but with a Doctor of Optometry degree rather than a medical degree. The Doctor of Optometry training is a four-year program that the doctor completes after college, and some get further clinical training after the four-year program.
An optometrist primarily focuses on vision but can also diagnose other eye conditions, like eye diseases and injuries. They perform vision tests and eye exams, testing for conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Optometrists also prescribe glasses and contact lenses and provide other vision therapy and vision aids.
Is an optician a doctor?
Opticians aid optometrists with vision-related prescriptions, but they are not physicians and, therefore, are not authorized or trained to provide any type of physical or eye exam. Opticians typically have a two-year professional degree. An optician performs duties like adjusting glasses frames and helping decide the type of lens or frame that works best for your particular vision needs.
How do I choose the best eye doctor?
Depending on your needs throughout life, you will likely need both types of doctors at different stages. The best rule of thumb is to ask your other physicians or friends and family who they trust with their own eye care needs.
More importantly, if you have other health conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular issues, that is all the more reason to see an eye care specialist at Elmquist Eye Group. We can coordinate with your primary care physician or other healthcare specialist regarding management of your conditions and how those conditions affect your eye health needs.
What are your needs? Do you primarily need vision care, or do you have a disease that requires more specialized care? Think about your situation and choose the doctor or practice best suited to your individualized needs.
At Elmquist Eye Group in Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida, our eye doctors can take care of all your needs. Our physicians and highly trained staff are ready to offer you the best of both worlds because we offer a comprehensive set of vision and eye health services. Give us a call today. We want you to be our next new patient, no matter what your eye health needs are.