Ophthalmologist vs Optometrist
When you are looking for an eye doctor, how do you decide if you need an ophthalmologist vs. an optometrist? What are the differences between these eye care professionals? Elmquist Eye Group can help.
Patients from across Southwest Florida have visited Elmquist Eye Group since 1992 for the highest quality eye care, including evaluation and treatment or surgery for cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, and other eye conditions that affect everyone from children to seniors.
Our skilled team includes E. Trevor Elmquist, DO and Sarah Eccles-Brown, MD, who are board certified ophthalmologists, as well as Dr. Elmquist’s partner, Kate Wagner, OD, and his associate, Nina Burt, OD, who are board certified optometrists.
What is an ophthalmologist?
An ophthalmologist is a medical or osteopathic doctor who treats eye diseases, prescribes medications, prescribes glasses and contact lenses, and performs complex and delicate eye surgery to improve, or prevent the worsening of, eye and vision-related conditions.
An ophthalmologist will have the initials “MD” (Doctor of Medicine) or “DO” (Doctor of Osteopathy) after his or her name. He or she will have attended four years of medical school, one year of internship, and a minimum of three years of hospital-based training (residency) in ophthalmology. Some will spend an additional year or two training in a specific area of eye care, such as cataracts or glaucoma.
E. Trevor Elmquist, DO, founder of Elmquist Eye Group, is a board certified ophthalmologist and fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology who specializes in general ophthalmology and cataract surgery and has been repeatedly selected as one of America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.
Sarah Eccles-Brown, MD, is a board certified ophthalmologist and fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology who has additional training in refractive and LASIK surgery.
Both Dr. Elmquist and Dr. Eccles-Brown combine a wealth of knowledge, experience, and commitment to give each patient the undivided attention they require.
What is an optometrist?
An optometrist is an eye care professional who specializes in function and disorders of the eye. He or she regularly diagnoses diseases both of the eye and the body. Many diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure are first found by optometrists during a comprehensive eye exam. Most people receive their primary eye care from their local doctor of optometry.
An optometrist will have the initials “OD” (Doctor of Optometry) after his or her name. He or she will have earned a bachelor’s degree during four years of college, followed by a four-year program in optometry school to earn the Doctor of Optometry degree. Some will complete an additional year or two of training in a specialty area, such as pediatric or geriatric eye care, specialty contact lenses or ocular diseases.
Optometrists in Florida are licensed to examine your eyes for any vision defects or diseases, to diagnose and treat eye diseases and injuries, to prescribe glasses, contact lenses, and other devices to enhance your vision, and to prescribe medications or other appropriate therapies.
Kate Wagner, OD is a board certified optometrist at Elmquist Eye Group who received her Doctor of Optometry Degree from Nova Southeastern College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale in 2003 with honors.
Nina Burt, OD is a board certified optometrist who also received her Doctor of Optometry Degree from Nova Southeastern College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale in 2005 and joined Elmquist Eye Group in 2009.
Even if you’ve decided that your eye condition warrants the attention of an ophthalmologist vs. an optometrist, get in touch with Elmquist Eye Group at (239) 936-2020 to learn about your options. You can count on our team to provide the highest level of care in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.