What’s the Difference Between an Optometrist, an Ophthalmologist, and an Optician?

What’s the Difference Between an Optometrist, an Ophthalmologist, and an Optician?
Posted on 02/20/2018

If you’re unsure what the difference is between anEyeglasses looking at an eye exam chart. optometrist, an ophthalmologist, and an optician, you’re not the only one! Here at Callahan Eye Clinic, we have all three types working for us, which understandably gets our patients confused – especially when all they want to do is get their eyes checked! We want to simplify things for you when you stop by our Birmingham eye clinic, which is why we’re going to explain the differences between an optometrist, an ophthalmologist, and an optician.


An optometrist provides
eye exams to determine a patient’s prescription for glasses and contact lenses. Additionally, an optometrist will diagnose eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Depending on state laws, they can sometimes be able to treat more mild eye diseases. An optometrist requires an undergraduate degree and four more years at a college of optometry.


An ophthalmologist can provide everything that an optometrist can and in addition, can treat eye diseases by surgery. An ophthalmologist specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of eye disease. Unlike optometrists, they’re not limited to what they can treat. An ophthalmologist requires an undergraduate degree followed by eight years of additional medical training.


An optician simply deals with the adjustment and the sale of glasses. He or she will help you pick out glasses and find the one that’s right for you. Depending on state, an optician may not be required to have an undergraduate degree.

Visit Your Birmingham Eye Clinic Today!

If you’re interested in visiting your Birmingham ophthalmologist or optometrist, we encourage you to give us a call at (205) 933-6888. Alternatively, feel free to fill out our
appointment request form to schedule a visit through our website. We look forward to seeing you and providing you with the some of the best when it comes to eye care!