An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who is qualified by lengthy medical education, training and experience to diagnose, treat and manage all eye and visual system problems, and is licensed by a state regulatory board to practice medicine and surgery.
The optometrist is a health care professional trained and state licensed to provide primary eye care including comprehensive eye health and vision examinations; diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and vision disorders; and the prescribing of glasses and contact lenses. Their medical training includes a college or university degree and four years of professional education at a college of optometry, earning an O.D. degree.
Opticians design, finish, fit and dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses, based on an eye doctor’s prescription.
A certified ophthalmic registered nurse, CRNO, has two years of practice in ophthalmology. They are trained to perform a variety of ophthalmic tasks and work in operating rooms, ambulatory clinics, private offices and hospitals.
Other professionals who provide eye care include Certified Orthoptists, Certified Ophthalmic Personnel, Paraoptometrics, and Optometric Technicians.