You know there are opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists, but you might be wondering why you cannot refer to an optician as an eye doctor. You may also have other eye doctor questions for which you need answers. These questions about eye doctors and related professionals have the following answers.
An Optician Is Not an Eye Doctor
The dead giveaway as to why an optician is not an eye doctor lies within the job title itself. Like the other eye-related careers, it starts with "opti-," which means "eye," but ends in "-ician," which directly ties back to "technician." Any professional technician is someone who assists the doctors and performs tasks that supplement or support the work that the doctors do. An optician fits eyeglasses and cuts the prescription lenses to fill the prescription the eye doctor has written. Therefore, by the very definition of the word "optician," as well as the job duties that an optician has, you cannot call an optician a doctor or refer to him/her as "doctor."
Your Optometrist Does Not Do Surgery
Even though your optometrist IS an eye doctor and has a working knowledge of the anatomy of the human eye, he/she cannot and does not do eye surgery. In the event that you have a visual emergency, you cannot call your optometrist to help. An ophthalmologist is what you need for these eye crises. The opthalmologist has spent several additional years studying and practicing surgeries on the human eye. He/she is the only type of eye doctor that can perform eye surgery and emergency medical procedures on the human eye. Emergency room doctors can help initially, but an ophthalmologist will be called in as a consult and to help restore your vision.
Situations Where a Neurologist Is an Eye Doctor
On special cases, a neurologist may become an eye doctor temporarily. This happens when there are brain tumors pressing on the optic nerves, or tumors are actually part of the optic nerves. Then the neurologist will attempt to restore your lost sight by removing these brain tumors or optic nerve tumors, thus making him or her an eye doctor for the moment. Your ophthalmologist may be in the surgical suite with the neurologist too, acting as an additional set of hands and eyes for repairing the visual damage caused by the tumor(s). Otherwise, most other types of doctors leave the care and health of your eyes up to the actual eye doctors.
For other questions or concerns, consult a professional like the Country Hills Eye Center. They can direct you to the professional that you need.