What is an Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathy (OD) who has undergone specialized training to perform medical and surgical procedures on patients. Unlike optometrists, who exclusively deal with vision ailments and problems, an ophthalmologist must graduate from medical school. In fact, the training of this professional is some of the most demanding out of any medical career. In order to become an ophthalmologist, these professionals had to attend a minimum of: 

  • Four years of premedical education
  • Four years of medical school
  • One year of an ophthalmologist internship
  • Three years of surgical, medical and refractive training within the realm of eye care

Many ophthalmologists continue their education to train in a subspecialty area, including: the cornea, glaucoma, the retina, in plastic surgery, in neurology or in pediatrics. 


Why visit an Ophthalmologist?

If you're simply needing to have your eyes checked for a new corrective lens prescription, then you may find going to a ophthalmologist to be unnecessary. However, if you need in-depth eye exams, specialized treatment due to a disease or condition or delicate eye surgery, you'll be sent to an ophthalmologist. The most common reasons for visiting an ophthalmologist include: 

  • Decreased Vision
  • Distorted Vision
  • Serious Injury to Your Eyes
  • Halos Around Your Eyes
  • Double Vision
  • Misaligned Eyes
  • Immune-System Diseases
  • Eyelid Issues or Abnormalities

If you're unsure whether or not you need to visit this highly trained professional, pay a visit to your optometrist, who will determine whether or not you require treatment by an Ophthalmologist.

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