With various eyecare professionals around, it’s easy to get confused about who does what when it comes to your eye. If you are considering laser vision correction to improve your eyesight and enable you to live life with less without glasses or contact lenses, you may be wondering which eyecare specialist you need to see.
You don’t need to be confused any longer. We’ve got the lowdown on what optometrists and ophthalmologists do day-to-day, and how they are involved when it comes to LASIK laser vision correction.
Optometrists are trained to examine the eyes to detect problems with your vision, signs of injury or ocular disease, and any other abnormalities. Many people are surprised to learn that the health and condition of your eyes can also reveal important information about your general health. Optometrists are able to diagnose conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even diabetes.
Your optometrist will be able to tell you if you will benefit from wearing prescription lenses and will help you to choose the right prescription eyewear for you based on your needs. These could be glasses, contact lenses, or a combination of the two. To do this, they will perform a series of tests and evaluations including checking your visual acuity. One of these tests involves reading from a chart and is the eye exam people are most familiar with.
If you are found to be suffering from suspected issues with the health of your eyes, your optometrist can then refer you to the correct ophthalmologist or another medical professional for treatment.
If you are considering LASIK laser vision correction surgery, your optometrist will be the one who examines your eyes and decides if you are likely to be a suitable candidate for LASIK or another laser vision correction technique.
Ophthalmologists are medically trained doctors that specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries affecting the eyes. This includes surgeries, incorporating laser surgeries. While they can do everything that an optometrist can do, most ophthalmologists focus on the more advanced aspects of eyecare, with many involved in scientific research on the causes and cures of many vision disorders. Many also choose to specialize in a specific area of ophthalmology, such as corneal diseases, glaucoma, retinal disorders, or laser vision correction.
Your optometrist may think that you are a good candidate for LASIK, but they will have to refer you to an ophthalmologist to have this opinion validated before you can undergo the procedure. Your ophthalmologist will have the skill and experience needed to comprehensively assess the suitability of your eyes for LASIK, going beyond what you optometrist can base their opinion on. Your LASIK ophthalmologist will look at details such as the thickness of your cornea and the topography of your cornea.
If your ophthalmologist believes that you are a good candidate for LASIK or an alternative laser vision correction procedure, they will then talk to you about the surgery, what you can expect, and schedule you in for treatment. They will also likely perform the procedure itself and your aftercare. However, some ophthalmologists may refer patients back to their optometrist for follow-up care. This is known as LASIK co-management.
To find out more about LASIK laser vision correction, please contact our experienced vision experts at Coastal Vision Medical Group in Orange, California by calling (888) 501-4496 today.