Words for Eye Specialists

If you tend to forget the difference between an optometrist and an optician, here’s a list to confuse you even more!

optometrist: A general eye doctor with eight to ten years of college training. An optometrist can deal with glasses, contact lenses, laser vision correction, and computer eye strain.

optician: An optician is not a doctor. Opticians fill the prescriptions made by the optometrist. They manufacture glasses and contact lenses.

ophthalmologist: An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in surgical care of the eye. Some of them specialize in a particular part of the eye.

orthoptists: Orthoptists deal with muscular and nerve-related disorders such as crossed eyes. They don’t have to be doctors. They are required to have a B.A. and complete a 24-month training program beyond that. They usually work under an ophthalmologist.

ocularist: An ocularist specializes in the making and fitting of artificial eyes. The usual avenue to becoming an ocularist is by way of an apprenticeship. After a five-year residency, or an internship of 10,000 hours, a prospective ocularist can become board certified by passing a practical and written examination.