Looking for the best eye doctors in DC for your next eye appointment? There are hundreds of eye doctors Washington, DC and the surrounding communities have to choose from, and many of them have different fields and specialties. Before you go about choosing your Washington DC eye doctor, it will help if you know what you are looking for.
First of all, we find that many are unaware of the differences between ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians.
Optician: Of the three, an optician requires the least amount of training and education. The optician does not treat any eye conditions, or even measure necessary vision prescription levels. The optician is more of a technician. They are trained to design and fit eyeglass lenses, frames, and contact lenses. They do this using the patient’s prescription, determined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Optometrist: Optometrists certainly require more education than opticians. Optometry school requires four years of graduate study. Upon graduation, the optometry student becomes a Doctor of Optometry (OD), not to be confused with a Medical Doctor (MD). The job of an optometrist is to provide primary vision care, such as sight testing and diagnosis and treatment of vision changes. This means prescribing lenses through eye exams and vision tests, as well as detecting certain eye abnormalities and prescribing medications for several eye diseases.
Ophthalmologist: The ophthalmologist is the only one of the three that is a certified Medical Doctor (MD). As an MD, the ophthalmologist is licensed to perform eye surgeries (such as cataract surgery and LASIK), as well as diagnose and treat all eye diseases. An ophthalmologist also may perform sight testing and make prescriptions.
In short, whether or not you are looking for an optician, an optometrist or an ophthalmologist in Washington DC depends on what your issue is. Consult with one of the best eye doctors DC can offer to find out which type of the eye doctors is right for you.
If you simply wish to purchase new contacts or eyeglasses and you already have a prescription that works for you, an optician will be adequate for your needs, and indeed may have the best selection of eyeglass frames of the three eye care specialists. If you are looking to obtain a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, or you have found your current prescription to be inadequate, you will likely be best served visiting an optometrist.
If you are experiencing issues with your eyes that may signal ailments independent of – or, in fact, that may effect – your sight, you should see either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, depending on the severity. Optometrists typically treat common maladies such as
- infective conjunctivitis
- allergic conjunctivitis
- blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
- dry eye
- superficial eye injuries
If your ailment is more rare or severe than these, you may require the services of an ophthalmologist with the necessary license and expertise. You may simply wish to go straight to an ophthalmologist if you believe your condition calls for it. If you wish to have any surgery performed, such as cataract removal surgery or LASIK surgery, you will certainly need to go to an ophthalmologist. To learn more about which of the best eye doctors DC can offer to you, contact us today!