There are a number of different healthcare professionals that you may interact with when it comes to looking after your eyes, including opticians, optometrists, ophthalmologists and orthoptists. Each of these professionals has a different role in caring for eye health, explained below.
What is an optician?
Opticians are technicians trained to design, verify and fit lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight.
What is an optometrist?
Optometrists are healthcare professionals who provide primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. An optometrist is not a medical doctor.
What is an ophthalmologist?
An ophthalmologist, also called an eye doctor, is a medically trained doctor who has undertaken further specialist training and study in the human eye. In the Republic of Ireland there are two types of Eye Specialists; Medical Eye doctors who undergo 11 years of clinical medical training, and Eye Surgeons who undergo on average 14 years of clinical medical training.
What is an orthoptist?
An orthoptist is an allied health professional involved in the assessment, diagnosis, and management of disorders of the eyes, extra-ocular muscles and vision. Orthoptists are an important part of the eye care team and work in close association with ophthalmologists, usually in a hospital based setting. They are involved in many areas of care, including paediatrics, neurology, community services, rehabilitation, geriatrics, neonatology and ophthalmic technology.