There are a lot of "O" words when it comes to eye care. There are optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians. Most people confuse the terminology as the "Three O's" have one major thing in common, they all care about the eyes.
Optometrists are the first line of defense for primary eye care. They adminsiter eye exams, prescribe glasses, treat some eye diseases, diagnose diseases like Cataracts and Glaucoma, fit contact lenses and preform a few other services related to eye health and vision. You can tell if a doctor is an Optometrist if their title is "OD." Our Optometrists in Madison and our Optometrists in Rockford are "ODs."
If there are serious finding during an eye exam, an Optometrists will refer a patient out. Ophthalmologists typically specialize in a portion of the eye and will preform surgery when it necessary. Many Ophthalmologists have the title "MD" but some carry the title "DO." A lot of times Optometrists and Ophthalmologists will co-manage patients together.
Opticians are the remaining piece of the puzzle. They are the people that fit patients with glasses. They take face measurements, make lenses, inform people about lens choices and help people pick out frames. They fill the prescription given by an eye doctor.
To simplify the definitions-
Optometrist = primary eye care doctors
Ophthalmologists = eye specialists
Opticians = fill the prescriptions given by a doctor