Who Should See An Ophthalmologist Rather Than An Optometrist?

Everyone should see an eye doctor regularly for checkups. But there are two different types of professionals who are considered eye doctors. Optometrists are healthcare professionals who do vision testing plus basic diagnostics and treatment for some eye conditions. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors with a specialization in treating eye-related diseases and ailments. Most people can see either type of eye doctor, but there are some people who should definitely see an ophthalmologist because of their higher-level knowledge and skill set. If you fall into any of the below categories, you should see an ophthalmologist

You have diabetes

Diabetes can affect the eyes over time, leading to diabetic retinopathy and a range of other conditions. Since these conditions are closely related to your overall health and the way you manage your diabetes, it's a good idea to see an ophthalmologist for care if you're a diabetic. They'll be better able to test for the conditions seen in diabetics. They'll also be better able to give you tips and strategies for managing your diabetes and minimizing the impact on your eyes, being that they are actual medical doctors.

You have eye pain

Eye pain is usually caused by more than a simple vision deficiency, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. It may be caused by anything from cancerous growth to weakness in certain eye muscles. In any case, an ophthalmologist will be more familiar with the various conditions that cause eye pain, so you're better off seeing them for your eye exams.

You've been diagnosed with cataracts or glaucoma

If you have been diagnosed with an eye condition like cataracts or glaucoma, your eye doctor will need to keep an eye on your symptoms and how you're progressing. They may need to recommend or prescribe different treatments for you as your disease progresses. An ophthalmologist is better equipped to manage these conditions.

You have high blood pressure

High blood pressure can impact your eyes in several ways. It can lead to glaucoma, a condition associated with increased eye pressure. It can also impact your optic nerve as you age. It's wise to see an ophthalmologist if you have high blood pressure since they can better manage the way your overall health and eye health are impacted by your high blood pressure.

Ophthalmologists are considered the top of the line when it comes to eye health professionals. If you fall into any of the categories above, they're the professionals you should be seeing for your regular eye care.