Pro-activity is key to proper eye care. Vision is important and must not be taken for granted. So, you should be visiting an eye care specialist once a year at a minimum to maintain your eye health. Partnering with a highly qualified and experienced eye doctor can help guarantee your long-term eye health. Choose your doctor based on their qualifications and experience.
The training necessary for eye care specialists varies according to specialty. Optometrists are required to complete a 4-year Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) program. A bachelor’s degree is required before entering this program. The doctor must then obtain a license in the state where they will be practicing. For eye care specialists in Minneapolis MN, licenses are granted by the Minnesota Board of Optometry, which also sets continuing education requirements for all optometrists in Minnesota. These requirements include 7 years of volunteer services. Ophthalmologists require even further training. After receiving their doctorate, 3-7 years of internship and residency are required to complete their education.
Which Specialist Do You Need?
Many people are confused between opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists and, mistakenly, use the terms interchangeably. There are significant differences between the three types of eye care specialists and knowing them is important to your decision.
The first level of eye care specialists is the optician. Opticians are not doctors. But they do work with optometrists, ophthalmologists, and other doctors. The job of the optician is to fit the patient with proper eyeglasses or contact lenses, based upon a prescription provided by an optician or ophthalmologist. Becoming an optician requires only a high school diploma, although many choose further education through an associate degree. Many states require opticians to be licensed. Minnesota does not.
The optometrist is the person most often referred to as an “eye doctor”. Consider the optometrist as the primary care physician for your eyes. The job of the optometrist is to examine the patient’s eyes and other parts of the visual system, They diagnose and treat vision problems. And, they manage eye diseases, eye injuries, and other vision disorders. The optometrist is the doctor that usually writes the prescription for eyeglasses that is then filled by the optician. Most work in stand alone offices, although many now choose to partner themselves with one of several national optical goods retail chains.
As the optometrist is the primary care physician for your eyes, the ophthalmologist is the specialist. Ophthalmologists are usually licensed to practice both medicine and surgery. When an optometrist exam discovers a serious eye injury or disease, the patient will be referred to an ophthalmologist for further treatment. This treatment can range from the prescription of eye medications to eye surgery. Generally, patients see an ophthalmologist only when they need treatment for a serious medical condition.
Don’t wait until it is too late. Your vision and eye health are too important to neglect. Get proactive and make an appointment today to see eye care specialists in Minneapolis MN. Your eyes will have it no other way.