Ophthalmologists do way more than just offer eye exams. While the work of optometrists and opticians is primarily centered around diagnosing the correct eye prescription of their patients and fitting patients for glasses and contacts, ophthalmologists have a greater depth of practice. Ophthalmology services include but are not limited to the following things:
So many things can go wrong when it comes to vision. The most common vision issues that millions of American experience are myopia or hyperopia. That is the technical term for when someone is near- or far-sighted, respectively. These two conditions are treated with glasses or contacts. More serious eye problems include but are not limited to macular degeneration, cataracts, color blindness, glaucoma, amblyopia, and retinal detachment. Glaucoma, for example, is when the internal pressure of the eye has risen to a dangerous level and presses on the optic nerve. An individual with glaucoma will have very decreased peripheral vision and require treatment. Ophthalmologists test for glaucoma regularly with a machine that blows a puff of air into the eye to measure the internal pressure.
There are many different types of treatments for eye disorders, including eye patches, prescription eye drops, and gels, which could be prescribed by almost any optical professional. Ophthalmologists, however, specialize in more extreme treatments such as surgery and laser eye treatments. Laser treatments can be used to treat glaucoma, treat macular degeneration, and even correct vision. There are also different types of laser therapies that may not completely correct problems but can improve the symptoms slightly, such as diabetic retinal laser therapy.
For disorders that require physical intervention, such as a detached retina or extreme glaucoma, ophthalmologists are ready and capable to perform surgery. For such a specialized profession, it is actually really neat that one professional can take a patient from the basic eye exam all the way to completely treating their disorder. Ophthalmology is a very wide field offering many services due to the fact that the eye professional is a medical doctor. Plastic surgery is also an option in order to improve one's sight, such as in a case where an eyelid is drooping over the eye.
In conclusion, an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in issues pertaining to the eye. If you feel that you have a condition that is outside the scope of an optician or optometrist, you should research ophthalmology services in your area. You will most likely be surprised by their experience and expertise.