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Optometry vs. Ophthalmology

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Optometry vs. Ophthalmology: What's the Difference?

Optometrists looking into a patient's eyes

When looking for an eye doctor, you’re going to see the words “optometrist” and “ophthalmologist” quite a bit. But what’s the difference? Read on to see which one is more appropriate for your needs.

ACPNY’s Approach to Optometry

At AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY), our optometrists are doctors that practice full-scope medical eye care. This means performing routine checkups, prescribing eyeglasses, and evaluating, treating, and managing eye diseases, including:

  • Glaucoma and high eye pressure
  • Diabetic retinopathy 
  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Vision changes 
  • Blurry vision 
  • Red eye 

As a patient at our practice, your optometrist will be your primary eye care resource. 


When to See an Ophthalmologist

Because your optometrist will be your primary eye care provider, you can always count on them to refer you to an ophthalmologist within the practice, when needed. Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists in their levels of training and usually focus on surgical interventions for the eye, including:

  • Glaucoma, retinal, and other office lasers
  • Cataract surgery
  • Eye injections for diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration
  • Corneal transplants 
  • Vitreoretinal surgery 
  • Oculoplastic surgery 
  • Removal of foreign bodies 


What You Can Do Now

If you have questions about your vision or are interested in getting an eye exam, talking to your Primary Care Provider is a great place to start. They’ll offer guidance on the next steps you can take and can refer you to one of our optometrists or ophthalmologists, if needed. Many eye diseases don’t cause any symptoms, so don’t wait—schedule an appointment today.