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What’s the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

An optometrist performs most of your annual eye exams and writes prescriptions for glasses and/or contacts. An optometrist can diagnose and prescribe medicine for certain eye diseases. An ophthalmologist can also perform your eye exams, but will also diagnose and treat diseases relating to your eyes and vision, as well as perform any eye surgery. At Providence Eye, we have both optometrists and ophthalmologists.

When should I see an ophthalmologist?

If you need specialized medical attention – beyond your routine eye exam – for diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, or are interested in laser vision correction, you should see an ophthalmologist who is specialized in your need instead of an optometrist. At Providence Eye, Drs. Mozayeni and Nunnery are both board-certified ophthalmologists as well as fellowship-trained cornea specialists. They specialize in conditions requiring laser vision correction, cataracts and corneal issues.

Can an optometrist diagnose cataracts?

Yes, an optometrist can diagnose cataracts, but only an ophthalmologist can perform cataract surgery.

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