An ophthalmologist is a medical or osteopathic physician who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and the prevention of eye disease. An ophthalmologist treats eye diseases, prescribes medications, and performs all types of surgery to improve, or prevent the worsening of, eye and vision-related conditions.
You will usually need a referral from a General Practitioner or Optometrist before you can visit an ophthalmologist.
An optometrist is a health care professional who specializes in function and disorders of the eye, detection of eye disease, and some types of eye disease management.
An optometrist is trained to examine the eyes for visual defects, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective glasses and contact lenses, and, in some states, perform certain surgical procedures.