What’s the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist, and which type of eye doctor do you need? Many patients are not sure of the answer to this question. When it comes to seeking eye care—whether for a routine eye exam or a diagnosis related to an eye or vision problem—there is a lot of confusion about what type of doctor to seek out. At Capital Eye, we are a Canberra optometrist office that can help you find the answers you need.
Optometrists vs Ophthalmologists: Understanding the Differences
If you do a Google search for ‘eye doctor Canberra,’ you are likely to find results that fall into both the ‘optometrist’ category and the ‘ophthalmologist’ category. Both types of practitioners are trained eye doctors. However, they differ in their level of speciality and what they can treat.
An optometrist is a primary care eye doctor. You do not need a referral to make an appointment with an optometrist in Canberra—or anywhere else, for that matter. Optometrists provide accessible eye care. If a patient is struggling with an eye or vision problem and isn’t sure what the issue is, their best bet would likely be to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist. Anyone seeking a regular annual or biennial eye care exam would also typically rely on an optometrist. Optometrists are qualified to assess eye health, diagnose ocular diseases and treat eye disorders or injuries. They can also prescribe eyewear to help their patients, including glasses and contact lenses.
Ophthalmologists, meanwhile, are medical specialists who specialise in eye care and vision. They can do everything that optometrists can but are also qualified to carry out ocular surgeries. If a patient requires laser or surgical correction for an eye condition, an ophthalmologist would be the eye doctor to provide that treatment. Typically, ophthalmologists are less accessible than optometrists, to the point where you may require a referral from a primary care eye doctor to get an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
Capital Eye: More Than Just Your Primary Care Optometrist in Canberra
Even if you are seeking an ophthalmologist in Canberra, Capital Eye can help. Our optometrist, Dr Jack Guan, is a highly skilled primary eye care provider who has trained at both the University of Melbourne and the University of Auckland. Not only can he deliver thorough eye examinations, accurate diagnoses, prescription of eyewear and other treatment options, but he also has strong industry connections among ophthalmologists and other specialists. This network allows us to follow patient care through to the best specialists available, where specialist care is necessary or advisable. Referrals from Capital Eye are highly regarded among the eye care profession, ensuring that patients can get in for appointments with the specialists they need to see.
Also, Dr Guan also has goals to advance Capital Eye beyond being just a primary care eye care practice in Canberra. Indeed, he is currently investing in upgrading the equipment at Capital Eye, with the goal of turning it into the very first glaucoma clinic in Canberra.
Are you interested in learning more about Capital Eye, or in making us your primary eye care provider? If so, contact our offices today.