Over the past year, we at Creditview Optical have been doing our best to simplify our language. Or at least explain some of the chewier words you need to understand regarding your vision. Hence this latest blog update: the difference between opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. All the opto gang are trained professionals, graduates of years of study — but they’re qualified for different practices. We’ll start with our favourite.
Opticians: the people trained to craft your glasses.
The optician is the one you see about fulfilling your prescription. For instance, Rupa K, the owner of Creditview Optical, is an optician. Rupa graduated from Seneca College’s respected program in 2010. You’ve probably seen Rupa whenever you’ve come here. (You certainly saw her better by the time you were leaving.)
The optician’s job is primarily to customize glasses but they usually also provide contact lenses and all the accompanying necessities that glasses and contacts requires. Like regular service for example. (Visit us soon for the latest spring looks from all your favourite fashion designers.)
The optometrist is your main healthcare contact for eyesight health.
The optometrist is a trained expert whom you know from your eye exams. Unlike the above-mentioned opticians, they’re qualified to write your prescriptions. Some optometrists also dispense glasses and contacts lenses, cutting out the opticians altogether.
They’re also looking out for the health of your eyes, which affects vision. So, they’re running tests for cataracts, glaucoma, changes in blood pressure, macular degeneration and other even scarier-sounding conditions.
With all those extra tests, optometrists do to keep you seeing well, it’s no surprise their staff continually remind you to see them regularly (at least once a year). And with all that stuff that could go wrong? Well, for some of us, it’s a bit like going to the dentist. We know we should but … well, see the above-mentioned scarier things!
You can book an appointment with an optometrist here at Creditview Optical. (We have three!) Choose any convenient time, Monday to Saturday.
The ophthalmologist: is an eye surgeon.
A warning before proceeding: if you get queasy around medical terms, you may want to sit down.
1) The ophthalmologist is a surgeon, someone who specializes in correcting eye conditions and diseases. You probably won’t see one without being recommended by your above-mentioned optometrist.
The best-known work ophthalmologists do is LASIK surgery, but they conduct numerous other operations. Cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma surgery … we did warn to sit down. Anyway, with any luck, you won’t have to see an ophthalmologist. But if you have to, well, you’ll probably be glad you did.
2) Look closely at the word’s spelling. Ophthalmologist starts with oph, not just op! Plus, there’s an errant L before that second one we all manage enunciate in the word’s ologist suffix.
Some word nerds get grumpy when people say op-tham instead of the less popular off-thalm but your friends here at Creditview Optical are happy to go with the flow. That’s how language works: it’s dynamic and always evolving. So, if the first and technically ‘wrong’ way is how most people pronounce it these days, that’s OK with us.
Mind, of course we would say that. Your friends here at Creditiview are eternal optimists!