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Optometrist vs Ophthalmologist

People with eye problems often don't know whether to meet an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Often, they are unsure about who is who and who is responsible for what? So, we decided to help you understand the primary differences between optometrists vs ophthalmologists so that the next time when you go to an eye clinic, you know who to meet first.

Who is an Optometrist?

An optometrist is an eye doctor who does eye exams, diagnoses eye conditions, and treats eye conditions. They are the primary eye care providers and are responsible for providing routine eye care.

Education- Optometrists study optometry programs, which, depending on the institution and the curriculum, can take between three and a half and four years to complete. In the initial years of their optometry program, they go through the fundamental and cutting-edge methods of an eye examination. And in their final one to two years of the optometry program, they are required to participate in full-time clinical training as residents in addition to completing their academic requirements.

Salary range- The salary of optometrists in India varies based on their level of experience and location. The average annual income for optometrists in India is INR 3 Lakhs.

Services they Offer- An optometrist is a medical professional to see for a variety of eye care needs, including a yearly eye exam, prescription refills for eyeglasses and contacts, and even medication and treatment for certain eye illnesses. They are responsible for the following duties:

  • Routine eye exams of the patients

  • Diagnose eye conditions

  • Prescribe contact lenses, eyeglasses, and other visual aids

  • Treat minor surgical procedures for eye conditions

Scope for Optometrists in India

There is a huge and unbounded amount of potential for optometric practice both in India and elsewhere. It is an exciting and demanding career option that gives workplace flexibility, the potential for financial success, and endless chances. Passionate candidates can attain both personal and professional growth through this line of work.

Who is an Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical professional that specializes in diagnosing and treating problems of the eye by both medicinal and surgical means.

Education- Before commencing ophthalmology residency training, all ophthalmologists must obtain a four-year medical degree from a recognized institution. Completing an ophthalmology residency might take anywhere from four to seven years, depending on the institution you attend and the training you receive.

In the initial years of their course, they learn evaluation and treatment of both interior and exterior eye conditions and subspecialties pertaining to eye diseases and get training in ophthalmological surgery for all kinds of eye disorders. For a period of one year, ophthalmologists undergo an internship program where they get practical exposure. After that, they become eligible for the residency program.

Salary Range- The salary of ophthalmologists varies greatly based on their experience and their location of work. In India, the annual pay of an ophthalmologist can range anywhere from Rs. 7 Lakhs to Rs. 30 Lakhs, with an average annual compensation of Rs. 14 Lakhs.

Diseases they Cure- An ophthalmologist is able to provide the same services as an optometrist, including routine exams and prescription refills.

On the other hand, an ophthalmologist is also qualified to perform eye surgery for a variety of eye disorders and conditions, such as refractive errors, cataracts, glaucoma, and strabismus surgery, amongst others.

Scope for Ophthalmologists in India

People who are interested in this field may want to consider becoming an ophthalmologist as a career option. Because of this ongoing demand for ophthalmologists, there will always be employment possibilities available in this field.

Those individuals who have finished their residency program are eligible to continue their education by pursuing fellowship training in a subspecialty of ophthalmology. According to research, there will be an increase in the demand for ophthalmologists by 2029.

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