What an ophthalmologist does
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating eye diseases. To qualify as an ophthalmologist, a person must really put in the hard yards. After graduating from medical school, they then complete several years of post-graduate study in ophthalmology.
Ophthalmologists provide preventative treatment for diseases, injuries and deficiencies of the eye and the structures around it. They can perform procedures such as cataract surgery and laser surgery to correct vision problems. These people are uber-knowledgable about eyes, and we think they rock.
Many ophthalmologists also complete even more training (known as sub-specialisation) in treating specific parts of the eye or certain diseases. Sub-specialities within ophthalmology include… take a deep breath… paediatrics, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, retina, cornea, reconstructive surgery and strabismus (eye turn).
To see an ophthalmologist, you’ll need a referral from an optometrist or medical practitioner.
OK, so what about an orthoptist?
Orthoptists are health practitioners who deal with disorders of eye movement, and the procedures that diagnose conditions of the eye and visual system. They specialise in areas such as paediatrics, geriatrics, neonatal care, rehabilitation, neurological impairment and ophthalmic technology.
When orthoptists work with ophthalmologists, they perform eye tests and educate you about the treatment recommended by the ophthalmologist. Some orthoptists help organise cataract surgeries and retinal assessments after a laser surgery.
You don’t need a referral to see an orthoptist. They tend to work alongside other health practitioners rather than independently.Make an appointment