Eye Care and the Difference Between Ophthalmology and Optometry

They’re both long words that start with the letter “O.” Both are eye doctors who can help keep your eyes healthy and correct your vision.

But when it comes to choosing your Triangle area eye care professional here in North Carolina, how do you know which one to choose?

First, let’s explain the difference. An Optometrist is a Doctor of Optometry, or an O.D. They provide these important services:

  • Provide exams, and can diagnose eye diseases, including glaucoma and cataracts. 
  • In some states, such as North Carolina, optometrists can also treat these eye diseases and provide basic surgical procedures.
  • Optometrists can also examine and provide sight correction through glasses and contacts.
  • Have obtained a bachelor’s degree plus four years of optometry education.

An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists attend four years of medical school, complete an internship and spend three years in residency. They provide:

  • Eye exams, prescribe glasses, contacts and medication.
  • Learn medical and surgical treatment of all eye conditions and diseases.
  • Perform complex and delicate eye surgery.
  • May be involved in eye research.

If you have healthy eyes, the type of eye doctor you choose is a matter of personal preference.

Those with eye problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts and more serious conditions, should consult an eye doctor who is trained in monitoring and treating your condition. Only ophthalmologists can provide an entire range of treatments, including eye surgery.

In many cases, your optometrist may refer you to an ophthalmologist, based on your exam or medical condition. There are many fantastic optometrists in the RTP area, who provide support to our doctors at Park Ophthalmology.

Vision is important, and it’s vital for you to be proactive when choosing your eye doctor. Whether you choose an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, be sure to choose someone you can trust to take care of your precious sight. Our mission is to provide outstanding service to everyone in Raleigh, Durham, and the rest of the Triangle region.


This article about the benefits of eye care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Photo Credit:


Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829


Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail: parkeyemd@gmail.com

Follow us https://twitter.com/ParkOphthNC

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Photo Credit: photo by imagerymajestic courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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