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optometrist vs opthamologist
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optometrist vs opthamologist

My friend (late 20's) is worried about her eyes...says she has trouble driving due to blurry vision, which is a lot worse than a few years ago.  She seems to think that it's OK to get a full eye exam by an optometrist at some retail chain store, but I am inclined to insist that she needs an actual Opthamologist for a complete and proper exam.  I know either one can deal with glasses, but can you help me understand what an opthamologist does different for a eye screening for diseases and such, because I am also worried about that
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You are correct.  An ophthalmologist spends four years in medical school learning about the human body and all diseases, then four years in a surgical/medical residency dealing specifically with diseases of the eye and their treatments.  Optometrists spend four years learing to prescribe glasses and contacts and doing simple exams on normal eyes.  I unfortunately have seen too many chain store optometrists miss or misdiagnose serious eye problems because they just lack the training to identify all but the most obvious abnormalities.  Have your friend see an ophthalmologist/eye MD if the problem is more significant than a simple need for glasses.

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