Optometrist vs Ophthalmologist: Which Do I Need for Eye Care?


Hispanic,Woman,Feeling,Happy,,Showing,Approval,With,Okay,Gesture.,Optical When it comes to choosing an eye care provider, you have two options. Optometrists handle much of the regular eye care, such as eye exams, prescribing glasses or contact lenses, and treatments most people associate with an eye doctor. An ophthalmologist is a more advanced eye doctor who deals with complex eye treatments and performs eye surgeries.

Role of an Optometrist in Eye Care

Optometrists are technically known as doctors of optometry, or ODs. They are the front line of eye healthcare and can appear within organized hospital systems, HMO networks, and their own independent eye care offices. They frequently handle the bulk of routine eye exams, health screenings, diagnostics, prescriptions, and ocular disease management.

What Does an Ophthalmologist Do?

Ophthalmologists provide specialized treatment and surgical care to patients. They have surgical training as well as specialization in specific eye treatment areas.

Patients commonly get referred to ophthalmologists when they have an advanced or complex condition that requires specialized treatment. Ophthalmologists can also treat congenital eye conditions.

Common procedures handled by ophthalmologists include cataract surgery, LASIK surgery, and emergency eye surgery. Ophthalmologists also regularly perform procedures related to retina or cornea damage, glaucoma, ocular plastic surgery, and facial reconstruction around the eye region.

What Type of Eye Doctor Do I Need?

Both an ophthalmologist and optometrist can provide excellent care, but each one caters to different needs.

Optometrists are a great provider to connect with if you need an eye exam or have concerns about your vision. If needed, they can refer you to an eye specialist for further treatment.


  • Serve as primary care doctors for your eyes
  • Perform eye exams and vision tests
  • Prescribe glasses lenses and contact lenses
  • Diagnose, treat, and manage certain eye conditions
  • Generally refer patients to ophthalmologists for surgical needs or more advanced eye care


  • Specialize in vision care and eye diseases
  • Perform eye exams, diagnostics tests, prescribe medications, and eye surgeries
  • Write prescriptions for eye glasses and contact lenses
  • Create comprehensive treatment plans for patients with a wide range of eye diseases and disorders

Enjoy Full Eye Care Service in Gardner, Greenfield, West Springfield & Fitchburg, MA

Longwood Eye & LASIK Center provides the best of both worlds for patients by delivering a combination of optometrist and ophthalmologist doctors under one roof. Regardless of the patient’s needs, our professional eye doctor team covers the entire spectrum in one center.

To request an appointment, call us at 855-286-2020, or request an appointment on our contact page. We’re here to help you take amazing care of your eyes with a compassionate team and the leading treatments for any condition.


For Urgent/Problem Appointments, please call the office and do not submit an online form request

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