Vision Tips with VIA: Ophthalmology vs. Optometry vs. Low Vision Specialist

Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine specializing in the anatomy, function, and disease of the eye.

Ophthalmologist
An ophthalmologist is a medical or osteopathic physician specializing in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and the prevention of eye diseases. Ophthalmologists diagnoses and treats refractive, medical and surgical problems related to eye diseases and disorders. An ophthalmologist will have the initials M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) after their name.

Optometry
Optometry is a vision care specialty concerned with the health of the eye, the visual system, and related structures.

Optometrist
An optometrist is a healthcare professional specializing in function and disorder of the eye, detection of eye disease, and some types of eye disease management. They conduct eye examinations, prescribe corrective lenses, and diagnosis and treats eye diseases and disorders. An optometrist will have the initials O.D. (Doctor of Optometry) following their name.

Low Vision Specialist
Many optometrists and some ophthalmologists have additional credentials or specialization in Low Vision testing, diagnosis, and treatment. They are trained to conduct the Low Vision Eye Examination and to prescribe special Low Vision Optical Devices.

If experiencing significant vision loss, a Low Vision Specialist can help determine whether special optical or non-optical devices, lighting, or other specialized Vision Rehabilitation Services can help maximize one’s remaining vision, independence, and quality of life.

Learn more at viawny.org/vision-rehab/.

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