Different Roles of Eye Care Professionals

Different Roles of Eye Care Professionals

By Mr Alex J Shortt

So there is numerous different people who look after eyes and each have a specific role.  It is pretty common for people to get confused between the role of an Optician, an Optometrist, an Orthoptist and an Ophthalmologist.  So an Optometrist is someone has been to University and done a University degree called Optometry and their role is to evaluate eye health and prescribe glasses, so they measure glasses prescriptions.  Now that glasses prescription then needs to then be made into a pair of glasses, and those glasses sized to fit the face and for the lenses to sit in the correct position and that is done by an Optician, specifically a dispensing Optician and most people who are Optometrists also are dispensing Opticians, so they can both measure the prescription of the glasses and also dispense glasses as well.  The third group of eye health professionals are Orthoptists and they are specialists in measuring squints and in understanding the movements of the eye, so patients that have eyes that cross or an eye that drifts out, they need to see an Orthoptist to look at the reasons for that and what can be done to correct it.  The last group of eye health professionals are Ophthalmologists and these are doctors who have been to medical school, they then specialised and done training in surgery of the eye and we call that ophthalmology and they then become surgeons and become members of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, which is the professional body that regulates eye surgeons.