Ophthalmologist vs optometrist. What is the difference

What is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) who specializes in vision and eye care. Ophthalmologists are trained to do eye examinations , diagnose and cure disease, prescribe drugs and perform eye surgery. In addition they write prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses.

What is an optometrist?

An optometrist is a eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists examine eyes to both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing glasses and contact lenses. Some optometrists also provide low vision care and vision treatment .

The biggest difference between the two is that an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that specializes in the eye, and an optometrist is an eye doctor.

If your eyes are healthy and do not need specialized medical or surgical procedures, the type of eye doctor that you choose for a routine eye examination is a question of personal preference.

Optometrists and ophthalmologists both execute routine eye examinations and both kinds of eye doctors are trained to detect, diagnose and manage eye diseases that require medical and anti inflammatory therapy.

When should you see an ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmologists are trained to provide the full range of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to performing complex and delicate eye surgery. They might also be involved in research about eye diseases and remedies. Some ophthalmologists will get additional fellowship training in a subspecialty field of ophthalmology, including retina, cornea, glaucoma, pediatrics, oculoplastics, refractive surgery, uveitis, pathology, or neuro-ophthalmology.

When should you see an optometrist?

Optometrists can perform an eye examination and can ascertain the existence of vision-related problems. They can also prescribe glasses and contact lenses. Based on the condition in which they practice, optometrists may be allowed to treat eye diseases and prescribe eye drops for various conditions, but they are not trained or licensed to perform surgery on the eye.

Seeing both an ophthalmologist and an optometrist

In many cases, care for a particular eye problem might be provided by an optometrist and an ophthalmologist working together. This arrangement is known as co-management.

In co-management, your primary care doctor (usually an optometrist) refers you to a specialist (usually an ophthalmologist) for a definitive diagnosis and treatment strategy. The ophthalmologist might opt to manage the problem medically, perform eye surgery, or even both. After the status is controlled or properly treated, the expert then sends you straight back to your primary care eye doctor, who proceeds to monitor and treat your condition or carry out post-operative care dependent on the specialist's recommendations.

Co-management is an especially good solution if you're quite happy with the standard of care you are receiving from your primary care doctor, but you desire to have any specific medical eye conditions treated by an experienced specialist.

5 things to know when you consult in another Canadian province

Your taking vacation out of the Quebec province and you have prepared weeks in advance. However, some contingencies are uncontrollable. If, during a trip you need health care, you’ll be more informed with this list.

1. Your health insurance card should be following you everywhere.

If you go in a clinic or to the office of a health professional, present right away your health insurance card. Some professionals accept the card, so you can receive the needed treatments without having anything to pay. They are directly remunerated by the Quebec Health Insurance Plan (RAMQ) with whom they sometimes take agreements. For hospitals, there’s an interprovince agreement which gives you the access to the same measures as in Quebec with the public plan card.

2. keep all your receipts.

In the case where your health insurance card is of no use when you need healthcare, you will need some documents. Be sure to have the originals of the receipts you will get. If you make payments with your credit card, keep a copy of the payment slip. When it is made by paycheck, save a picture of each sides of it with the professional’s or the establishment name. In brief, keep all the documents that details the interventions, the received services and their price. This will give you the opportunity to reclaim them to the RAMQ.

3. Get inform on your coverage.

The health insurance card does not cover every charge you could have in a health-related incident. It is giving you the same limited coverage as in Quebec. You are only covered with the doctors, dentists and optometrists. Any other healthcare is not insured and what is covered is in the precise beacons and in the same fees as in Quebec. If you spend more, the fees are at your charge.

4. Do not forget about your medication.

If you take prescribed medication, bring enough for the duration of your trip. You can consult your pharmacist before your leaving to obtain the needed quantity for period of your absence. Medicines, prescribed or not, bought out of the province of Quebec, is not covered by the Quebec Health Insurance Plan.

5. Prevent the worse.

Before leaving, get a private insurance. You will be more reassured that you will not have surprise fees that you will have to pay on the spot. Or else you could at least get them reimbursed quickly.