We answer some of the most Frequently Asked Optometry Questions in South Africa. From the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist, we cover it all.

DISCLAIMER: Always follow the advice of your medical professional.

Do I need an optometrist or an ophthalmologist?

That all depends on the eye condition you would like treated or to be tested for. Commonly an optometrist provides treatment for common eye problems such as dry eyes and certain chronic eye diseases such as glaucoma. However serious eye disorders which require surgery or other specialty medical care will need to be treated by an ophthalmologist.

What can an optometrist diagnose?

An optometrist is a trained eye care professional who can perform eye exams and vision tests and treat conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism. They can also prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses as well as provide low-vision aids and vision therapy. Their specialised training will also assist them with the detection of certain eye diseases, injuries, and disorders which are all related to the eyes.

What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a licensed medical doctor who has both studied medicine and specialised in and done additional training within the medical field of ophthalmology. An optometrist is a trained eye care professional and not a medical doctor who provides primary vision care which ranges from sight testing to the diagnosis, treatment and management of vision changes.