Ambivalence might hit you while selecting an eye-care provider. However, it is a crucial decision to make because you are giving away your trust to an eye specialist to protect your precious eyesight.
Before going further into the details, let’s make one thing clear; ophthalmologists do perform surgeries. They are also known as eye surgeons or eye doctors.
Ophthalmologists are specialists who can deal with all sorts of problems related to eye care. Medical aspects of care may include surgery, treatment of eye diseases, and providing a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
What are the responsibilities of an ophthalmologist?
The results of the International Council of Opthalmology (2020), revealed that there are roughly about 210,730 ophthalmologists worldwide, and 60.19 percent of the eye and vision care specialists are performing surgeries.
An ophthalmologist is an eye and vision-care specialist who is responsible for performing eye exams and identifying, and administering diseases, disorders, and infections of the visual system.
These surgical and medical specialists are experts in performing surgeries or microsurgeries and can treat various eye-related conditions or diseases. Moreover, ophthalmologists are liable to prescribe contact lenses, spectacles, and medicines for any issue related to the eyes.
How are ophthalmologists different from orthoptists and optometrists?
Orthoptists earn a bachelor’s degree in any science-related field, and then they attend two years of fellowship training. They are healthcare providers who have specialized in analyzing and treating eye-movement disorders, for instance, strabismus (cross-eye), squints, and double vision. Also, they play a crucial role in curing low vision, neurological vision problems, and eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy among individuals.
Optometrists study optometry for four years, and then they do a residency program for a year. Optometrists, however, can take care of all the medical aspects of ophthalmology, but they are not certified to perform eye surgery.
Ophthalmologists, as compared to orthoptists and optometrists, have to complete four years of college. Another one-year post-graduate clinical year, 48 months of residency that emphasizes ophthalmology, and one should get a certificate from the American Board of Ophthalmology.
Which ailments can ophthalmologists administer?
People are directed to seek advice from an ophthalmologist when they are facing specific issues such as
- Complete or partial vision loss
- Inflammation, pain, or eye injuries
- Corneal complications
- Children with eye conditions
- Neurological eye disorders include optic neuritis, double vision (diplopia), ischemic optic neuropathy, and abnormal eye movements.
- Subjects that require complex surgeries like advanced vision repair or reconstructive surgery
Apart from facilitating optic problems, medical training of ophthalmologists may also enable them to observe symptoms that do not relate to the eye directly. In cases like this, they usually refer to other specialists for proper treatment.
What kind of surgeries can ophthalmologists perform?
Several trained and certified ophthalmologists can handle and carry out a broad range of surgical procedures. The approaches that eye-care specialists perform daily depend upon their specialty and type of practice.
As claimed the 2016 research published in Clinical Ophthalmology showed that developments and the emergence of new therapies and techniques had helped ophthalmology residents in conducting surgeries.
Ophthalmologists are surgeons, and these are the surgeries that they can perform every day:
- Cataract surgery
- Cancer treatment (to remove melanoma)
- Neoplasm (cyst, tumor, or foreign object) removal
- Surgery to correct cross-eye (strabismus)
- Corneal transplants
- Treat chronic tear-duct infections or blockages
- Surgery to repair the retina
- Laser or refractive surgery to correct long-sightedness, short-sightedness, or astigmatism
- Glaucoma surgery
When should you see an ophthalmologist?
You should visit eye-care professionals if you are confronting severe eye problems such as:
- Black specks or floaters
- Eyelid problems (entropion, ectropion, facial palsy, trichiasis, etc.)
- Visualizing colored circles around the lights
- Unexplainable eye redness
- Bulging eyes
- A gradual loss of peripheral vision
- Distorted or double vision
An individual may require immediate care from an ophthalmologist if they manifest certain issues like:
- Abrupt loss of vision
- Severe pain in the eye
- Eye injury
People may also receive a referral to visit an ophthalmologist if they possess certain diseases that can slowly elevate the risk of having eye problems. These disorders include:
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Family history of certain eye conditions
- Graves’ disease (a condition of the thyroid)
Where do ophthalmologists generally work?
These healthcare professionals work in private and public settings. Most of them work in a team with other healthcare providers to provide optimum care to the people.
How can you locate an ophthalmologist?
You can either ask your optometrist or your doctor for a recommendation. Your friends, family members, or coworkers can also suggest an eye specialist. This can help you choose an eye doctor because word-of-mouth referrals tend to avoid unpleasant surprises. Moreover, you can use a health direct service finder to pinpoint eye-care professionals, for instance, ophthalmology Austin in your area.
Ophthalmologists are eye-care specialists who have undergone specialized medical training to diagnose, perform surgery, and treat eye and vision disorders. Most of them have done specialization in a particular branch of ophthalmology, and they perform specific procedures and treat certain parts of the eyes.
People should visit an ophthalmologist before forty years for a complete eye exam to establish a baseline eye health profile. This profile will help eye doctors to detect subtle eye and vision changes immediately.