Ophthalmology, Optometry & Opticianry: The Three O’s of Eye Care

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ophthalmology, Optometry & Opticianry: The Three O’s of Eye Care

Do you know the difference between the 3 O’s of eye care: Ophthalmologists, Optometrists & Opticians? In general, an Ophthalmologist is an eye doctor who has received a Medical Degree (M.D.) and performs eye surgery. The Ophthalmologists at Baltimore Washington Eye Center are Drs. Arturo Betancourt and Brad Spagnolo. An Ophthalmologist has 4 years of undergraduate education, 4 years of medical school, 1 year of internal medicine residency and then 3 years of ophthalmology residency. An Ophthalmology sub-specialist or Fellow will have an additional 1 to 3 years of education. That totals 12-15 years of education post high school. Drs. Betancourt and Spagnolo perform cataract and refractive surgery such as LASIK as well as diagnose and and treat eye diseases and problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and thyroid eye disease. 

In general, an Optometrist is an eye doctor that has received a Doctorate of Optometry (O.D.) and does not perform eye surgery. They can manage and treat eye diseases, conditions and problems including glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, amblyopia and strabismus. They also fit and prescribe contact lenses. An Optometrist has 4 years of undergraduate education and 4 years of optometry school. An optometric sub specialist does an extra 1 to 2 years of residency or fellowship. That totals 9 to 10 years of education after high school. The Optometrists at Baltimore Washington Eye Center are Drs. Shari Strier and Asifa Shafi. They both have completed hospital based residencies at the VA Hospital in Baltimore. 

An Optician fits, makes and sells glasses. An Optician does not have a doctorate but opticians can be certified by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO). Not all opticians are ABO certified, therefore finding an ABO certified Optician brings an increased knowledge base to help with the decision making of eyeglass frames and lenses. The best pair of glasses is not only the pair that helps you see, but the one that fits well. At Baltimore Washington Eye Center all four Opticians-Larry Heilman, Danielle Jones, Chris Spake and Michael Murphy are ABO certified. They can recommend personal additions to your lenses, such as Transitions® Color changing lenses, ultraviolet coating, scratch resistant coating, progressives, bifocals, trifocals, antireflective coating and computer lenses. 

A fourth sub specialty ‘O’ in eye care is an Ocularist although this is an uncommon eyecare provider. An Ocularist specializes in creating prosthetic eyes for patients who have one eye, a smaller size eye, or a deformed eye. Ocularists can have training from medicine, optometry, dentistry, nursing, medical arts, or illustration. They can be certified by the National Examining Board of Ocularists (N.E.B.O.) and hold a title for Board Certified Ocularist (B.C.O.). 

If you would like to learn more about the three O’s of eye care or to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center please call 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland. 

Guest Blogger: Dr. Asifa Shafi, O.D., M.S with the Baltimore Washington Eye Center