Seeing Better Than You Have Before

3 Things You Didn't Know about Ophthalmologists (And How They Can Help You)

by Linda Bates

Ophthalmologist. Besides being nearly impossible to spell without that red squiggly line appearing to mock your clumsy fingers, ophthalmologists are some of the most mysterious types of doctors to the untrained individual, even though you've probably been to several during your lifetime. If you're looking for facts you didn't know about ophthalmologists and have been wondering how they can help your ocular health, then here's what you need to know.

The spelling makes a difference -- a big difference

"Optometrist" is the word you'll typically use when speaking about an eye doctor. But there are distinct differences between optometrists and ophthalmologists that go beyond the spelling -- and chances are, you've used the incorrect word at least once in your life. While optometrists can prescribe contact or glasses prescriptions, ophthalmologists are able to perform surgery and take part in medical research about eye diseases, along with getting you the perfect glasses. Ophthalmologists usually take 4 more years of schooling than optometrists, and it shows -- they make about $250,000 annually, more than double the average optometrist.

Ophthalmologists are (kind of) like breaded eggs

How so? Well, bread is delicious, and eggs are delicious, but breaded eggs are better than either ingredient alone. Ophthalmologists follow that very same principle; most doctors are either surgical or medical specialists, but ophthalmologists are both, making them uniquely qualified to help fix your eyes better than any doctor of (just) surgery or doctor of (just) medicine could. Your ophthalmologist will handle your care ever step of the way -- from testing for eye diseases such as glaucoma to even performing complex vision correction surgery -- ensuring that nothing gets lost in the piles of paperwork and making you feel as comfortable as possible.

Their practice and treatments are constantly evolving

Like many other professions, ophthalmologists like Linden Optometry PC are required to complete continuing education in order to stay current in their medical know-how and any new technology. There's a good reason for this -- a lot has changed since the Theodor Leber's time within ophthalmology. Better lasers mean more accurate surgery and faster healing times, especially for cataracts. New DNA screening techniques can more easily find genetic eye disorders and prevent vision loss before it occurs. And for those with amblyopia, there might just be hope on the horizon with new gaming technology meant to teach them to see the world in bright, stunning 3D.