Tag Archive: Optometrist vs Ophthalmologist

Where can I get an eye exam?

Where can I get an eye exam?

Choosing an eye care provider is an important health care decision. Your sense of sight is valuable and you will want to choose someone you can trust to care for this precious ability.

Optometrist vs Ophthalmologist: What’s the Difference?

There are two types of eye doctors you will want to consider when making your choice of a eye care provider, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists. Your personal eye health care needs will be a determining factor in your choice.


Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in eye care. In addition to providing routine eye health care they also perform eye surgery and treat medical conditions of the eye. Ophthalmologists generally complete 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, as well as additional years of post graduate training in medical and surgical eye care.


Optometrists are eye doctors that have earned a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists complete 4 years of college and 4 years of optometry school. Optometrists also provide routine eye health care, prescribing glasses and contacts, low vision aids, vision therapy and medications to treat eye diseases, and pre-operative and post- operative care.


Another type of eye care professional is an Optician. An optician is not an eye doctor, but a professional that uses the prescription written by your eye care provider to assist you in your selection of eye wear. They fit, adjust, and repair glasses and provide training in contact lens insertion and removal and care. Some opticians are specially trained to fit contact lenses, also.

Where can I get an eye exam?

A Snellen eye chart and a "tumbling E" eye exam chart.

While you can obtain an eye exam from several different venues, the quality of an eye exam can vary greatly from one place to another. Some clinics provide low cost exams with minimal testing with the  goal of providing you with an eye glass prescription. Other clinics will focus on a total eye health evaluation, including near and distant vision testing, evaluation of your eyes’ ability to work together, retinal photos, visual field screening, tests for signs of glaucoma, macular degeneration, dry eye disease, or other eye diseases. Eye care providers may also specialize in specific areas within their field, such as providing care for those with low vision needs, pediatric care, or managing dry eye disease.

Other factors that may influence your choice of providers are whether or not your insurance is accepted by the provider, the friendliness of the staff, the cleanliness of the clinic, convenience of available appointment times, or referrals made by friends and family.


The Uptown Eye Care Difference

Here at Uptown Eye Care you will receive the most thorough, up-to-date comprehensive eye exam available. When you come for your appointment, we make sure to schedule ample time so you will never feel rushed. Our office provides complete eye care for both adults and children. Our passion is keeping your eyes healthy and your vision the best it can be. We adhere to the highest standards of optometric care providing each patient with:

  • The Latest Advances in Eye Health Care Practices
  • The Most Up-To-Date Vision Care Technology
  • The Finest Quality Products
  • The Highest Level of Personal Care
The Uptown Eye Care Difference

The park-like atmosphere at Uptown Eye Care in Monticello, MN

During your comprehensive eye health evaluation your eyes will be checked for any potential eye disorders or diseases. Your visual skills and abilities are carefully evaluated and appropriate treatment is prescribed, whether it’s medication, lenses, or vision therapy. We are prepared to handle your eye care needs with the latest in diagnostic equipment and eye care technology.

Uptown Eye Care serves the communities of Monticello, Big Lake, Buffalo, Becker, Clearwater, Clear Lake, Maple Lake, Saint Michael, Albertville, Otsego, Elk River, Zimmerman, Saint Cloud, Rogers, and the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

To schedule your appointment call us at 763-271-2020 or fill out our Contact Form.

Click here for a Virtual Tour of Uptown Eye Care of Monticello, MN.

We often get the question, what is the difference between an Optometrist and an Ophthalmologist? So today we will try our best to clear up this vexing question.

Two Main Types of Eye Doctors

There are two main types of eye doctors and it’s not surprising that many people aren’t sure which is which. Read on to find out what each eye health professional does and the difference between them.


Ophthalmologists are physicians that have completed 4 or more years of premedical education, then 4 more years of medical school to get their doctorate degrees. After they are licensed physicians they complete internship and residency requirements of 4 or more years where they receive medical and surgical specialty training specifically in eye care. If an eye care provider has the letters “M.D.” after his/her name that is a clue they are an ophthalmologist.

Some of the services provided by an ophthalmologist include medical eye care for things like glaucoma, iritis or chemical burns. They provide surgical eye care for trauma to the eye, cataracts or tumors. They diagnose and treat eye conditions related to diseases like diabetes (diabetic retinopathy). Some offer plastic surgery services for drooping eyelids, skin tumors or to cosmetically improve the appearance of the skin around the eyes.


An Optometrist is a health care provider that has completed an undergraduate degree, 4 years of schooling to receive an optometry degree and some complete postgraduate clinical residencies to gain specialist certification. If your eye care provider has the letters “O.D.” after their name they are an optometrist.

Doctors of optometry are independent primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions. They examine the internal and external structure of the eyes to diagnose eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disorders; systemic diseases like hypertension and diabetes; and vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia.

Optometrists also do testing to determine the patient’s ability to focus and coordinate the eyes, and to judge depth and see colors accurately. They prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, low vision aids, vision therapy and medicines to treat eye diseases.

Optometrists also may take part in pre- and postoperative care for patients that have had eye surgery. Some clinics have both optometrists and ophthalmologists working in the same office to provide a complete scope of eye care services for their patients.

We at Uptown Eye Care have both Optometrists and an Ophthalmologist available in our office so we can handle all your eye care needs.  Contact Us with any of your questions or concerns and we will be happy to work with you and get them all answered.


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