Ophthalmologist vs Optometrist

Ophthalmologist vs Optometrist – What’s the Difference?

Both optometrists and ophthalmologists are eye doctors, but their areas of practice differ. Optometrists act as the primary care providers for your eyes. They perform routine exams and prescribe glasses and contacts. They can also diagnose and treat common conditions like dry eye, eye infections, and minor injuries like corneal scratches. Ophthalmologists like Dr. Mattioli are eye specialists and surgeons, with advanced training in eye diseases and vision surgery. They can perform the same routine tasks as an optometrist, but also provide advanced care for complex eye conditions, manage chronic eye diseases, and perform laser eye surgery and other vision correction procedures.

What Type of Eye Doctor Can Help Me with My Vision?

If you’re not sure if you should see your neighborhood eye doctor versus an ophthalmologist for your vision concerns, visiting an eye specialist could be the way to go. As an eye surgeon and medical doctor, an ophthalmologist is your most valuable resource for a wide range of eye problems. Consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Mattioli’s team if you experience:
  1. Blurry vision: Whether sudden or gradual, unexplained blurry vision can point to various issues, like cataracts, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy. Untreated, these underlying issues will become progressively worse over time.
  2. Sudden vision changes: Flashes, floaters (seeing cobweb-like shapes), or a loss of peripheral vision can all be signs of serious eye problems like retinal tears or detachment. These can permanently affect your vision if not treated promptly.
  3. Trouble seeing at night: Difficulty seeing clearly in low light could indicate cataracts, night blindness, or retinal issues. This can make it very difficult or dangerous for you to drive at night.
  4. Eye injuries: For a serious eye injury, especially those involving punctures, chemical exposure, or persistent pain, targeted treatment could be necessary to minimize vision loss.

What If My Optometrist Told Me Not to Get Eye Surgery?

One common concern raised by optometrists is that your eyes are “too young” for surgery, particularly if you’re under age 25. However, thanks to highly advanced surgical technology, we can perform accurate procedures on younger patients who have had a stable prescription over the past year. Some optometrists have personally had corrective eye surgery are apprehensive about eye surgery in general. Dr. Mattioli has completed tens of thousands of successful LASIK and ICL procedures combined, so you can rest assured that you are in the hands of a highly-skilled professional. Additionally, modern vision correction procedures are minimally invasive and have excellent safety records. In fact, Dr. Mattioli had LASIK himself 24 years ago. Most optometrist businesses rely on revenue from glasses and contact lens sales. While this might influence their recommendations, the decision ultimately rests with you. Laser eye surgery offers a permanent solution, freeing you from the ongoing costs and hassle of glasses or contacts. We encourage you to do your own research and ask us all the questions you need to so you can make an informed decision about whether corrective surgery is the right choice for you.

Do I Need a Referral to See an Ophthalmologist?

No, you don’t need a referral to meet with Dr. Mattioli. You can contact us directly to book your personalized consultation. During this initial appointment, our team will discuss your vision concerns, conduct a comprehensive eye exam, and answer any questions you may have. If you’re curious about potential treatment options, complete our simple online assessment. This can give you a preliminary idea of the type of eye surgery you might be a candidate for, based on your age and symptoms. Remember, the assessment is for informational purposes only. A definitive diagnosis and treatment plan can only be determined after a thorough consultation at our office.

Vision Surgery and Procedures by an Experienced Ophthalmologist

Dr. Mattioli has been a trusted vision correction doctor in Houston for over 20 years. With over 75,000 successful procedures performed, including LASIK, SMILE, and EVO ICL, his expertise is unmatched. In fact, over 96% of his patients experienced 20/20 vision after their procedure! Achieve the life-changing freedom of clear vision—schedule an in-person consultation today.