Ophthalmologist doctors are trained to offer the complete range of eye care, from prescribe glasses and contact lenses, to simple and complex eye surgery. Ophthalmologist doctors perform all sorts of eye exams, diagnose eye problems, prescribe medicines, and do all kinds of cosmetic surgery to enhance, repair, or avoid the worsening of vision and eye-related diseases. A doctor who specializes in eye care is referred to as an ophthalmologist. A doctor who practices medicine but specializes in eye care is called an optometrist. A doctor who holds both degrees is known as an ophthalmologist/optometrist. The scope of eye care treatment is quite broad and the exact treatment options for vision and eye problems can be different at different times.
Vision care is one of the most popular areas of health care where ophthalmologies professionals fulfill continuing education requirements as required by the various professions schools and institutions. An optometrist must hold a degree from an accredited optometry school and pass the state board exam for eye care certification. Some states allow the ophthalmologist to prescribe glasses, contact lenses and other suitable corrective eye wear that has been approved by the American Ophthalmology Association, either in printed form or on the site. Optometrists also have to fulfill continuing education requirements as required by their profession boards. In recent years, ophthalmologists have to meet more stringent requirements to participate in state-regulated ophthalmology organizations.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness. Optometrists perform yearly examination and laser eye surgeries to diagnose and treat glaucoma. When you are looking for an eye care professional who can diagnose and treat glaucoma, you should ensure that he/she is trained and certified to do the treatment. You can get more information about the ongoing glaucoma training requirements by visiting the website of the American Optometric Association.
Some ophthalmologist choose to continue practicing even after losing their licenses in order to pay for continuing education classes as required under the state regulated eye care organizations. However, in some states, you will not be allowed to continue to practice as an ophthalmologist if you fail to complete the prescribed number of prescribed courses. Every ophthalmology school will have its own rules for determining the requirements for continuing education credits. Most states require a student to complete four years of education and a specific number of proctored examinations before being allowed to apply for a license. You should contact your state board for further information.
Most states also have specific requirements for ophthalmologists, optometrists, and surgeons to practice surgical eye care. Surgeons are required to obtain an additional six months of residency during which time he/she is supposed to complete an additional two years of specialized training. In some states, eye care surgery requires that eye doctors and surgeons pass written examinations and also complete a surgical eye care certification.
Glaucoma patients should seek immediate eye care treatment at the first sign of any of the following signs: redness, blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, dryness of the eyes, pain and irritability. These symptoms may indicate that glaucoma is present. Patients should visit an eye care specialist immediately. Glaucoma can lead to blindness if not treated effectively. If detected early, you can prevent permanent vision loss and the need for continuous laser eye care or surgical eye care.