Health + Wellness

Vision Care Specialist: Which One is Right For You?

vision care specialist

Blacks are at higher risk for some eye diseases, including cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Many of these diseases don’t have symptoms at first, and can cause vision loss or blindness if they’re not treated, according to the National Eye Insitute.

That is why it is so important for you to see your doctor regularly, especially if you are having problems. If you’re having eye problems, you may not know which type of vision care specialist to consult.

Which vision care specialist should you see?

Here’s some help from experts who explain their roles:


Optometrists provide comprehensive eye care, including evaluations for glasses and contact lenses and common eye diseases.

“They play a role in monitoring chronic conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetes,” Dr. Danielle Natale, an optometrist at the Krieger Eye Institute in Baltimore, says. They can also treat acute eye problems such as pink eye or sties.

READ: Surprising Things That Can Cause Blindness


Ophthalmologists are physicians who have completed four years of medical school and four years of residency training. They diagnose and treat eye diseases and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, and they also perform eye surgery.

A pediatric ophthalmologist is specially trained to examine and treat children of all ages and abilities — especially those who are unable or too young to read the letters on an eye chart.

“To make the environment more child-friendly, ophthalmologists will often play games with the patients or show them

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