Which Eye Care Professional To Choose: Ophthalmologist, Optometrist or Optician?

Which Eye Care Professional To Choose: Ophthalmologist, Optometrist or Optician?

There is a question about eye care professionals that our staff receives frequently. It is a question that is hugely significant when scheduling an eye appointment at Community Eye Center.

“What’re the differences between ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians?”

We are always happy to address this concern for patients because it streamlines their visit by providing them with eye care that suits their individual eye needs. Whether a patient requires a comprehensive eye exam, eyeglasses, or is seeking treatment for a more complex eye condition, Community Eye Center’s goal is to offer expedient care and direct patients to the best eye care provider for their needs.

While there is some overlap in the services provided, the levels of training and expertise are unique to each type of provider. To alleviate confusion, here is a glimpse at the different care that each of these providers offers:

Ophthalmologist

Often, the term “eye doctor” is used as a universal term to describe ophthalmologists and optometrists. The use of this name is accurate because they are both doctors who concentrated in eye care. However, there are differences in the level of training and what ophthalmologists or optometrists can diagnose and treat.

The critical distinction between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist is that an ophthalmologist is a medical or osteopathic doctor (MD or DO) who specializes in eye and vision care.

As a doctor of medicine, who has completed school and a minimum of eight years of medical training, ophthalmologists can diagnose and treat any eye condition or disease, perform eye surgery and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses for vision correction. Ophthalmologists are qualified to care for all eye conditions and diseases.

Ophthalmologists are often also involved in scientific research about the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders. Some ophthalmologists may also choose to specialize in a specific area of their medical training or surgical eye care. These subspecialties require additional fellowship training. Subspecialties of ophthalmology may include glaucoma, retina, cornea, pediatrics, and plastic surgery. This extensive training is to prepare ophthalmologists to care for more complex cases in specific areas of the eye.

Optometrist

Optometrists are licensed to practice optometry, but are not medical doctors and do not perform eye surgery. Optometrists hold a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three years or more years of college.

Optometrists are doctors who provide care ranging from comprehensive eye examinations and vision correction with the fitting of glasses and contact lenses to diagnosis and management of ocular diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, pre and post-operative care for surgical patients, and dry eye evaluations.

Optician

Opticians are technicians who receive training to design and fit eyeglass lenses, frames and contacts as well as other vision correcting devices. They may use prescriptions which are provided by ophthalmologists or optometrists but cannot test vision or write prescriptions for vision correction. Opticians cannot diagnose or treat eye conditions or diseases.

If you would like more information about the eye care providers at Community Eye Center, Schedule an appointment with one of Community Eye Center. You may also call Community Eye Center at +1-941-625-1325 for information or to schedule an appointment.


For over 30 years, Community Eye Center (CEC) and its eye doctors have provided excellence in eye care from multiple south-west Florida locations, eye only surgery center, and optical services. CEC offers total eye care including cataract surgery, dry eye treatment, treatment of macular degeneration and all other retinal diseases, glaucoma treatment, diabetic eye exams, eyelid & cosmetic surgery, comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses & glasses, and 24/7 emergency eye care. Selecting only the most qualified and dedicated eye health professionals (board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, eye surgeons, oculoplastic specialists, cataract specialists, and more), CEC offers comprehensive and expedient care.

Dr. Eric Liss On Red Tide And Eyes

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Red Tide And Eyes

Eye Symptoms That Should Never Go Unchecked


With the summer season of beaches and fun in the sun comes another, less welcoming aspect of life in Southwest Florida, red tide. While the focus is usually on the respiratory and ecological impacts of these blooms of harmful algae, it is important to keep in mind that red tide can also significantly impact the eye health of you and your loved ones.

For the past couple months, Southwest Florida has been impacted by Red Tide. These algal blooms, caused by a species of dinoflagellate, known as Alexandrium fundyense, can cause people to have throat irritation, congestion, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing and even chest tightness. But, Red Tide may also cause people eye irritation including itchy and burning eyes, symptoms that can indicate serious eye conditions.

“Many patients may be familiar with the typical seasonal allergy symptoms such as redness and itchy eyes but it is important to consider the possibility that red tide can also be a significant factor for some individuals,” said Dr. Eric Liss, ophthalmologist at Community Eye Center. “For some, these symptoms may be minor and not overly bothersome, however other people may have significant difficulties with eye comfort, appearance, and even vision.”  

People experiencing eye irritation from Red Tide may benefit from a comprehensive eye exam. Different from a typical optical visit, during a comprehensive eye exam, eye doctors check the eyes for signs of chronic and progressive eye conditions that can significantly impair a person’s vision, comfort and ability to function normally.

“Just as it is important to get a regular physical exam even if you don’t have active symptoms, it is similarly important to regularly assess eye health for potentially silent but visually damaging conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration,” said Liss. “An otherwise healthy adult should receive a comprehensive eye exam on an annual basis, with more frequent visits depending on the presence and severity of ocular disease.”

Comprehensive medical eye exams become even more critical as people age because conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration become more common. Early diagnosis and intervention of these diseases can often prevent vision loss or blindness.

“There is a widespread misperception that just because you don’t have any complaints about your vision that means that your eyes are healthy.  I see patients on a daily basis who have normal vision but who nonetheless are affected by potentially blinding conditions,” said Liss. “A clinic visit to address a quality of life complaint such as eye irritation is the perfect opportunity to make sure your overall eye health and vision are as good as they can be.”  

 

Eric A. Liss, M.D. Joins Communtiy Eye Center / St. Lucy’s Eye Surgery Center

Eric A. Liss, M.D. Joins Communtiy Eye Center / St. Lucy's Eye Surgery Center

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL— OCTOBER 8, 2017

 

Community Eye Center and St. Lucy’s Eye Surgery Center are proud to announce the addition of Dr. Eric A. Liss to their Ophthalmology/Surgical staff.

 

Dr. Eric Schaible, Partner and Research Director of Community Eye Center and St. Lucy’s Eye Surgery Center stated “we welcome Dr. Liss as a surgeon to join our practice to facilitate the care we provide to our growing community.  He has excellent credentials and a similar dedication to patient care thus we are certain that he will mesh well with our comprehensive care philosophy.”

 

Dr. Eric A. Liss is a native Floridian who was born and raised in Sarasota.  He completed his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee followed by graduate studies in Public Health and Epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.  Dr. Liss then returned to Florida for his medical education where he received his Medical Degree, Summa Cum Laude, from the Florida International University College of Medicine in Miami.

 

Dr. Liss completed his Ophthalmology Residency at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he served as a Chief Resident.  He has published research in the areas of Retinal Disease, Refractive Surgery, Glaucoma, and Disorders of the Ocular Immune System and has presented his findings at multiple national ophthalmology conferences.

Dr. Liss is a Member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Florida Medical Association, Florida Society of Ophthalmology, and the Charlotte County Medical Association.

 

Dr. Liss is a comprehensive ophthalmologist with an interest in Advanced Cataract Surgery, Macular Degeneration, and Inflammatory Disorders of the Eye.

 

Dr. Joseph Spadafora, Partner and Medical Director of Community Eye Center and St. Lucy’s Eye Surgery Center said, “It has been a long stretch interviewing doctors from many university backgrounds and many countries.  We have found the perfect balance of expertise and surgical excellence but most importantly a true desire to compassionately treat our family of patients.  Dr. Eric Liss has joined our team and we are excited about our Southwest Florida’s future….growing together.  Good times are ahead.”

 

For over 30 years Community Eye Center has served Southwest Florida providing excellence in eye care from multiple locations including their eye only surgery center, St. Lucy’s Eye Surgery Center and their optical centers.  Their care ranges from routine eye exams to complex eye surgery and laser eye surgery.  CEC now has 3 locations…Port Charlotte, Venice and North Port….to better serve Southwest Florida.

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