Nearly 160 million Americans of all ages wear eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct their vision. Before you buy your next pair of glasses or contact lenses, keep this information in mind as you visit your local optician.
A consumer who needs contact lenses or glasses will visit an optician. An optician fills prescriptions for contact lenses and glasses written by eye doctors (either optometrists or ophthalmologists).
Opticians prepare and dispense eyeglasses, spectacles, and contact lenses as identified by the prescription. They use the prescription to reproduce eyewear for a consumer and adapt, fit, and adjust the eyewear to the human face. Only licensed opticians who successfully complete specific educational training and examination may fit consumers with contact lenses.
Optometrists are medical professionals who perform examinations to treat any vision problems and detect signs of disease and abnormal conditions. They may test for glaucoma, color perception, depth, and the ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. Optometrists must hold a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree, pass a state board examination, and be licensed by the Virginia Department of Health Professions.
Ophthalmologists must acquire a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree, a broad knowledge of general medicine, and clinical training. This provides them with enough experience to diagnose and treat all types of eye disorders. If a person requires medical or surgical care for an eye disease or an eye injury, he or she will seek the assistance of an ophthalmologist.
For information about the Board of Optometry (optometrists) and Board of Medicine (ophthalmologists), visit the Department of Health Professions website.
Website for the Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians.
please contact us in writing or via telephone and we will work with you to make the information available.