What Are The Roles And Responsibilities Of An Eye Doctor?

eye doctor with equipment

Eye doctors are primarily responsible for anything that has to do with eye care. Their main objective is to diagnose, provide treatment, or come up with a solution to fix an eye problem. A well-trained ophthalmologist in Melbourne explains that having an eye doctor check up yearly is essential in keeping your eyes healthy.

Types Of an Eye Doctor

There are three different kinds of eye doctors and each of them plays a vital role in providing eye care. Most people think that the duties of eye doctors are limited to fixing problems in vision and other issues in the eye. But apart from this, they are also trained to perform eye surgeries, prescribe medical eyeglasses, and provide eye therapy.


eye assessment

This type of eye doctor went through extensive training to provide quality eye care services. Ophthalmologists are required to finish medical school along with internships. One of their requirements includes 3 years of residency in a medical setting before they can practice eye care treatments professionally. Their services contain:

  • eye examinations followed by vision problem treatments
  • providing eye care for glaucoma, iritis, and the likes
  • performing surgery to treat eye trauma and conditions like cataract and glaucoma
  • diagnosing conditions that are related to eye problems
  • they also execute surgeries to fix the eyelid


Optometrists are eye doctors focusing on the overall health of the eye. Like ophthalmologists, they are expected to finish programs and training before getting licensed. The process usually starts by finishing a 4-year optometry degree in college followed by a master’s course. They also have the option to expand their practice by acquiring extra medical training. Optometrists can do the following:

  • execute eye and vision assessments for diagnosis
  • advise and fit eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • observe eye issues that are potentially associated with diseases like diabetes
  • administer treatments for eye conditions like eye dry eyes and glaucoma
  • handle patients with poor vision and supervise eye therapies

Optometrists can also perform eye surgeries, but unlike ophthalmologists, the scope of their surgical practice may be limited. However, these two often work hand in hand to provide the best possible eye care treatments.


Although opticians are not considered to be eye doctors, they also play an important role in providing care for vision and eye problems. Their line of work basically relies on the prescription given by licensed eye doctors. The requirements to be an optician are not as complex as the first two. Usually, they only need to finish a 2-year program to get the job. Their duties are as follows:

  • review and verify prescriptions
  • take measurements of the patient’s facial structure for customized fitting
  • assist patients in choosing the most suitable eyeglasses or contact lenses for them
  • order the materials needed for assembling the eyeglasses
  • make adjustments on the frame for a perfect fit

Common Eye Diseases

Eye doctors can generally diagnose and treat eye diseases. The term eye disease typically refers to issues and problems incorporated with the eye. Some of these include:

eye inflammation
  1. Conjunctivitis. This is a condition where inflammation or infection in the eye takes place due to bacteria, allergies, contamination, and viruses. The symptoms include eye redness, itchiness, discharge, and involuntary tearing.
  2. Diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a severe condition that commonly leads to loss of vision. It is diagnosed in patients with diabetes. Some of its early symptoms include blurry vision, loss of sight, shapes moving in the area of vision, and eye pain. Health on 21 advises keeping in touch with your GP when you suffer from diabetes.
  3. Glaucoma. According to data, glaucoma is one of the top causes of vision loss. This is a condition that destroys the optic nerve which is essential in maintaining good vision. Unfortunately, glaucoma is a lifelong disease that cannot be fully treated. Eye doctors can only provide treatments to delay the occurrence of total blindness.

To cut it short, eye doctors are important medical health workers that mainly focus on diagnosing and treating patients with eye problems. The scope of their practice isn’t only limited to eye checkups and eyeglasses prescriptions but extends to eye surgeries as well.

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