When needing an optometrist should you look for one who can give you a surgical consultation or will any optometrist know how to counsel your needing lasik or cataracts?

Doctors of Optometry (OD) are non-surgical eye doctors. Their primary concern is Vision assessment. They also screen for and treat certain medical conditions of the eye. Ophthalmologists are MDs, trained in vision care, and ocular medical and surgical treatments. Many ODs are excellent and have a good knowledge of the various aspects you need to know about in LASIK and cataracts. In my experience, these high-level optometrists work in the same clinic alongside ophthalmologists. Most doctors of Optometry work on their own, or may work in an optical store where the primary business is selling glasses. These places do not typically have the kind of equipment that would be necessary to truly assess how good a candidate you are for surgery. This does not mean they cannot do a good job counseling you. But you will probably get more complete and detailed assessment if you see either an OD or MD at the clinic itself where such testing, and even the surgery itself, is to be done.

_Written by J. Trevor Woodhams, M.D. - Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic

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