Pediatric Ophthalmology Consultants

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is an Ophthalmologist?

A. An Ophthalmologist (Eye M.D) is a medical doctor with additional specialized training in all aspects of eye care, medical, surgical and optical.

Q. How is an Ophthalmologist different from an Optometrist and an Optician?

A. Ophthalmologists are different from optometrists and opticians in their training and in what they can diagnose and treat. As a medical doctor, an ophthalmologist is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, performs eye surgery and prescribes and fits eyeglasses and contact lenses. Ophthalmologists complete four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of internship and three, at least of residency (hospital based training) in diagnosis and medical surgical treatment of eye disorders

Optometrist is a doctor of optometry, licensed to practice optometry. Optometrists determine the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses, prescribes optical correction and screens for abnormalities of the eye. In many states, optometrists can prescribe a limited number of drugs to help diagnose and treat certain eye conditions. Optometrists do not perform surgery. Optometrists attend two to four years of optometric college.

Optician licensed by a state to make optical aids, fits, adjusts and dispenses eyeglasses, contact lenses and other optical devices on written prescriptions of a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist. Training for an optician varies from a preceptor- ship to two years of Opticianary School.

Q. How does an Ophthalmologist become certified?

A. After four years of medical education and training, an ophthalmologist must pass a rigorous two-part examination given by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

Q What is a sub specialist?

A. While all ophthalmologists specialize in eye problems and can treat all conditions, some decide to specialize in a specific area of medical or surgical eye care. He or she usually completes a fellowship, which is one or two more years of training in the chosen area. Some sub specialists focus on the treatment of a disease such as glaucoma. Other sub specializes in a particular part of the eye such as the retina. Pediatric ophthalmologists sub specialize in treating eye disease in children.

Q. What is the “right” age for a first eye exam?

A. At any age, if there is a suspected problem. Otherwise, a general guideline is between three and four years of age.

Q. If a child appears to have normal vision, is the screening in kindergarten sufficient or should they see a medical professional?

A. Most vision screenings are designed to catch all the kids with vision problems, sometimes kids are referred because they were borderline or they were difficult to measure accurately. If there is any doubt in the parents or teachers the vision should be checked as part of there annual physical in the pediatricians office in all 3 to 5 year olds, besides the kindergarten screening.

Q. What are the warning signs of vision problems in children?


Constant rubbing of the eyes
Extreme light sensitivity
Poor ability to focus


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