Eye Care Professionals Who Care For your Eyes

Eye Care Professionals Who Care For your Eyes

If there is a suspicion that you have an eye disease, you need to visit an Eye Care Professional (ECP). The ECP that you need to visit will depend upon your symptoms and your location (how eye care is managed within your local healthcare environment). In some countries you can make an appointment directly with an optometrist/ophthalmologist while in other countries you will have to be referred by your family doctor or by an optician/optometrist. ECPs are largely grouped into 4 categories:


A health care professional who is trained to supply, prepare, and dispense optical appliances through interpretation of written prescriptions. An optician fits and finishes eyeglass lenses and frames and may also dispense low vision devices, contact lenses, and artificial eyes.



A health care professional who specializes in function and disorders of the eye, detection of eye disease, and some types of eye disease management. An optometrist conducts eye examinations, prescribes corrective contact lenses and glasses, and diagnoses and treats eye diseases and disorders.



A medical physician who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eye and the prevention of eye disease. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats refractive, medical, and surgical problems related to eye diseases and disorder.



An allied health professional involved in the assessment, diagnosis, and management of disorders of the eyes, extra-ocular muscles and vision. Orthoptists are an important part of the eye care team and work in close association with ophthalmologists, usually in a hospital based setting. They are involved in many areas of care, including paediatrics, neurology, community services, rehabilitation, geriatrics, neonatology and ophthalmic technology.

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