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Eye Examinations and Professionals

Regardless of your age or physical health, it’s important to have regular eye exams. Your doctor does more than determine if you need a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. Your exam will include a check for diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, optometrist, and an optician?

An Ophthalmologist is a physician specialized in eye and vision care. They provide the full spectrum of eye care, from diagnosing and treating eye diseases, prescribing medications, glasses, and contact lenses to performing complex eye surgery.

An Optometrist is a professional licensed to provide primary eye care services to examine and diagnose eye diseases and, in certain states, to treat them; to diagnose related systemic conditions that may affect the eyes; to examine, diagnose and treat visual conditions; and to prescribe glasses, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation and medications, as well as perform minor surgical procedures.

An optician analyzes and interprets prescriptions written by ophthalmologists or optometrists and takes eye measurements to fit individuals for eye glasses or contact lenses.

It’s also important to understand the difference between a vision screening and an eye exam. Vision screenings can only identify the presence of a vision problem. Vision screenings can indicate that you should make an appointment with an ophthalmologist or optometrist for a more comprehensive eye exam.

I have scheduled my eye exam with my eye care professional, now what?

At a routine eye exam, your doctor should ask you about your overall health, medication history and your vision history. You will receive an examination of the external and internal parts of your eyes. Additionally, fluid pressure, visual acuity and visual field testing will be performed.

You should prepare yourself with questions you might have when your results are given. Questions could include; what is the cause of my vision loss, how can I protect my remaining vision, are there treatments for my eye condition? If you have experienced vision loss, ask what services or benefits are available to you and make sure to contact the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind for more information.

PA Assn. f/t Blind Phone: 717-766-2020 Email:

Beaver Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Berks Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Blair/Clearfield Co. Assn. f/t Blind & Visually
Impaired, Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh, Bucks Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Butler Co.
Assn. f/t Blind, Cambria Co. Assn. f/t Blind & Handicapped, Center f/t Blind & Visually Impaired, Central
Susquehanna Sight Services, Center for Vision Loss, Chester Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Fayette Co. Assn. f/t
Blind, ForSight Vision, Greater Wilkes-Barre Assn. f/t Blind, Hazleton Blind Assn., Indiana Co. Blind
Assn., Keystone Blind Assn., Lackawanna Branch –PAB, Lawrence Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Montgomery Co.
Assn. f/t Blind, North Central Sight Services, Nu Visions Center, South Central Blind Assn., Susquehanna
Association f/t Blind & Vision Impaired, Tri-County Assn. f/t Blind, Venango Co. Assn. f/t Blind, The Sight
Center of Northwest PA, Washington-Greene Assn. f/t Blind, Westmoreland Co. Blind Assn.