An ophthalmologist is either a medical doctor (MD) or an osteopathic doctor (DO) who specializes in comprehensive eye care. These professionals provide exams, diagnosis, and treatment for a variety of eye disorders. Ophthalmologists are skilled in all facets of eye care, from prescribing eyeglasses or contact lenses to doing complex eye surgery. Many also choose to specialize in one particular disease or part of the eye (for example, glaucoma specialist or cornea specialist).
An optometrist is a doctor of optometry (OD) who specializes in comprehensive eye care. These professionals provide exams, diagnosis, and treatment for a variety of eye disorders. Optometrists generally don’t do surgery. But in a few states they can do minor surgical procedures and laser surgery. Some specialize in low vision, contact lenses, or vision rehabilitation.
An optician is a technician who fits, adjusts, and fills the prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses.
An ocularist is a technician who makes and fits artificial eyes (called prosthetic eyes or ocular prostheses).