Ophthalmologists and optometrists are both eye care professionals that diagnose and treat vision disorders, eye injuries, infections, inflammations and eye diseases, but only ophthalmologists perform surgery. Optometrists fit contact lenses and glasses, and treat eye conditions that do not require surgery. When surgery or the expertise of a medical specialist is required, optometrists refer patients to an ophthalmologist. This is similar to how a primary care physician refers patients to a specialist. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors (MD or DO), while optometrists hold a doctor of optometry (OD) degree.
Opticians work in the optical and specialize in fitting, ordering and dispensing eyeglasses, perform contact lens training, ordering and dispensing, in addition to other devices that can help improve vision.