What is an Ophthalmologist or EyeMD?
Many people are unaware what an ophthalmologist does. In fact most people misspell ophthalmologist leaving out the letter h. An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor who has graduated from college. This is followed by 4 years of medical school and 1 year of internship which could be a surgical internship, medical internship, or a rotating internship. Ophthalmology residency is usually 3 years in length. At this point they are able to start their career. EyeMDs perform routine eye exams, prescribe and dispense eyeglasses or contacts, treat and diagnose all types of eye diseases, and perform a large variety eye surgeries, and surgeries on areas around the eye.
Board Certified Ophthalmologist
After completing their residency, the doctor is board eligible. This means that they are qualified to take the American Board Certification test. This comprises an extensive written exam followed by 2 days of oral exams. Only after they have passed both tests are they considered board certified in ophthalmology.
Many EyeMDs continue their education in a specific field of eye care. This is called a fellowship and can last 1 to 2 years.
Retinal Specialists or Vitreoretinal Specialists
These EyeMDs are trained to diagnose and treat a variety of retinal diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal veins occlusions, retinal detachments, floaters, and other retinal diseases.
Some retinal EyeMDs further specialize even further into retinal diseases involving the uvea called an Uveitis Specialists.
These EyeMDs diagnose and treat the different types of glaucoma such as chronic open angle glaucoma, angle closure glaucoma, secondary glaucoma and others.
These EyeMDs diagnose and treat eye diseases involving children such as amblyopia (lazy eye is a lay term for loss of vision or crossed eyes), crossed eyes, or other eye diseases.
These EyeMDs diagnose and treat diseases of the cornea and/or the external portion of the eye such as Fuchs’ dystrophy, corneal ulcers, keratoconus, corneal edema, and others. They also usually perform refractive procedures on the cornea such as LASIK, LASEK, and others.
Some restrict their practice to refractive surgery only.
These EyeMDs diagnose and treat ocular diseases involving the nervous system such as optic nerve disease, diploplia or double vision, central nervous system disease involving the eye or ocular motor or visual pathways and others.
These EyeMDs diagnose and treat problems related to the eyelids and the area around the ocular area such as drooping lids, sagging skin of the eyelids, cosmetic procedures, injuries to the ocular area, and other problems related to the area around the eye.
General Ophthalmologist or EyeMD
A general EyeMD may treat all or some of the eye diseases listed above as well as routine eye exams.