Optometrist or Ophthamologist


#21

Okay, well since it’s all about you. I am sorry that Walmart and Lenscrafters don’t fit the bill for ya. But there are lots of people who go there and some even got the first indication of D from such a eye check for vision correction. I sometimes think that I just don’t feel as special as many of the compatriots around here. I try to KISS and enjoy my simple ways.


#22

It is certainly not “all about me”.

It’s about the OPs request for advice as to whether or not she should see an optometrist or ophthalmologist. My advice is that she see a real eye doctor, which optometrist are not.

As I’ve said-- if you just need a pair of glasses, an optometrist is fine or hell might even be the better option.

I’m not sure why that has upset you, but I think it’s the best advice for the sake of Kate’s eyes.


#23

i go to an optometrist, and they have put drops in my eyes that dilated them. Then they took a picture of the inside of my eye (retina?) that could show any blood vessels growing. The image was an orangish red. was this the right kind of test? it was a while ago so i don’t remember the specific name of the test. i need at least a slightly stronger lens prescription every time i go to the eye doctor, but i’ve been wearing glasses since i was 5. they do look a little bottle cap like from the side.


#24

since we hear so many horror stories about real doctors misdiagnosing diabetes and/or giving subpar care, i will add to what sam is saying. get recommendations for a good ophthamologist.


#25

[quote]i go to an optometrist, and they have put drops in my eyes that dilated
them. Then they took a picture of the inside of my eye (retina?) that
could show any blood vessels growing. The image was an orangish red. was
this the right kind of test? it was a while ago so i don’t remember the
specific name of the test. i need at least a slightly stronger lens
prescription every time i go to the eye doctor, but i’ve been wearing
glasses since i was 5. they do look a little bottle cap like from the
sid[/quote]

Well, I’m not a doctor, but the photos are one type of screening tool, I think mostly used to monitor changes to the retina over time. I hope your optometrist is also looking at the inside of your eyes. My understanding is that the photo is a newer tool that’s come out in recent years but an eye exam is still needed. I get both done when I go to my ophthalmoloigst, although the photos never work for me becuase of how my eyes are.


#26

The photos can’t show the entire retina at one time either— a lot of ophthalmologists don’t do the photos-scan as part of a normal exam because the gold standard is still the manual scope with an experts eye on the other end.


#27

Wellll . . . . that’s not 100% accurate. A fluorescin angiogram actually involves both–detailed manual inspection and comprehensive pictures as a benchmark for future comparison. But even a “regular” opthalmologist doesn’t ordinarily do those; usually you need a retina specialist.


#28

Fair enough… I don’t think most of us are seeing retina specialists and doing fluorescin angiograms for routine screenings though, unless someone already has issues… In my experience two different optometrists did retina photos whereas three different ophthalmologists haven’t… There really isn’t a good justification in my mind for photographs unless your eyes are changing, and like you said they want a baseline.


#29

I go to an ophthalmologist and he does both the retina scans and extensive manual inspection.
Last year, they were concerned about “retinal thinning” for me, but last visit the doctor determined that there’s no ongoing issue for now.


#30

The ophthalmologist that I see once a year has made it clear that he does not do eyeglass prescriptions. So on that basis my insurer also pays for a visit to the optometrist. Besides eyeglass prescriptions I can’t think of what the optician might offer that you can’t get from the ophthalmologist. Except maybe the fact that the ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who has gone on to specialize in eye problems.
.


#31

I see a retina specialist for severe non-proliferative /borderline proliferative diabetic retinopathy with macula edema. I also have non-pressure glaucoma which he watches. But he does not prescribe glasses or do cataract surgery. I saw a general ophthalmologist for cataract surgery. I see the retina specialist about every two months.
I also see an optometrist for eye glasses. An optometrist has an education equivalent to a dentist: four years beyond a BA, which is a doctorate degree. The two I have seen alerted me to the fact that I could have diabetes and needed to have my blood glucose checked and that I had retinopathy.
I trust them to see I have a very good pair of glasses. Since I have been wearing glasses for over 60 years, I want the best glasses possible.


#32

Hi Sdskate,

Personally, I don’t like to pit one health care provider against the other. But is does sound like it’s all connected to money. There are a lot of people with diabetes and not enough optometrists or ophthalmologists to perform the annual eye screenings necessary to avoid the retinopathy associated with diabetes.

FYI, there are stages of diabetic retinopathy as well as retinopathy associated with hypertension that are reversible and some are not reversible. BTW, how do I know, although I am not an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, I did earn a masters degree in Diabetes Education and Management at Columbia University and eye health was part of the curriculum.

Here are some terms you might consider researching:

  1. Cotton wool spots (soft exudates)

  2. Microaneurysms (although it is a form a retinopathy, its not very serious. When you have your eye screening, ask your optometrist/ophthalmologist to see the photo of your retina so that you can better understand what is going on.

  3. Microaneurysms with hemorrhages. At this stage the retinopathy is progressing but still classified as non proliferative.

  4. IRMA (intraretinal microvascular abnormalities). Things are getting serious

  5. Neovascularization (this is serious stuff)

  6. Hard exudates (serious stuff)

FYI, ophthalmologist are physicians with (MD, medical degrees). Optometrists are, indeed doctors, not physicians. They earn the academic title of Doctor of Optometry. Not a small feat.

Ophthalmologists can prescribe medicine and perform surgery while the optometrist does not.

If you are successfully managing your diabetes then IMHO the visits to the optometrist or ophthalmologist are purely preventive. If that is the case, why see a surgeon for preventive reasons if you are not at risk. In the end the decision is yours.

Here’s a link to give you a bit of info. Hope you find it helpful.

http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-doctors-optometrists-ophthalmologists

All the best to you


#33

No need to put a pic of her degree online, just her name. All her credentials are online.


#34

HI Brhodes! 8))

I posted it because I was proud of my accomplishment. Growth is good! It made me feel good. I’ll probably do the same when I earn my doctorate in health education which I hope to complete this May.

I wish you success in everything you do! 8))

Jo


#35

jojeegirl, My post was in response to Karen57 saying she wished she had taken a pic of her optometrist’s degree from medical school. Congrats on your accomplishment.


#36

Thank you for the clarification. It makes my heart feel better. 8))