top of page

Ophthalmologist, Optometrist or Orthoptist?


There are three types of eye care professionals you may come across.


Ophthalmologist (also known as: Eye Specialist, Eye Surgeon, Eye Doctor)


Ophthalmologists are qualified medical doctors and therefore they can:


  • diagnose and treat eye conditions

  • perform eye surgery

  • prescribe medications

  • prescribe glasses

  • perform laser surgery



A referral from your GP or optometrist is required for you to see an ophthalmologist.





An Optometrist is an eye care professional who can examine eyes.  They can 


  • prescribe glasses and contact lenses

  • diagnose or screen for and monitor eye disease

  • prescribe a limited range of medications

  • refer patients directly to an ophthalmologist if surgery or complex therapeutic treatment is required.



You do not require a referral to see an optometrist.





An Orthoptist is an allied health professional who is trained to work with an ophthalmologist to assist with many aspects of the daily work of an ophthalmologist.  They assist with a range of tests carried out by an ophthalmologist.  An orthoptist will


  • monitor eye disease and provide treatment

  • prescribe glasses and contact lenses

  • provide rehabilitation services to patients in low vision agencies

  • provide therapy involving eye movement disorders

  • carry out pre and post operative testing 

bottom of page