Recently I went with one of my dearest friends as she took her 6 year old to the optometrist who also specialized in Vision therapy. Another dear friend referred her to this optometrist . I'm interested in the subject immensely of course, so she allowed me to go along.
If I hadn't been through so much with my own eyes, I would have never batted an eye at this subject. This optometrist was excellent....But I knew... She is still not a medical doctor.
The optometrist was very kind and very smart.
The clinic had all sorts of high tech equipment.
We were in a smaller town in central MN. I am used to going to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and this little clinic had equipment that appeared to be of higher tech than the revered Mayo...
This appointment was very important as my little friend Lane, seems to be struggling to learn sometimes in school. We wanted to make sure his eyes were not contributing to his struggles. Turns out, yes! He needs a new prescription. He favors one eye affecting his depth perception etc. but as I looked at the perscription I found it odd that the child needed equal prisms in each eye and now bifocals at age 6. I was a little worried about how hard it might be for a child to adjust to bifocals when it is sometimes quite difficult for adults to adjust to them. I was worried he'd be just frustrated and take the glasses off altogether.
Optometrist, as I understand it, have not gone to medical school. They go to four years of optometry school.
Ophthalmologist, have gone to 8 years of medical school. And some have gone on to 2-3 years of subspecialty training.
Optometrist, specialize in eye exams, vision changes, managing already diagnosed eye issues and they can refer you to an ophthalmologist.
Ophthalmologist, specialize in comprehensive eye health, they can see the 'larger picture' of overall health, in regards to cause and effect and treatment options of various issues. After an issue has been diagnosed, and optometrist can be quite capable of monitoring a condition.
I like to think of it as the optometrist is the ophthalmologist right hand man in caring for patients.
Apparently, this is a hotly debated item in eye world, especially in the USA.
As far as the fancy equipment.... well, come to find out. Sometimes the best equipment is the doctors knowledge. Sometimes simply doing something like dilating the eye is much more accurate than snapping a picture of the back of the eye. Although, I'd like to add the machine is more comfortable. That being said. Nothing can out shine the human brain.
Please take the time to read the link noted here.
It makes a difference. If you get well intended, but incorrect eye care, especially at 6 years old. It will affect your whole life. My little friend Lane could continue to struggle to learn, when it was completely unnecessary.
Do your home work... See the right Doctor at the right time! If you're 6, it could mean your future.