An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. He or she has completed college, eight or more years of additional medical training, and is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. An ophthalmologist can diagnose and treat all eye diseases, perform eye surgery, and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Some ophthalmologists have more in-depth training (fellowship) in a specific area, which allows them to care for more complex conditions of the eye.
Optometrists hold a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing at least three years of college followed by four years of optometry school. As eye care professionals, they are licensed to perform eye exams and vision tests, prescribe corrective lenses, and diagnose, treat, and manage certain eye conditions and diseases as well as vision changes.