What is the Difference Between and Ophthalmologist and and Optometrist?

What is the Difference Between and Ophthalmologist and and Optometrist?

This is a question that is asked quite frequently.  You may be confused about the difference between an optometrist and and ophthalmologist (Eye MD). These two professions differ in the amount and type of training.  They also differ in what conditions they are able and comfortable to treat.

Ophthalmologistoptometrist vs ophthalmologist

An ophthalmologist (Eye MD) is a medical doctor who completed an undergraduate degree, four years of medical school and a four year residency.  During the residency, the ophthalmologist is trained to perform surgery on the eye.  One of the most commonly performed surgeries is cataract surgery.  They are also trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the eye.  Ophthalmologists can also prescribe glasses and contact lenses at your appointment.

Some doctors opt to also complete a one or two year fellowship program to sub specialize in certain eye conditions.  The sub-specialty areas include glaucoma, retina, pediatrics, plastic surgery, cornea, neuro ophthalmology and uveitis.  Ophthalmologists who have sub-specialty training may feel comfortable caring for and performing surgery on more complex eye conditions.


An optometrist has completed and undergraduate degree and four years of optometry school.      An optometrist has a doctor of Optometry (OD) degree.  They primarily perform eye exams and vision tests, prescribing and dispensing glasses and contact lenses, detecting certain eye diseases, and prescribing medications for some eye diseases.  Optometrists typically do not perform surgical procedures on the eye.

Eye Examinations

It is important to maintain regular comprehensive eye examinations to not only check for the need for glasses but also to check for diseases of the eye.  Many diseases of the eye become more common with age and are easier to treat if diagnosed at an earlier stage. Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can perform a comprehensive eye examination to check the health of your eyes.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126