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Ophthalmologist vs Optometrist: What is the Difference?

When it comes to your vision health, you don’t want to compromise care. That is why it is so important to schedule your eye exam with the correct eye care professional for your needs.

The level of education, training and expertise will vary among providers, so you should consider these things before making your selection. A comprehensive eye care office like Advanced Vision Care – Nashville provides patients with access to extremely competent ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. Read on to learn more about the differences between these three professions.

What is an Ophthalmologist? 

An ophthalmologist (or Eye M.D.) is a qualified medical doctor who is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. Ophthalmologists typically provide secondary vision care and specialize in the treatment of complex eye conditions and can perform corrective surgery when needed.

At Advanced Vision Care – Nashville, our ophthalmologist, Dr. Michael Gabel, not only has prestigious medical education and training from Dartmouth College and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, but he also has more than three decades of professional and practical experience. Dr. Gabel specializes in cataract extraction and treating corneal disease.

What is an Optometrist?

Optometrists are healthcare professionals who have received a doctor of optometry (OD) degree and is licensed to practice optometry. Optometrists are qualified to provide primary vision care services such as conducting eye exams and prescribing corrective treatment and management plans for eye conditions, eye diseases, and vision problems.

Dr. Joshua Wilson and Dr. Michael Gewe at Advanced Vision Care – Nashville are both licensed optometrists and provide comprehensive eye care for patients of all ages.

Opticians and Optometric Technicians

An optician is an eye care professional who has been thoroughly trained to design, verify and properly fit eyeglass frames and lenses, contact lenses, and other corrective vision devices. Opticians do not diagnose or prescribe treatments for problems, but they work closely with their practice’s optometrist and/or ophthalmologist to provide care. Deana at Advanced Vision Care – Nashville, is extremely passionate about her career as an optician and is committed to serving patients with personalized attention and expert guidance.

Optometric technicians aid optometrists by pre-testing patients and serving as a scribe during optical exams. At Advanced Vision Care – Nashville, we believe that our optometric technicians are essential to providing an exceptional patient experience. Our technicians, April, Danielle, Lindsey, Michael, Michelle, Sydney, and Kristin are all extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and detail-oriented.

Choose Your Southern Illinois Eye Care Provider Wisely

Not all eye care practices are equal. Advanced Vision Care – Nashville is an established, local optometry practice with expanded resources through a premier network of eye care professionals. Our qualified and experienced optometrists, ophthalmologists, opticians and optometric technicians are here to provide our patients with personalized, comprehensive vision care.


For more information or to schedule your next eye exam, contact our office today.