An ophthalmologist (M.D. or D.O.) is a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of the eyes. Ophthalmologists must complete general premedical and medical courses, followed by an internship and several years of postgraduate ophthalmology training in order to be licensed.
Optometrists (O.D.) are primary health care providers who test for and treat visual system diseases and conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. They can prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, and medicine.
Opticians make and adjust lenses and eyeglasses. They may learn their craft through apprenticeship or formal postsecondary education.