An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in complete eye care. They are trained to perform basic and advanced eye tests, diagnose and treat diseases, prescribe medications, and perform all types of eye surgery. The complete eye care services offered by ophthalmologists include the following-
- Vision services, including all types of eye exams.
- Medical eye care for conditions like glaucoma, iritis, chemical burns, etc.
- Surgical eye care for trauma, strabismus, cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, and other eye disorders.
- Diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions related to other serious diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis.
- Oculoplasty (plastic surgery performed on eyes), such as blepharoplasty to raise droopy eyelids.
What is the Difference Between An Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, and Optician?
Unlike an ophthalmologist, an optometrist is an eye care professional who can examine the eyes and related structures for defects and abnormalities. It means they only focus on primary eye care. The vision care provided by an optometrist includes-
- Eye exams and vision tests
- Prescribing and fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses
- Monitoring the eye conditions medically
- Managing and treating conditions like dry eye and glaucoma
- Providing low-vision aids and vision therapy
An optician, also known as dispensing optician, is a technical practitioner responsible for designing, fitting, and dispensing lenses for vision correction. The role of an optician is to determine the specifications of the visual aid necessary to optimize a person’s vision. The optician takes care of the following-
- Checking the lens prescriptions
- Providing, adjusting, and repairing glasses, frames, and contact lenses
- Taking facial measurements
- Helping to decide which type of lenses and frames work best for the patient
- Ordering and checking products, including eyeglasses and contact lenses
An ophthalmologist is the best person to see for eye disorders. If you have vision problems and are looking for an eye specialist in Hyderabad, get in touch with Pristyn Care.
What are the Required Qualifications of An Ophthalmologist?
An individual has to acquire a 5-year medical degree (MBBS) and undergo a 2-year foundation course of general training to be an ophthalmologist. Then the doctor has to gain work experience in the form of a junior residency at a medical college, eye hospital, or an institution. Further experience is acquired with a fellowship, registrar, or senior resident that refines the eye surgeon’s skills.
After MBBS, the physician can pursue any of the following-
- M.S. in Ophthalmology, then an M.Ch.
- M.D. in Ophthalmology, then DM
- Diplomate as Ophthalmologist (D.N.B.), then Fellowship
- M.D./M.S. in Ophthalmology, then Ph.D.
- Diploma in Ophthalmology
- DNB, then FNB
- MS/ DNB, then a 1-year PDCC course in Ophthalmology- “Squint & Orthoptics.”
Besides the above-mentioned qualifications, an ophthalmologist can further specialize in dealing with certain diseases or diseases of certain eye parts. Some of the common subspecialties are-
- Anterior segment surgery
- Cornea, ocular surface, and external disease
- Ocular oncology
- Oculoplasty and orbit surgery
- Ophthalmic pathology
- Pediatric ophthalmology (strabismus)
- Refractive surgery
- Vitreo-retinal surgery
- Posterior segment surgery
What Surgeries Can Be Performed By An Ophthalmologist?
An ophthalmologist is well-trained to perform the following types of surgery-
Laser eye surgery includes SBK, PRK, LASIK, LASEK, SMILE, Contoura Vision, etc.
Refractive surgery, including laser eye surgery, ICL, anterior ciliary sclerotomy, conductive keratoplasty
- Cataract removal surgery
- Glaucoma surgery and canaloplasty
- Corneal surgery, including corneal transplant, penetrating keratoplasty, pterygium excision, etc.
- Vitreoretinal surgery, including vitrectomy, pan-retinal photocoagulation, retinal detachment repair, macular hole repair, radial optic neurotomy, partial lamellar sclerouvectomy, posterior sclerotomy, etc.
- Eye muscle surgery, also known as strabismus surgery
- Oculoplastic surgery, including blepharoplasty, orbital reconstruction, etc.
- Lacrimal apparatus surgery, such as dacryocystorhinostomy, Canaliculotomy
The skills of eye specialists are not limited to the above-mentioned procedures. They can also perform various other eye surgeries safely and successfully to preserve vision and resolve eye problems.
When Should An Individual Consult An Ophthalmologist?
You should see an ophthalmologist or an eye specialist if the following signs or symptoms are present-
- Foreign Object- If an object gets stuck in your eye, such as grit, dirt, chemicals, etc., and the attempts to remove the object are in vain.
- Eye Pain– Infrequent and mild pain in the eye is common, but if the pain persists longer and grows, see an ophthalmologist promptly, as it can be a warning sign for an infection or another serious problem.
- Eye Fatigue- If your routine involves prolonged usage of digital screens, it can cause eye fatigue. However, some cases of seasonal allergies or eye flu can cause this symptom. So, make sure you visit the doctor if your eyes feel tired frequently.
- Eye Infection- If your eyelids are swollen, red, itchy, and the white part of the eye appears pink or discolored, these are the signs of an eye infection. In some infections, the eyes may also have discharge.
- Blurry Vision, Halos, and Focus Issues- If your vision becomes blurry, you have a problem focusing on an object, or you see halos around light sources, they can be due to a refractive error. For this, you can visit an ophthalmologist or an optometrist.
- Light Sensitivity- This symptom usually indicates a serious problem as it can be caused due to a number of eye disorders, diseases, and infections.
- Dryness or Itchiness in the Eyes- Dry eye is a chronic condition that can lead to inflammation, corneal abrasion, corneal ulcers, etc. So, if you feel your eyes are getting dry more than usual, see an ophthalmologist.
- Flashes, Floaters, and Spots- Typically, these signs are not concerning as bits of protein and other tissues are embedded in the vitreous. However, in some cases, these symptoms are associated with serious disorders, such as retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, cataracts, etc. Therefore, you should seek treatment for them as soon as possible.
- Double Vision- Also known as diplopia, it is not a symptom that should be ignored under any circumstance. It can be monocular or binocular and is caused by astigmatism, dry eye, keratoconus, corneal abnormalities, retinal disorders, optical nerve damage, and various other reasons.
- Night Vision Problems- Some people have night blindness, where they struggle to see in low-light conditions. In old people, the problem of night vision can be a symptom of cataract formation.
- Frequent Headaches & Eye Strain- Headaches and eye strain are usually the symptoms of vision changes. So, make sure that you see a doctor at the right time to address the changes and resolve these symptoms.
- Acute or Chronic Eye Injury- If the eye is injured, seek medical care immediately, as the injury can permanently impact your vision.
- Diabetes– If you have diabetes, you should see an ophthalmologist on a regular basis, as diabetes can cause neuropathy and lead to serious eye disorders, such as vitreous hemorrhage, diabetic retinopathy, etc.
Regular eye checkups are essential for everyone. Therefore, you should not ignore the symptoms as they can compromise your eye health. If you wish to consult an ophthalmologist in Hyderabad, book your free appointment today.
How to Choose The Best Eye Specialist in Hyderabad?
The eyes are one of the most precious sense organs, and any eye-related problems should be addressed right away. For regular eye checkups and for medical and surgical care, you should know how to find and choose the best ophthalmologist.
You can find many qualified eye doctors in your city, but choosing one of them can be very difficult. So, here are some tips to help you choose the best eye specialist in Hyderabad.
1: Start with Referrals
The first thing you should do is talk to your family members and friends for referrals. You can also try asking your general physician for a reference. Make a list of eye specialists and schedule a consultation.
2: Research the Ophthalmologist’s Credentials
Checking the eye surgeon’s credentials, including his/her educational qualifications, experience, training, skills, and board certifications. Ensure that the surgeon has a valid practice license and doesn’t have any malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. This will tell you whether an ophthalmologist is reliable or not.
3: Consider the Ophthalmologist’s Experience
The experience of the ophthalmologist is one of the most important things that you should consider. The years of practice allow an eye surgeon to gain better skills and knowledge to identify and treat eye disorders while mitigating the potential risks and complications. So, make sure that you ask the surgeon how many surgeries he/she has performed over the years.
4: Evaluate Communication Skills
Choose an ophthalmologist with whom you can talk comfortably without hesitation. The communication style of the eye specialist will describe his/her ethical values. A doctor who cares about you is likely to provide you with optimal care under all circumstances.
5: Read Reviews & Patient Testimonials
Reading what previous patients has to say about the doctor and his/her medical team is significant. This will tell you how the patients are treated under the ophthalmologist’s care, including making appointments, waiting time, office environment, staff’s friendliness, etc.
To get eye care, it is crucial that you trust your ophthalmologist. Talk as much as possible about your symptoms and treatment and make an informed decision.