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Ophthalmology and Optometry

Ophthalmology and Optometry

Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eyeball. An ophthalmologist is a specialist in medical and surgical eye problems. Since ophthalmologists perform operations on eyes, they are both surgical and medical specialists. A multitude of diseases and conditions can be diagnosed from the eye.

Optometry is a healthcare profession which involves examining the eyes and applicable visual systems for defects or abnormalities as well as the medical diagnosis and management of eye disease. Traditionally, the field of optometry began with the primary focus of correcting refractive error through the use of spectacles. Modern day optometry, however, has evolved through time so that the educational curriculum additionally includes intensive medical training in the diagnosis and management of ocular disease in countries where the profession is established and regulated. Optometrists (also known as Doctors of Optometry in the US and Canada for those holding the O.D. degree or Ophthalmic Opticians in the UK) are medical professionals who provide primary eyecare through comprehensive eye examinations to detect and treat various visual abnormalities and eye diseases. Being a regulated profession, an optometrist's scope of practice may differ depending on the location. Thus, disorders or diseases detected outside the treatment scope of optometry are referred out to relevant medical professionals for proper care, more commonly to ophthalmologists who are medical doctors that specialize in advanced medical and surgical care of the eye. Optometrists typically work closely together with other eye care professionals such as ophthalmologists and opticians to deliver quality and efficient eyecare to the general public.

Ophthalmology Subspecialties

Ophthalmology includes subspecialities which deal either with certain diseases or diseases of certain parts of the eye. Some of them are:

  • Anterior segment surgery
  • Retinal ophthalmology, which emphasizes such things as laser treatment of the retina and actual retinal surgery
  • Cataracts – not usually considered a subspecialty per se, since most general ophthalmologists perform cataract surgery
  • Cornea, ocular surface, and external disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Medical retina, deals with treatment of retinal problems through non-surgical means.
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Ocular oncology
  • Oculoplastics and orbit surgery
  • Ophthalmic pathology
  • Pediatric ophthalmology/strabismus (misalignment of the eyes)
  • Refractive surgery
  • Uveitis
  • Immunology
  • Veterinary formal specialty training programs in veterinary ophthalmology now exist in some countries.
  • Vitreo-retinal surgery, deals with surgical management of retinal and posterior segment diseases and disorders. Medical retina and vitreo-retinal surgery sometimes together called posterior segment subspecialisation.
Source : Wikipedia
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