What is the Difference Between an Optometrist, Optician, and Ophthalmologist?

Although an Optometrist, Optician, and Ophthalmologist all begin with the letter ‘O’ and specialize in ocular health, the similarities end there. ‘What is the difference between a doctor of Optometry, an Ophthalmologist and an Optician?’ is a very common question that can be answered by taking a look at their training, expertise, and abilities.

It is important to connect yourself with the correct vision professional for your needs. If you are wondering about the differences between these occupations and what services they provide this article will highlight what sets each apart.

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Protecting Your Vision With The Right Eyecare Professional For You

Getting access to eye exams and proper vision care for the entire family is an important part of protecting your complete health and wellness, but more importantly, seeing the correct professional for your needs will ensure that you are giving yourself the greatest chance of maintaining the best vision possible. Here are the differences between an Optometrist, an Optician, and an Ophthalmologist:

What is an Optician?

These eye care technicians are trained in the science of prescription eyewear. They can design and fit lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other corrective lenses. An Optician will use prescriptions supplied by Optometrists or Ophthalmologists, but can not provide vision testing, write prescriptions, or diagnose and treat eye disorders.

What is an Ophthalmologist?

An Ophthalmologist is a specialized medical doctor who is licensed to practice medicine and surgery, therefore they will diagnose and treat eye diseases, perform eye surgery, and have the ability to prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems.

What is an Optometrist?

An Optometrist will train for seven to eight years at a reputable post-secondary institution to obtain their professional designation. Once they complete their schooling they earn their title as a Doctor of Optometry. Our healthcare professionals at Blink Eyewear, your NW Calgary Optometrists, will be able to provide the following services for you, and your family:

  • Primary vision care testing such as Retinal Exams
  • A variety of sight testing examinations for children, seniors, and everyone in between
  • Diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision impairments
  • Writing prescriptions for medications for eye diseases
  • Detecting, treating, and managing certain eye abnormalities

How Our Calgary Family Eye Doctors Protect Your Vision

Now that we know the difference between the three eye care professions, it is important to fully understand exactly what the Optometry team at Blink Eyewear in NW Calgary does to protect your family’s vision health:

Comprehensive Eye Examinations: 
This includes diabetic retinal exams, retinal imaging, and routine eye exams for all ages.

Children's Eye Care Services: 
We provide pediatric eye care services such as eye exams for infants under 24 months, toddlers and preschoolers, and school-aged children.

Eye Exams for Contact Lenses: 
Our Optometry team will test and provide vision correction services for contact lenses wearers including those with astigmatism, disposable lenses, bifocal and multifocal contacts, and gas permeable contact lenses. 

Prescription and Specialty Eyeglasses: 
If your thorough eye exam shows you need corrective lenses we will prescribe and fit you with the right type of glasses for you including transitions, bifocals, progressive lenses, and prescription sunglasses. 

Emergency Eye Care Services: 
Our team can test and treat urgent complications such as retinal detachment, infections, trauma causing an eye injury, and any other conditions requiring immediate care.

Eye Condition Diagnosis and Treatment: 
An experienced Optometrist can test for, diagnose and treat many visual eye conditions such as:

  • Computer Vision Syndrome
  • Cataracts
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Age-related Conditions such as Presbyopia, Macular Degeneration, 
  • Astigmatism
  • Vision Therapy
  • Glaucoma
  • Myopia (nearsightedness) and Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Pink Eye
  • And perform Refractive Surgery such as LASIK

At Blink Eyewear we have three locations in NW Calgary where our experienced Optometry teams provide a broad range of eye care services for you and your loved ones. Whether it is a routine eye examination, or you have a concern about your eye health, we will take care of you and your family as one of our own. Contact us today to book an appointment.

Choosing the Best Calgary Eye Care Professional for Your Needs

Assessing your and your family’s visual health by partnering with an established and experienced Doctor of Optometry offers up a variety of benefits. An Optometrist is a primary care physician meaning they are trained to provide routine eye and vision care for you and your family. Most vision exams and services provided by an Optometrist are covered by Alberta Health and/or a third-party medical insurance provider. Your health is important and should be left to capable and experienced professionals. Book in for your NW Calgary eye exam today by calling 403-516-2292 or filling out our online contact form.


Q: Why do I need an Optometrist?
A: An optometrist can discover numerous health issues affecting not only your vision but the rest of your body. Things such as abnormal blood pressure, tumours, diabetes and imbalanced cholesterol are all visible during an eye exam. Whether or not you have vision impairments it is recommended that you see your NW Calgary Eye Doctor for a comprehensive exam to monitor your health.

Q: How long is a typical eye exam?
A: Typically you can plan to spend about 30 minutes in the room with your Optometrist for a routine eye examination. Sometimes extra testing is recommended depending on your age, risk factors, or if your doctor has a concern they want to further assess.

Q: What does an eye doctor look for during an exam?
A: During your eye examination your eye care professional will assess the tissue and structure of your eyes looking for signs of eye disease such as cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration.

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Blink Eyewear boasts the largest collection of eyewear in Calgary, but our 4 locations are also home to the region’s finest optometrists. Just as you will not find a better store to shop for your eyewear, you will not find a better vision clinic to do your eye exam or treat your eye condition. 

Go ahead and Blink; what you see is really what you get. Call one of our store numbers or fill out the form below to book an appointment.

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