Professionals in visual impairment: the ophthalmologist
The ophthalmologist is the health professional concerned with the eyes and their associated parts.
He may diagnose visual problems and diseases. He works alongside other professionals such as a general practitioner or an optician.
Type of publication:Good practises
Date of publication:12/24/2012
Publishing organization:Centich, France
What is an ophthalmologist ?
The ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who is concerned with the eyes and their associated parts: the pupils and the tear ducts.
What does an ophthalmologist do?
An ophthalmologist’s responsibilities can be separated into two areas: medical ophthalmology and surgical ophthalmology
In medical ophthalmology, a patient’s visual performance is assessed by the ophthalmologist. He will determine the correspondence between the eyes’ movements and the visual field and accordingly will diagnose visual problems. All diseases linked to the eyes and their associated parts, such as glaucoma, cataracts or DMLA, are diagnosed and treated by the ophthalmologist.
He prescribes treatments or actions that can be taken to relieve his patients.
In surgical ophthalmology, according to his specialization, the ophthalmologist will:
- conduct surgery on the pupils and tear ducts;
- conduct surgery on the eyeball (cornea, cataract, glaucoma, detached retina, squint);
- conduct refractive eye surgery using laser (myopia, astigmatism, hypertrophy, presbyopia)
Which professions are linked to the ophthalmologist’s ?
The ophthalmologist works within a group of different professionals:
The general practitioner:
- Patients presenting pathological symptoms linked to the eye, are referred to the ophthalmologist by the general practitioner
The optician: see ‘optician’
- He makes prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses
- He renews prescriptions for adults in the three years following an ophthalmologist’s intervention
- He advises on the best technical visual aids for people with poor eyesight.
The orthoptist: see orthoptist
- He works as a free lance or as an employee of the ophthalmologist’s cabinet
- He’s responsible for the re-education of binocular vision
- He may, under the direction of the ophthalmologist, conduct technical aspects of a consultation, that’s to say examinations, leaving the ophthalmologist free to devote himself to the medical and therapeutic side
- He’s concerned with re-education in cases of poor eyesight