An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the eye. They differ from optometrists, another kind of eye doctor, in that they have MD (Doctor of Medicine) degrees, while optometrists have OD (Doctor of Optometry) degrees. Ophthalmologists can perform surgery while optometrists cannot. An optician isn’t doctor; they’re a technician who fill prescriptions made by optometrists and ophthalmologists. They fit people with the needed corrective lenses.
Education of an Ophthalmologist
As a medical doctor, the aspiring ophthalmologist goes to medical school. After that, they serve a residency at a hospital for at least four years. While there, they will learn to conduct examinations, diagnose and treat diseases and perform surgery. Those who want to concentrate on a subspecialty like glaucoma or ocular oncology need to undertake a fellowship that lasts for one or two more years. By the time they complete their fellowship, they will have finished nine or ten years of training since graduating from college!
Subspecialties of Ophthalmology
The first step in choosing an ophthalmologist is deciding what one needs. There are many subspecialties within the discipline, and they include the following:
• Anterior segment surgery is a subspecialty concentrating on the front of the eye. Ophthalmologists in this subspecialty possess extensive knowledge of physiology and anatomy of the cornea, iris, lens and ciliary body.
• Cornea and external disease is a subspecialty concentrating on disorders of the cornea, sclera (whites), conjunctiva and eyelids. Those in this subspecialty often perform cornea transplant surgeries.
• Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. Some eye doctors specialize in treating it.
• Neuro-ophthalmology is the subspecialty of treating vision problems caused neurological disturbances. Doctors in this field will treat disorders of the optic nerve, for example. They also often handle disorders caused by stroke or brain tumors.
• Ocular oncology is the diagnosis and treatment of cancer or tumors in the eye.
• Vitreo-retinal surgery, also known as retinal ophthalmology or posterior segment surgery, is the subspecialty that concentrates on the retina and other parts in the rear of the eye.
How to Find an Ophthalmologist
In many cases, a patient’s primary care physician, optometrist or pediatrician can recommend somebody. The American Academy of Ophthalmology maintains a website that helps visitors locate ophthalmologists in their area. They simply choose a subspecialty and insert a ZIP code, and they will get a list of names. Clicking on a name will get more information about the doctor like where they were educated and when they first received a board certification.
In order to get the best treatment, the patient needs to trust and like their ophthalmologist. Dr. Ahmad understands the importance of the relationship between a doctor and their patient, which is why he strives to provide each patient with personalized care. Contact the office of Syed Ahmad, MD in Plano to learn more about our ophthalmologist’s specialties and how he can help you.