Difference between Ophthalmologist and oculist

It is common for people to tend to differentiate the terms ophthalmologist and oculist. Depending on the country we can find that they are different professionals who attend to different eye problems. The Basic difference between Ophthalmologist and oculist is that An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in ophthalmology and is responsible for treating diseases of the eye, its muscles, lacrimal system, and eyelids, while the eye doctor is in charge of treating vision disorders. But basically these are two synonymous terms.


An ophthalmologist is a doctor who is responsible for treating diseases of the eye including the eyeball, muscles, lacrimal system, and eyelids. Some specialize in certain parts of the eye due to the need for early and safe diagnosis. Among these specialties we have:

  • Retina.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Cornea.
  • Refractive surgery.
  • Oculoplastic and orbit.
  • Low vision
  • Anterior segment.
  • Squint.
  • Pediatric ophthalmology.
  • Uveitis and inflammatory eye diseases.
  • ultrasound and ultrasound.
  • Neurophthalmology and neurology of vision.

Each of these specialties has its own diagnostic procedures and specific treatments.

This term comes from the Latin oculus and the suffix ista, the latter indicates “profession” As the ophthalmologist is in charge of evaluating vision disorders and diseases that can develop in the eyes. They are in charge of prescribing medications, prescription glasses, performing surgeries, and more.
In some countries, an oculist is synonymous with an optometrist, who is in charge of primary care of vision factors and visual health, this professional is trained in the physics of vision, in the perception processes of the eye, and the relationship that has with activities such as learning, leisure, work, and the environment. It evaluates the focus of the images, the sensory, motor, and perceptual systems.
It can recognize and treat situations for which a patient requires visual awareness, preventive processes to correct visual abnormalities, and it can detect but not diagnose diseases in the eye, so it refers to an ophthalmologist. In some cases, they are in charge of the sale and prescription of glasses and contact lenses.

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