Differences: Optometrist, Optician, and Ophthalmologist
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Differences: Optometrist, Optician, and Ophthalmologist

Many Canadians know about the importance of regular eye exams and having proper eyewear. But not everyone is aware of the different roles that eye care professionals play to ensure their eyes remain healthy.

Eye health is important, and regular eye exams can help ensure your eyes remain healthy. In this article, we will explain the differences between an optician, optometrists, and ophthalmologists. We will also show how they work together to provide complete eye care.


What is an Optometrist?

An optometrist is a primary eye care provider who can perform eye examinations, write prescriptions, and treat eye conditions and diseases. Optometrists in Canada require seven to eight years of post-secondary education.

This education is to obtain their professional designation as a Doctor of Optometry (OD). There are two schools of optometry in Canada and 20 additional schools in the United States whose graduates can practice in Canada.


Many optometrists also complete an additional year of residency to specialize in a specific area of eye care. Optometrists are regulated by provincial/territorial boards and must pass national tests to ensure that their training meets Canadian standards.

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