EYE CARE PROFESSIONALS
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There are three types of eye care professionals trained to care for the eyes of adults and children:
Ophthalmologists are eye doctors who specialize in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system. They also specialize in the prevention of eye disease and injury. Ophthalmologists can be either Doctors of Medicine (MD) or Doctors of Osteopathy (DO).
Doctors of Optometry, better known as Optometrists, are primary health care professionals. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage conditions that relate to the visual system. This would include being able to identify general health conditions that affect the eye, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Opticians are trained professionals who analyze and interpret eye prescriptions; determine the lenses that best meet a person's needs; oversee ordering and verification of eye-related products from start to finish; fit, replace, adjust, repair and reproduce previously ordered contact lenses, eyeglasses and frames.
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What does it mean? Have you ever left your eye exam appointment wondering what all the numbers and terms on your prescription for eyeglasses really mean? Here are common terms that will help you understand your prescription:
The large back-side sphere-like curve which is the foundation of most lens corrections, sometimes also called "power." Sphere is measured in units called diopters and can be positive or negative, representing the severity of the curve of the lens. Generally, positive (+) number diopters correct farsightedness (hyperopia), and negative (-) number diopters are shaped to correct nearsightedness (myopia).
A cylinder shaped band of high or lower diopter that may be added to a lens to correct for astigmatism. It may be left blank or have "DS", which means no Cylinder correction is necessary.
A further definition of Cylinder to correct astigmatism that signifies the angle of the correction, ranging between 1 and 180 degrees. Without a Cylinder this will be left blank.
A correction to assist the eyes in working together to correct, for example, an eye muscle imbalance, or in cases of strabismus or binocular diplopia. Prism works by moving the perceived location of what is being seen relative to the other eye. Prism will be left blank if this type of correction is not recommended.
The measurement of the curvature or diopter of the front of a lens, sometimes used to allow certain prescriptions in specific frames depending on the surface area of the lens. Base may be different from one pair of frames to another even though the rest of the prescription is the same, so it is often left blank at the time a prescription is written.
Some eyeglass prescriptions (such as those that correct presbyopia) have multiple spheres each correcting for different ranges of vision.