Guide To Eye Specialists

Ophthalmologists, orthoptists and opticians (optometrists) are all professionally trained people who treat eye problems.


Ophthalmologists are medically trained doctors who have done further specialist training in the eye. They treat diseases and injuries of the eye. Some ophthalmologists also perform eye surgery. Generally you go to your GP first if you have an eye problem and they will refer you to an ophthalmologist.


Orthoptists diagnose and treat:

  • Vision problems and
  • Eyes that do not move normally.

Orthoptists are usually part of a hospital care team looking after people with eye problems. They specialise in areas like:

  • Binocular vision problems – where the eyes cannot merge what they see into one image
  • Lazy eye (amblyopia)
  • Squint (strabismus).
  • Opticians (optometrists)

    Opticians (also called optometrists) examine eyes, give advice on visual problems and prescribe and fit glasses or contact lenses. They work in centres and are often based in busy shopping streets for easy access. They offer walk-in services including routine eye check-ups and also have a long-term relationship with people who use glasses and contact lenses, providing eye monitoring and follow-up advice.