Defined and Decoded: Optics, Optometrist, Ophthalmolgists and Opticians.

Defined and Decoded: The O’s of Optics, Optometrist, Ophthalmolgists and Opticians

Understanding your visual health can be very confusing. Especially if you are not familiar with the wide and complex array of vision terminology eye care health professional use to describe the most common eye phenomena for many of us such as near and farsightedness (or what eye care specialists refer to as refraction errors). Still, there is more to vision correction, disorders and diseases than meets the eye. The first step is to know which eye care specialist to visit for your specific vision needs.  Here, we’ve defined and decoded the O’s of optical needs for you.

An optometrist is an eye and vision health care professional who is educated, skilled and in most countries will have a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree from a post-graduate optometry school to practice on patients. Optometrists provide examinations, diagnoses, management and non-surgical treatment for eye diseases, vision disorders and vision correction.  The American Optometric Association definition includes the following wide range of eye care services provided by optometrists or Doctors of Optometry:

• Detect and diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal disorders, lid disorders, and infections such as conjunctivitis.
• Prescribe medication to treat eye diseases.
• Evaluate and treat vision conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia.
• Perform minor surgical procedures such as removing foreign objects from the eye.
• Provide pre- and post-operative care, especially for glaucoma, laser, refractive, and cataract patients.
• In some instances, perform laser, refractive or glaucoma surgeries.

By contrast, ophthalmologists are widely regarded as medical surgeons who practice a more specialized field of medicine that specifically concerns health problems of visual pathways that need surgical intervention. Operations performed by ophthalmologists mainly deal with the eye, eyelids and often extends to include the brain and areas surrounding the eye such as the lacrimal system (physiologic system responsible for the orbital structures for tear production and drainage.) depending on the specific ophthalmologists’ experience and education.

The most prevalent eye care professional is an optician, who sometimes owns a small, private eye clinic business of his/her own or is employed by a national optics retail chain. An optician is one who, much like a pharmacist, fills a written order by an optometrist or ophthalmologist based on an eye exam that determines your refractive power.  The optician then provides custom corrective lenses when making your eyeglasses according to your refractive power in order to correct or dramatically improve your blurred vision. 

Many local and nationwide optics retailers will have both opticians and optometrists on-site to offer you the convenience of testing for and filling your lens prescription. They usually offer a wide selection of eyeglass frames but are usually comparably more expensive than online prescription eyeglass retailers. Often times, they offer a free eye exam as an incentive to purchase eyeglasses from their store. For those who wish to hold onto their unfilled prescription and save money by comparing prices for prescription eyeglasses online, please know that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission enforces the Eyeglass Rule which requires that eye care providers give their customers copies of their prescriptions at the end of their eye exam.  If any of the above mentioned eye care health professionals refuse to give you your eyeglass prescription, they may wish to call the Federal Trade Commission at 202-326-3528 for answers to questions they may have regarding this Rule. For consumers, call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Skid Row – 18 And Life (Official Music Video)

Music video by Skid Row performing 18 & Life (C) 1989 Atlantic Records.
Official Video Remastered, Widescreen, 5.1

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“18 And Life”

[Bolan, Snake]

Ricky was a young boy, He had a heart of stone.
Lived 9 to 5 and worked his fingers to the bone.
Just barely got out of school, came from the edge of town.
Fought like a switchblade so no one could take him down.
He had no money, oooh no good at home.
He walked the streets a soldier and he fought the world alone
And now it’s

18 and life You got it
18 and life you know
Your crime is time and it’s
18 and life to go
[repeat above]

Tequila in his heartbeat, His veins burned gasoline.
It kept his motor running but it never kept him clean.
They say he loved adventure, “Ricky’s the wild one.”
He married trouble and had a courtship with a gun.
Bang Bang Shoot ’em up, The party never ends.
You can’t think of dying when the bottle’s your best friend
And now it’s


“Accidents will happen” they all heard Ricky say
He fired his six-shot to the wind – that child blew a child away.