Eye Doctor: Optometrists and Ophthalmologists

When searching for a new eye doctor in the Round Rock area, you may have noticed practices with doctors who are categorized as optometrists and others as ophthalmologists. You may have also seen the category of optician. With all of this in mind, who is the best eye care professional for you?

Today, on the Round Rock Eye Consultants blog, we are going to help you understand the distinctions between eye doctors for your treatment and care in central Texas. If you ever have questions about this or any topic we discuss on the blog, feel free to contact us! Dr. Joseph Meyer and the entire Round Rock Eye Consultants team are here to help.

How to Choose an Eye Doctor?

Just like other doctors you see for your healthcare, the titles of doctors tell you not only what they can treat but also their level of training. The term eye doctor is an umbrella term for two primary categories of eye care professionals: an optometrist and ophthalmologist.


An optometrist, abbreviated as OD, is a healthcare professional who can provide you basic treatment for helping your vision, meaning they can provide:

  • Eye exams and vision tests

  • Treatments for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism

  • Fit eyeglasses and contact lenses

  • Low-vision aids and vision therapy

  • Detection of injury, diseases, disorders, and other serious conditions related to the eyes

An optometrist could be likened to a primary care doctor as they can provide the general vision and eye care a person may need. An optometrist has typically received:

  • Four years in a professional program after college

  • Received a Doctorate of Optometry Degree

  • May have received special training and/or completed a specialty fellowship

If you are seeing an optometrist and you are in need of greater treatment they may recommend you to an ophthalmologist.


An ophthalmologist, simply put, can provide everything that an optometrist can and more. An ophthalmologist offers complete eye care services. The services and conditions that they can treat include:

  • Eye exams and other vision services

  • Medical eye care for conditions such as glaucoma, iritis, and chemical burns

  • Surgical eye care for trauma, crossed eyes, cataracts, glaucoma, and others

  • Diagnosis and treatment for conditions that are caused or related to major health concerns like diabetes and arthritis

  • Plastic surgery to get rid of droopy eyelids and wrinkles

To be able to provide complete eye care services, ophthalmologists have completed:

  • Medical school

  • 1-year internship

  • 3 years of residency

  • And sometimes 1-2 years fellowship

An ophthalmologist is highly trained and experienced to provide eye care for all vision and eye health concerns. Our Dr. Meyer is an ophthalmologist which allows him to treat conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye conditions and concerns. He can also perform surgical procedures such as lasar cataract surgery, traditional cataract surgery, and intraocular lens surgery.


What is an Optician?

While discussing the various types of eye care professionals, it is important to understand the services that an optician provides to contribute to your complete vision care. An optician isn't an eye doctor and so can not provide eye exams or diagnosis. They can fill your prescription for your eye doctor and provide fitting services for your glasses and contacts. They have received a one to two-year degree, certificate, or diploma, and provide these services:

  • Fill and check lens prescription

  • Adjust and repair eyeglasses and frames

  • Take facial measurements for glasses fittings

  • Help you find the best lenses and frames for you

  • Order and check products such as contacts and eyeglass lenses

An optician usually works with your eye doctor to help you find the right product for your vision care.


Choosing a healthcare provider can be stressful especially if you aren’t sure what you need to treat your condition. The best way to find the right eye doctor for you is to:


If you simply need your vision checked, you could go see an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. However, if you have more specific medical concerns such as cataracts, you may need to see an ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist can provide you everything an optometrist can and more.


Often asking for recommendations can also help you find a good doctor. Word gets around regarding both good and bad doctors. Ask your medical doctor, or trusted family or friends to suggest a doctor that may fit your needs.


You can also find an eye doctor by doing a little research. Many of the best doctors in the Round Rock and Central Texas area have awards and other accolades. Our ophthalmologist, Dr. Meyer, for example, has won the Texas Super Doctor four years in a row — an impressive achievement given only to the top medical professionals in the nation.


If you’ve found a few potential doctors that you like, and you’re not sure who is best fit for you, you can also choose based on who you like the best. Factors that can affect your feelings include:

  • How the doctor and their staff treat you

  • The office environment

  • Technology used

  • How you feel after your appointment

Some doctors can provide the “same” level of care, but may not connect with you or treat you as well as other doctors. Take into consideration your whole experience while at your eye doctor’s office to help you choose an eye care and vision care professional best for you.


Choosing Your Eye Doctor in Round Rock

If you live in the Round Rock area, Dr. Meyer and his staff at Round Rock Eye Consultants would love to serve you. We provide a small family practice environment that will help you and your family feel at home every time you step into our office. At the same time, we also provide the latest, state-of-the-art technology and techniques for the best care possible. We often serve three generations of patients in the same family because of our level of care that we provide. With over 20 years of experience, and an extensive list of awards, Dr. Meyer and his staff can instill confidence and peace of mind in your eye and vision care treatments.

To learn more about our practice or to contact us, visit our website. There you can also read other patient reviews, learn about the services we provide and conditions we treat as well as the surgical procedures we offer. Schedule with us today!