Here at My Pharmacy and Optical, we often get asked if an optometrist is a real doctor or not.

Our optometrist is a real doctor who is licensed to treat numerous eye conditions. However, when an eye condition warrants more specialized treatment, we send you to an ophthalmologist.

To better understand just what an optometrist near Lexington SC does, we’ve done a comparison below.

Different Types Of Eye Care Providers

Many of us may not be aware of just exactly what eye doctors do. We know and understand that when our vision falters, we see an eye doctor. But did you know there are various types of eye care providers? Two of the most common are optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Optometrists And Ophthalmologists

Optometrist Opthamologist
Licensed Doctor of optometry (OD) Licensed Medical doctor (M.D.)
Not a medical doctor Medical doctor
Specialty Specialty
●     Vision care ●     Vision care
●     Vision screening ●     Vision screening
●     Vision correction (diagnosing and treating) ●     Vision correction (diagnosing and treating)
●     Corrective lens prescription ●     Corrective lens prescription
●     Dispensing corrective lenses ●     Dispensing corrective lenses
●     Trained to detect eye abnormalities ●     Trained to detect eye abnormalities
●     Eye rehabilitation ●     Eye rehabilitation
●     Prescriber of some medications (schedule II – IV drugs) to treat eye conditions ●     Prescriber of medications (schedule II – IV drugs)
●     Diagnose and treat diseases of the eye
●     Performs surgery on the eye
●     Retina
●     Cornea
●     Plastic surgery
●     Neurology
●     Glaucoma
●     Lasik surgery


The trained technicians who help us in selecting and fitting with eyewear, contact lenses, etc., are opticians. They are the ones who step in to help us find the right pair of glasses or to get contact lenses ordered.

The Optometrist’s Specialty: A Complete Eye Exam

We depend on optometrists as our first line of defense when we experience vision problems. They will most likely do a thorough eye examination to gain a better understanding of what the cause of your problem is.

An optometrist is your first line of defense in correcting and treating vision problems.]

Our eyes are just as important as any other part of our body. Just as routine physicals or visits to our doctor or our yearly dental checkup, eye exams should also be a part of that regime. It’s usually not until we experience vision problems that we get our eyes checked.

Vision problems are often age-related and can also be a symptom of something more serious with an underlying medical condition. An optometrist near Lexington, SC, can often determine what’s going on just by doing an eye exam.

What Does An Eye Exam Encompass?

Your optometrist will go through your medical history, medications you are taking, medical conditions you have, when your vision issues began, and gain more insight on family history as it relates to your vision. Your work environment or exposure to certain conditions are also a few things they will go over with you.

Next, you will read letters on a chart from a distance. This is what’s known as “visual acuity testing.” Visual acuity comes down to whether or not you can read the small letters on the chart within a determined distance.

Keratometry or Topography are tests that the optometrist does to take a look at the cornea’s curvature. This is done by shining a light onto the cornea while measuring the reflection. When prescribing contact lenses, this test is almost always done.

To determine if you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, they will have you look through various lenses, which helps evaluate how well your eye focuses. This will also help them to know what power of lens you’ll need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Eye drops are applied to your eyes to dilate the pupils. This allows the optometrist to be able to look into the interior of the eyeball. The pressure of the eyeball interior is also measured to detect diseases or other conditions.

Depending on the results of your exam, the optometrist may or may not recommend (prescribe) corrective eyewear.

Recommended Eye Exams Intervals

Adults 18-64 should have a bi-annual eye exam. Those who have diabetes or other conditions should have an annual exam. As you grow older (65+), a yearly exam is recommended. Children 6 months to 1 year should have their first eye exam and again between 3-5 years of age. Those ages 6-17 should have their eyes checked yearly.

Searching for reputable and reliable opticals near me is as easy as calling My Pharmacy and Optical. Our licensed and trained optometrist cares for all ages. Give us a call today to schedule your eye exam.