How Are Ophthalmologists, Ophthalmic clinical officers & nurses, Optometrists, and Opticians different?

Ophthalmologists, Ophthalmic Clinical Officers, Ophthalmic Nurses, Optometrists
and Opticians are different in their training and in what they can diagnose and treat.

An Ophthalmologist is Medical Doctor, licensed to practice medicine and surgery and who has undergone special training in the science of diagnosing, treating and surgery of eye diseases. Some Ophthalmologists undergo additional special training on the treatment of specific eye disease e.g. cornea, glaucoma, children eye disease and retina.
An Ophthalmic Clinical Officer is a Clinical Officer who has undergone a special training in diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. Some undergo additional training and can perform some of the eye surgeries and prescribe glasses.
An Ophthalmic Nurse has undergone special training in screening of patients with eye diseases. They treat uncomplicated eye diseases and refer those that need referral.
An Optometrist is a doctor of optometry. Optometry is a health care profession concerned with eyes and related structures, as well as vision, visual systems, and vision information processing in humans. They determine the need for glasses, contact lenses and prescribe all types of lens correction. They are also trained in screening of eye disease but they do not perform surgery and are not allowed by law to prescribe eye drops/medicines unless under supervision by an Ophthalmologist.
An Optician fits eye lenses in the frames, adjusts, and dispenses eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other optical devices.
according to the prescription of a licensed Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.

Thank you.

Dr. Kibata Githeko
MBChB, MMED, ICO, FEACO (E.A), FRCS (Glasg-UK), Fell. Pead. Ophth. (Cape Town), Fell. Vitreo-Retinal Surgery
Consultant Ophthalmologist & Medical Director