What is an ophthalmologist?

Which eye specialist do I need? What is an ophthalmologist?


It is a matter of importance for me to provide you with extensive and comprehensible information on the various specialisations involved in eye medicine. For those awaiting an eye operation it is also my aim to help dispel some of the fears which inevitably arise. By including a sight test and a number of other test programs I am trying to encourage patients with undiagnosed visual problems to see a specialist at an early stage. There are still thousands of people each year here in Germany going blind as the result of diseases such as diabetes and glaucoma. This does not have to be the case, nor should people suffering from age related macular degeneration simply accept their fate. In Germany the standard of eye medicine is so high and the health care system so comprehensive that the all-pervasive sense of resignation is simply not justified.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. med. D. Klaas

Ophthalmologists, Orthoptists, Opticians

They all take care of your eyes; here is an explanation of their different roles.

In Germany an ophthalmologist is a physician who has completed a degree in medicine (normally a doctorate) plus at least four years of special training at one of the major German eye clinics. This specialist training is preceded by an degree in medicine, at least two years hospital training in various specialist areas and a doctorate thesis. An ophthalmologist is highly specialised in the early recognition and treatment of eye diseases plus eye problems associated with other disorders. He or she is also responsible for prescribing appropriate optical aids - spectacles or contact lenses - and treating visual defects, up to and including surgery. Of great importance is the collaboration with other specialist doctors such as internal specialists, cardiologists, diabetes and allergy specialists, paediatricians and neurologists, making the ophthalmologist an important port of call for advice on and treatment of systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

An orthoptist assists the ophthalmologist in the treatment of defects regarding the interaction of both eyes. A major target here is the early recognition and treatment of various types of squint which, if not treated in time, can lead to weak-sightedness and considerable restrictions in patients' daily life (driving, work).

An optician is responsible for manufacturing the prescribed spectacles or lenses and may determine the required lens strength.

What does an ophthalmologist's examination room look like?

What does an ophthalmologist's examination room look like?

Can I have a look in the slit lamp?

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