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What Is the Difference Between an Ophthalmologist and an Optometrist?

One question we get asked a lot is “What is the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist?”  Many people assume that they are the same thing and often use the terms interchangeably.  An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of the eye.  Optometrists are healthcare professionals who provide primary vision care, such as eye exams, corrective lenses and medication prescriptions for patients.  The physician and the optometrist work together when it is in the best interest of the patient to coordinate your optimal eye care treatment.

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At Manning, Rommel & Thode Associates, located in Lancaster, PA, all of our physicians are board certified ophthalmologists

To practice as an ophthalmologist in the United States, one must complete the following requirements:

  • Four years of college and a medical degree
  • 12-month postgraduate clinical year
  • 36-month residency training in ophthalmology
  • Certification with the American Board of Ophthalmology

In addition, many ophthalmologists specialize in one of the many subspecialties of ophthalmology by completing a one- or two-year fellowship training.  Here at Manning, Rommel & Thode Associates in Lancaster, PA, our doctors have many specialty areas.  Dr. Francis J. Manning completed a fellowship in cornea and external diseases.  Dr. Catherine T. Rommel received specialty training in laser and medical retina.  Lastly, Dr. Adam R. Thode completed his fellowship in cornea, anterior segment and refractive surgery.  All of our ophthalmologists are highly qualified to care for your vision needs. 

At Manning, Rommel & Thode Associates we specialize in the following eye care services:

Cataract Surgery – This is one of the most common and safest surgeries performed in the country.  Here at Manning, Rommel & Thode Associates, we have successfully removed cataracts from over 2,400 patients in year 2019 alone!  Through the use of top-of-the-line medical technology, our doctors leave patients feeling relaxed and comfortable during this surgery.  As an added bonus, this surgery has a rapid recovery time. 

Medical Laser Surgery – To treat various eye diseases, lasers can be used to quickly and safely create small spaces in different parts of the eye to allow more light in.  Such a procedure results in clearer vision and can reduce the amount of eye pressure felt by the patient. 

Laser Vision Correction – This common laser eye procedure can reduce or even eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.  Nearly 92% of patients who rely on glasses or contacts to help them see are candidates for this procedure. 

Routine Eye Care – We offer annual routine eye exams, as well as medical eye exams, to ensure our patient’s proper eye health.  During such visits, our doctors can update patient’s glasses or contact lens prescriptions and check on medical eye problems, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration.   

Based on the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s recommendation, adults should see an eye doctor if they experience blurred vision, excessive tearing, distorted vision or other eye dysfunctions.  Once an eye exam is completed, ophthalmologists will determine how frequently you should return for follow-up examinations.  If you have never experienced discomfort or trouble with your vision by the time you are 40, we still recommend you scheduling a comprehensive eye exam to assess your overall vision health.  If you have certain health conditions or family history, such as glaucoma, corneal diseases or macular degeneration, you should plan on attending more regular visits with your eye doctor.

Manning, Rommel & Thode Associates offers the best eye care in the Lancaster, PA region.  Our team of ophthalmologists take pride in our combined knowledge and are committed to the highest standards of care, treatment and surgical innovation. 

Contact us today at (717) 393-7980 to schedule a consultation or eye exam with us today.  We are proud to serve Lancaster, PA and the Central PA region.  We look forward to seeing you soon.