11 East Main Street, Trumansburg, NY 14886


The Difference Between an Optometrist and Ophthalmologist




Jun 30

The Difference Between an Optometrist and Ophthalmologist

Optometrists and ophthalmologists both make great contributions to helping people protect their vision. But even though both professions are specialized in eye care, there are a few stark differences between the two. Their areas of expertise are distinct, so if you are wondering which one you should visit, it’s important to understand which is the better option. 

Trumansburg Optical provides outstanding care for you and your family. If you’re dealing with vision-related health problems, don’t hesitate to call us for an eye exam. Here are the differences between optometrists and ophthalmologists and how you can decide which health professional you need to visit. 

What Is an Optometrist?

Optometrists treat a wide range of visual problems. They perform sight testing and offer primary vision care for people of all ages. While they do not have the level of education required for the title of medical doctor, optometrists can diagnose, treat and help patients manage vision changes. They are licensed professionals whose practice involves prescribing vision correction and medications, detecting signs of disease and performing vision tests. 

Generally, an optometrist is a great choice if you need basic vision care. Here at Trumansburg Optical, Dr. Henninger is an optometrist delivering exceptional eye care services for patients of all ages. We can assist with many of your common eye-related concerns, such as if you need new glasses or have a symptom you’d like us to examine. 

Optometrists provide several essential eye care services, including: 

  • Eye exams and visual acuity tests
  • Fit and prescribe eyeglasses and contacts
  • Monitor eye conditions related to diseases such as diabetes
  • Treat dry eye, glaucoma, and other common conditions
  • Provide aids for individuals with low vision

What Is an Ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmologists are medical doctors specializing in vision and eye care. They have a higher level of training and can diagnose and treat a broader range of conditions. They’ve completed medical training and are licensed to perform surgical treatments in addition to prescribing visual correction. If we identify signs of vision-related diseases during a routine exam, you may need to see an ophthalmologist, depending on the complexity of your condition. This is especially true if surgery is required to solve the problem. 

Which Doctor is Right for Me?

When it comes to many common vision-related problems, it’s fine to see either an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. Often, both work together to provide the best care possible. Generally, it’s good to start with an optometrist and then see a specialist if further testing and care are needed. When you choose Trumansburg Optical, you can speak to Dr. Henninger, an experienced optometrist who has assisted many clients with a range of needs. We deliver exceptional care and can help you discover the treatments needed to address your specific needs.  

Contact An Eye Doctor Today

Visiting an eye doctor regularly is an important part of keeping your vision healthy. If it’s time for your regular eye exam, contact our office now to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you and your family maintain excellent vision.

Meet The Doctor

Dr. Neil F. Henninger

Dr. Henninger has been practicing Optometry in the Finger Lakes area since 1992. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Ithaca College and a Doctor of Optometry degree from The New England College of Optometry. Dr. Henninger is a member of the American Optometric Association, New York State Optometric Association and the Southern Tier Optometric Association.

What Our Patients say

"The staff is so helpful and good at what they do. I have been back a few times because I damaged my glasses and they have fixed me up. Super friendly and knowledgable."


Contact Us Today

Trumansburg Optical is a family-owned full-service optometric practice offering comprehensive eye exams by Dr. Neil Henninger. We have a wide selection of frame styles to choose from and carry a variety of contact lenses in stock.

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