Optometrists, Opticians and Ophthalmologists

There are three different types of professionals that are involved with your eye and vision health, and we often find that our customers are confused about the difference between optometrists, opticians and ophthalmologists. This week, we take a look at how each professional has an essential role in monitoring and maintaining your eye and vision health.


Your primary eye health provider will usually be an optometrist. Optometrists are highly educated, clinically trained and provincially licensed to provide comprehensive eye care, including:

  • Administering eye exams and treating conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
  • Providing prescriptions for corrective eyewear.
  • Diagnosing diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Providing referrals to ophthalmologists for eye disease treatment or surgery.


Ophthalmologists are eye surgeons and specialists that have dedicated a number of years to medical school and residency programs. A referral is often needed to see an ophthalmologist if a higher level of care is required. A few of the tasks ophthalmologists perform include:

  • Diagnosing and treating all eye diseases, including eye conditions related to other diseases, like diabetes or arthritis.
  • Surgical eye care for treatment of glaucoma, cataracts, trauma or other eye defects.


After receiving your vision prescription from an optometrist, an optician takes over. Opticians have completed their professional education at an accredited institute and then must go through licensing testing to become certified. Their specialty is ensuring your eyewear is suitable for your vision needs. They ensure your prescription is correct, answer any questions about your glasses or contact lenses and adjust your eyewear to ensure a correct fit. There is always a licensed optician present onsite at every Hakim Optical location across Canada. Learn more about the value of licensed opticians at Hakim Optical.

It’s important to see the right eye care professional for your vision needs.

Contact your nearest Hakim Optical location with any questions!

Hakim Optical has been providing quality eye care to Canadians since 1967. Whether you need style, value or convenience, Hakim Optical has the answer.

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