Know about the specialty of your Eye Doctor

If you are looking for a provider for your comprehensive eye care, it is important to know the difference between eye care specialists, & how they can work together. This information will come in handy when it is time to pick the right doctor.

There are three types of providers & description of their specialties:

  • Optometrists
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Opticians


We are first going to talk about Optometrists, since this is our specialty! Dr. Allen is an optometrist. To get a Doctor of Optometry degree, one has to finish a bachelor’s undergraduate degree, & then go to an Optometry School.

The Optometry program is very similar to a dental program. First year is about the whole body, like the first year of medical school, then the next three years are mostly about the eyes. Optometrists also take 4 semesters of optics to truly understand the optical system of the eyes, and how to write the most correct prescription. After four years of Optometry school, we are required to pass board exam to receive O.D. degree. With an O.D. degree, optometrists are specialized to fit glasses and contacts, treat eye problems like infections, inflammation and glaucoma, and talk about surgery. Optometrists aren’t surgeons, & can’t do LASIK, cataract surgery or repair a torn retina. We ARE great at optimizing your vision through glasses and contacts and discussing which vision correction option is best for you.



Ophthalmologists go to undergraduate school, then four years of medical school. After graduating (with an M.D. degree), they go to a residency program for ophthalmology. Residency program has one year of internship and three years of residency. Afterwards, they are allowed to specialize in certain aspects of the eyes, like the retina or the cornea. Those specialties require more time in fellowships and study. Ophthalmologists are surgeons, and can treat all aspects of eye health. Dr. Allen refers her patients to excellent specialists when the need arises.



Opticians specialize in the technology of eyeglasses and lenses. They are frame gurus who can help you pick out the right look for you. Opticians can recommend the right lens type and technology for your vision demands, and help you choose extra coatings and tints to maximize your eye health and vision. Opticians can have an ABOC license that shows that they have studied the art of being an optician, but in Texas you don’t have to have a license to practice as an optician. At Premier Vision of Dallas, our opticians have a combined 32 years of experience in the optical world.


Together, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Opticians help patients maintain healthy and precise vision throughout their lives.