In the field of visual health, it's common to see the terms "optician" and "optometrist" used interchangeably. We even sometimes hear intriguing new words like "optimetrist" or "optotician". However, these two professions have distinct and complementary roles. At Bonhomme à lunettes, we decided to take a moment to explain the difference between the two.
An optician is a vision care professional specializing, among other things, in the manufacture, fitting and sale of corrective lenses and eyeglass frames. Our main role is to fill prescriptions issued by optometrists. In short, we're the pharmacists of eyewear. Opticians are trained through a three-year college program leading to a college diploma (DEC) in optics and eyewear. Through our studies, we learn to take precise measurements, advise on the choice of lenses and frames, and make adjustments to ensure optimum comfort.
An optometrist is an eye care professional who, among other things, is authorized to perform eye examinations, diagnose and treat certain eye conditions, and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. Optometrists are Doctors of Optometry, which means that they have undergone a in-depth university training in vision science and eye care. During an eye exam, an optometrist evaluates general eye health, binocular vision, refraction and the correction needed to improve vision. With your prescription, you can then choose where and with you will be treated.
In a nutshell: opticians focus primarily on making and fitting eyeglasses (and contact lenses), optometrists do too, but are the eye health professionals qualified to perform comprehensive eye examinations and diagnose and treat a variety of eye conditions. That's why it's essential to have an eye exam before coming over to meet us.