Which Eye Doctor is Right for You?

Confused about which eye doctor is right for you?  Are you uncertain if you need an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, or a Retina Specialist?  Each eye care provider addresses a range of patient needs – from fitting eyeglasses to performing invasive surgery.  Each has a different level of education and training.  One type of provider may be more appropriate than another, depending on what type of eye care services you need.  Here is a brief outline of the differences between eye care providers.


an optometrist is not a medical doctor or retina specialist.  Optometrists can provide routine, primary vision care.  They examine eyes to detect vision problems like nearsightedness, astigmatism and can occasionally diagnose some eye disease, such as glaucoma.


an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who provides eye care services including eye exams, prescribes medicines, and performs some general surgical procedures, most commonly,  cataract surgery.


is an Ophthalmologist with several additional years of training to gain expertise in the diagnosis, treatment and surgical management of particular ocular (eye) conditions.  A Retina Specialist has had additional training and is uniquely qualified to care for all retina problems.  These include, but are not limited to, diabetic eye disease, macular degeneration, “floaters” and retinal detachment.  A retina problem needs to be treated by a Retina Specialist.  Call Dr. Saralyn Notaro Rietz at (716)839-9009 if you would like an evaluation.  No prior eye exam or referral is needed.

Depending on your particular needs, each can be a valued member of your eye health care team.  Make it a point to learn about the education, credentials, training and experience of each member of your health care team,.

For more information or to make an appointment for a complete retina evaluation with Saralyn Notaro Rietz, MD, the Back of the Eye MD, please call (716) 839-9009. With our Buffalo, NY office located in Snyder, and our Niagara Falls, NY office, a convenient appointment can be made anytime.