eye doctor


an ophthalmologist.
an optometrist.

Origin of eye doctor

First recorded in 1880–85

SYNONYMS FOR eye doctor

The term eye doctor refers generally to an ophthalmologist, but is also used informally (and imprecisely) in referring to an optometrist. An ophthalmologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye. Ophthalmologists may prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses and also treat eye diseases with drugs and surgery. An optometrist is not a physician. Optometrists are professionally licensed to test a person for vision defects, prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses, and prescribe therapeutic exercises, but they do not perform surgery and in most U.S. states may not prescribe drugs. An optician is licensed to make, sell, and fit glasses and, in most U.S. states, contact lenses prescribed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. The term oculist, which formerly referred to an ophthalmologist, is no longer used.

Can be confused

eye doctor ophthalmologist optician optometrist (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eye doctor

  • You know I spent three years visiting nearly every eye-doctor in Europe.

    The Night Riders|Ridgwell Cullum
  • She then married an eye-doctor, and lived with a brooding severity in his company, and that of her only child.

    Instigations|Ezra Pound
  • And after the eye-doctor is paid, we will have a lot left over for this new thing Douglass is inventing.

    Phyllis|Maria Thompson Daviess
  • He almost forgot he would not see Germany, unless the eye-doctor were a miracle-monger indeed.

    Ghetto Tragedies|Israel Zangwill