What is Ophthalmology? Ophthalmology is the branch of specialist medicine that is focused on the health of eyes and their surrounding tissues, including muscles, bones, eyelids, and tear production/drainage systems. Your eye is the organ of vision and consists of the cornea (the outer clear layer), the sclera (the white of the eye), the iris (the coloured part), the lens (lies behind the iris) and the retina (the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye). Your eyes ‘see’ by focusing light that enters the eye onto the retina which sends the image to the brain by the optic nerve. Ophthalmologists are doctors who are trained in the study of eyes. Most will be trained in eye surgery, and may have particular areas of interest or expertise.
Optometrists are not doctors but are trained in testing your vision to assess your need for glasses or contact lenses. Some also test for glaucoma.