Dear Dr. SerVaas,
I had a driver’s permit before moving to Iowa. Here they have a questionnaire for an optometrist or ophthalmologist to fill out. Years ago, an optometrist told me that he had done all he could do for my vision. What does an ophthalmologist do?
An ophthalmologist is a physician who treats eye conditions and diseases with medicines and surgery. Some ophthalmologists learn to care for children’s eyes, perform corneal transplants, or do plastic surgery. In most states, an optometrist or Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) diagnoses but doesn’t treat eye diseases. Many provide low vision rehabilitation and perform minor surgeries. Both types of eye specialists are trained to examine the eye, diagnose eye diseases, and prescribe glasses and contact lenses.
Each state passes its own laws about the requirements necessary to obtain and renew a driver’s license.