Ophthalmology (/ˌɒfθælˈmɒlədʒi/, /ˌɒpθælˈmɒlədʒi/ or /ˌɒpθəˈmɒlədʒi/) is a branch of medicine and surgery (both methods are used) that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders. An ophthalmologist is a specialist in ophthalmology. Their credentials include a degree in medicine, followed by an additional four years of ophthalmology residency training. Students may or may not receive residency training in internal medicine, pediatrics, or general surgery before the ophthalmology residency. Additional training may be sought through a fellowship in a particular specialty of eye pathology. Ophthalmologists are allowed to use medications to treat eye diseases, implement laser therapy, and perform surgery when needed. Ophthalmologists may participate in academic research on the diagnosis and treatment for eye disorders.
A partial list of the most common diseases diagnosed and treated by Ophthalmologists include:
Strabismus (misalignment/deviation of eyes)
Proptosis (bulged eyes)
Excessive tearing (tear duct obstruction)
Following are examples of methods of diagnosis performed in a eye examination
Slit lamp examination
Optical coherence tomography
Ophthalmology includes subspecialities which deal either with certain diseases or diseases of certain parts of the eye. Some of them are:
Anterior segment surgery
Cornea, ocular surface, and external disease
Medical retina, deals with treatment of retinal problems through non-surgical means.
Vitreo-retinal surgery, deals with surgical management of retinal and posterior segment diseases. Medical retina and vitreo-retinal surgery sometimes together are called posterior segment subspecialisation.
Oculoplastics and orbit surgery
Paediatric ophthalmology/strabismus (misalignment of the eyes)
Veterinary specialty training programs in veterinary ophthalmology exist in some countries.