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Home » What’s New » Optometrists and Ophtalmologists: Working Together For Your Eye Health

Optometrists and Ophtalmologists: Working Together For Your Eye Health

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Optometrists and ophthalmologists are different types of eye care providers who often work together to help you maintain your long-term eye health and vision. This professional cooperation is known as eye care co-management.

What kinds of conditions require these two types of healthcare professionals to work together, and how is it usually done?

Our Sunnyvale eye doctors explain more below:

Common Co-Managed Eye Conditions

When it comes to eye care co-management, your optometrist works with a trusted ophthalmologist, each offering their own expertise.

Common conditions that may require co-management include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Diabetic macular edema
  • Macular degeneration (both dry and wet)
  • Retinal vein occlusion
  • Retinal detachment

How Does Co-Management Work?

Your local Sunnyvale optometrist will likely be your first stop when co-managing a condition. Whether as part of your annual comprehensive eye exam, or as a result of a complaint you may have about specific symptoms, your optometrist will run a number of tests that are meant to detect signs of eye disease such as bleeding in the eye or elevated inner eye pressure. If issues are detected, your optometrist will diagnose the specific condition, pinpoint its cause and recommend a trusted ophthalmologist to follow up and begin treatment, including possible surgery.

Once you’re referred, your ophthalmologist will perform extensive tests and decide on the proper treatment to help you. This may include specific prescription medications as well as surgery, if necessary.

After your appointment with the ophthalmologist, continuing your eye care is essential. Your optometrist will schedule a follow-up appointment with you to monitor your progress and recovery, and outline how best to continue your eye care to ensure the highest likelihood of healthy recovery and success.

For more information about co-management of your eye care, speak to our Sunnyvale eye doctors today!


What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease where high blood sugar causes bleeding of the blood vessels at the back of your eye. This causes new fragile blood vessels to grow, which also begin to bleed. Blood and other fluid then begin to collect in the back of the eye, causing significant vision loss, up to and including blindness.

What is a retinal vein occlusion?

A retinal vein occlusion occurs when the small blood vessels that carry blood away from the retina get blocked. You may experience blurring of vision that worsens over hours or days,  or an immediate and total loss of vision. In either case, immediate emergency care is essential.