What Is the Difference Between a General Ophthalmologist and a Retina Specialist?

General ophthalmologist vs. retina specialistExperiencing visual symptoms caused by an eye disease or injury can be nerve-wracking enough, but not knowing who to turn to can make an already stressful situation even more so. At Metrolina Eye Associates, our team of board certified eye doctors are often asked by patients to explain the differences between certain types of eye doctors. We understand that distinguishing between eye doctors can sometimes be confusing, but understanding the differences is crucial to getting proper care and treatment.

Here, we discuss the differences between a general ophthalmologist and a retina specialist.

What Is a General Ophthalmologist?

General ophthalmologists are medical doctors that specialize in eye and vision care. They are trained in diagnosing and treating a range of chronic eye problems, including cataracts, retinal problems and dry eye. General ophthalmologists are required to complete four years of medical or osteopathy school, one year of internship training, and a minimum of three years of an ophthalmology residency program. Training covers an array of eye care topics, including prevention, diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions and diseases. General ophthalmologists are usually the first doctors patients see when they experience an eye or vision problem.

Ophthalmologists have the choice of subspecializing in a specific area of eye care that requires additional years of training. Eye and vision subspecialties include the cornea and external disease, and vitreoretinal diseases.

What Is a Retina Specialist?

Retina specialists are ophthalmologists who have completed specialized training in diseases and conditions related to the vitreous and retina, which is the light-sensitive area and tissues located at the back of the eye. This training is in addition to the years of training all ophthalmologists must complete in general eye and vision care. Because retinal specialists focus their practice on this particular area of the eye, they are far more prepared than general ophthalmologists to address complex retinal problems.

Retina specialists are highly trained and experienced in treating conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, macular holes, retinal tears and detachment, and tumors inside the eye.

Meet Our Newest Retina Specialist: Dr. David Almeida

Dr. David AlmeidaMetrolina Eye Associates is committed to providing our patients with exceptional vision care and treatment, all under one roof. Our team is comprised of board certified ophthalmologists, including retina and cataract surgeons that are able to provide highly specialized treatment and care in their specialty.

We are pleased to welcome retinal specialist Dr. David Almeida to the Metrolina Eye Associates team. Dr. Almeida is a board certified ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon with years of experience diagnosing and treating an array of retinal diseases and conditions. A renowned industry leader, Dr. Almeida has published over 120 peer-reviewed publications and has presented his work at numerous national and international ophthalmology conferences. Dr. Almeida has received several awards from professional organizations such as the American Society of Retina Specialists and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Prior to joining Metrolina Eye Associates, Dr. Almeida was part of the attending faculty of VitreoRetinal Surgery PA, the largest retina practice in Minnesota. Dr. Almeida is excited to bring his in-depth knowledge and expertise to our practice and provide high-quality and personalized treatment to patients.

To discuss your visual needs, schedule a consultation with one of the board certified ophthalmologists at Metrolina Eye Associates. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team.