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Ophthalmologists specialise in the composition of the eye and the identification, diagnosis and treatment of the disorders which affect it.
As with all medical professionals, their primary responsibility is to identify, diagnose and treat problems experienced by patients through a variety of examinations, tests, medical procedures and prescription of medication. It is also their job to ensure that the patient is fully aware of courses of treatment and procedures available to them so that they can play a role in, and have some control over, the care they receive.
They work closely with physicians trained in a wide range of branches of medicine, such as neurosurgeons, pathologists and diabetologists, i.e. those whose expertise lie in the areas of microsurgery, disease, human anatomy and psychology relating to the eyes, the face, the brain and the nervous system. They will frequently work with other eye experts, including optometrists.
When performing checks or procedures on children or infants, they will work with paediatricians and other children’s healthcare specialists. Some ophthalmologists may even be qualified paediatricians who are specially trained in disorders of the eye.
The work is varied and may involve performing routine eye check-ups on patients through to completing complex surgical procedures.