What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

Both an optometrist and ophthalmologist can provide eye care for patients. The difference between these two professionals is that an ophthalmologist has a medical degree and provides comprehensive eye care service. To become an optometrist, one does not have to attend medical school. Instead, an individual can follow up a bachelor's degree with a four-year degree in optometry. Optometrists can treat basic eye conditions by prescribing glasses or contact. Ophthalmologists can do that, and they can perform surgery or other procedures in order to correct conditions of the eye. The process to become an ophthalmologist takes longer than the process to become an optometrist.