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Types of Eye Care Providers

Use this guide to ensure you have the correct eye care professional for your needs.


Washingtonians experiencing symptoms of eye disease should immediately contact an ophthalmologist to arrange an exam. Ophthalmologists are the only eye care professionals who can diagnose and treat any eye disease. Click here to find an ophthalmologist.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Loss of the central vision you need to see details straight ahead, blurry or wavy areas in your central vision.


Blurry vision, colors that seem faded, sensitivity to light, trouble seeing at night, double vision.


Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve.  


Strabismus is a word for eyes that are not straight or do not line up with each other. If the problem is not treated, it can cause amblyopia.

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

A type of poor vision that happens in just one eye. It develops when there’s a breakdown in how the brain and the eye work together, and the brain can’t recognize the sight from one eye.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. It affects blood vessels in the retina.

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors are a type of vision problem that makes it hard to see clearly. They happen when the shape of your eye keeps light from focusing correctly on your retina.

The Human Eye

Eye Anatomy and Function

To understand the diseases and conditions that can affect the eye, it helps to understand basic eye anatomy.

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