An ophthalmologist is a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system. Ophthalmology providers diagnose and treat refractive, medical, and surgical problems related to eye diseases and disorders. In addition to diseases and disorders, ophthalmologists provide the full spectrum of eye care which often includes routine eye exams and prescribing glasses or contact lenses. You may also need to see an ophthalmologist on short notice for ophthalmic issues such as a scratched eye, foreign body in your eye, or eye infections. Ophthalmologists attend medical school and also some additional hospital training in ophthalmology. During their residencies, ophthalmologists receive specialized training in all aspects of eye care which includes prevention, diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions and diseases. Many insurances consider routine eye exams as part of preventive care and may cover it at 100%. (Contact your insurance provider for your specific coverage details.) You may choose to see an ophthalmologist on your own or you may be referred by another provider.