What is the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist? What is an optician?

An ophthalmologist is a medically and surgically trained physician (MD) who specializes in comprehensive eye care. Ophthalmologists can examine, diagnose and treat eye disorders. They are skilled in all facets of eye care, from prescribing eye glasses to performing intricate eye surgery. Ophthalmologists receive four years of medical school after college, a year’s internship, and a three-year training residency. Most ophthalmologists have had additional training in a subspecialty.
Optometrists have a doctor of optometry degree (OD). They’re skilled professionals with a four year post graduate degree who also examine, diagnose and prescribe treatment for common eye disorders or refer to the appropriate specialist. They also prescribe eyeglasses, contacts and other optical wear, such as low-vision devices. For further information see www.aoa.org.
Opticians have received additional training following college. They are trained or licensed to fill eyewear prescriptions and help fit patients into glasses and contacts.

How often should I have an eye exam?

Are there any specific foods or vitamins that prevent loss of eyesight?

Is macular degeneration a genetic disease?

The risk factors for developing macular degeneration are the following, in order of significance: Age, Smoking, & Heredity.