Optometrists are qualified to provide all aspects of primary eye health care including prescribing glasses or contact lenses. They may also prescribe or sell a range of medicines for treating eye infections and allergies. They must be registered and you can ask to see their annual practising certificate and scope of practice documents.
Ophthalmologists are medical specialists who treat serious diseases of the eye by surgical or therapeutic means. Their specialisation and skill level means they are providers of secondary and tertiary eye health care who work in hospitals and private clinics.