Oxnard - Port Hueneme Optometrist   Dr. Don Steensma 465 W. Channel Islands Blvd, Port Hueneme, CA 805/486-3585

Optometrists vs Ophthalmologist


Optometrists are primary care eye doctors, meaning we are usually the first contact the patient has in the eye care system.  They usually have 8 years of college before they receive their Doctor of Optometry degree.  These days most Doctors of Optometry also do a one year internship before they begin to practice optometry.  They perform eye health examinations; vision examinations; treat most general eye diseases; prescribe glasses and contact lenses; provide pre-op and post-op care after cataract surgery and LASIK surgery.  They do not do surgery.  Most optometrists practice as independent practice owners, but many practice in partnerships and some are employed by eye clinics.


Ophthalmologists may be a primary eye care doctor but often are referred to by primary eye doctors for specialized care or surgery. They usually have 8 years of college, a one year internship and at least a 3 year residency in a hospital doing surgery.  Although trained to prescribe glasses and contact lenses most ophthalmologists concentrate on treating eye diseases and eye surgery. Many ophthalmlogists specialize in certain types of eye disease.  There are retinal specialists, corneal specialists, glaucoma specialists, etc. Some practice as independent practice owners but many more practice in group practices or eye clinics.

For further information on the differences between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist, and who would be best for you watch this short video: Click here to see a video on how to find the Best Eye Doctor.

At this time, there is only one other optometric practice beside ours in the city of Port Hueneme.  There are no practicing ophthalmologist within the city of Port Hueneme.

There are several very qualified ophthalmologist in the surrounding Oxnard, Camarillo and Ventura areas.  If you need eye surgery, Dr. Steensma will be able to refer you to the best doctor for the type of eye surgery you need.  Dr. Steensma has a strong relationship with the best ophthalmologists in the area.  He has years of experience working with the best cataract surgeons in the area; the best LASIK surgeons in the area; and one of the best retinal surgery practices in the country which is here in Ventura County.

Favorite optometrist

-  Winner of the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015,
2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Ventura Star newspaper "Readers Choice" contest

-  Winner of the 2015, 2016, 2018 & 2019

Ventura Reporter "Best of Ventura County" contest