Duties and Responsibilities of Optometrists

To be an optometrist is to earn a degree in Doctor of Optometry and earn experience by examining the eyes of patients eyes to check if the vision is still normal or if there are any related problems on it and prescribes corrective measures, such as the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses, if needed. The educational requirements to be able to become an optometrist follow these academic paths: 7 to 8 years of post secondary education; 3 years of undergraduate education, preferably in the field of science; 4 to 5 years in optometry university course; additional year of residency training upon completion of Doctor of Optometry; passing the licensing examinations.

Examining the eyes and determining their visual acuity, perception, focus and coordination and diagnosing for eye disease or abnormalities, like color blindness or glaucoma, is basically the main thrust task of an optometrist and, in relation to the eye examination, he further undergoes procedures, such as analysing the eye test results and come up with a treatment plan, prescribing the use of an eyeglass or contact lenses or other visual aids, and, at the same time, prescribe medication to treat eye diseases. When contact lenses are prescribed by the optometrist, he should include the education on contact lens care to his patient that covers visual hygiene, proper lighting use and safety factors. It is also the duty of an optometrist to consult with and refer his patients to an ophthalmologist if additional medical treatment is necessary, such as rare eye diseases or patient’s low eye vision due to diabetes, and other visual concerns that have to be treated more by an ophthalmologist. An optometrist should also take care of those who have undergone eye operative procedures, such as the pre and post operative care of patients with cataract problems and those who have undergone laser vision correction, as well as removal of foreign bodies in a patient’s eyes.

The difference between an optometrist to that of an ophthalmologist is that an ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in eye and vision care, diagnoses and treats all kinds of eye diseases, performs eye surgery and also prescribes eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems and the level of training is higher than that of an optometrist.
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The employment and career outlook for optometrist is growing by about 24% from 2012 to 2022, which may be a gradual growth since vision problems are also more connected to age, thus an aging population will be in need of optometrists to treat for cataracts and eye degenerative diseases. Further, with the increasing number of insurance plans that include eye care insurance coverage, there will therefore be a need for optometrist as more people are enrolled in these type of insurance coverage.The Art of Mastering Optometrists