The Work of an Optometrist
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 following educational attainments are needed to be a practicing optometrist: 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.
An optometrist’s main job function is to focus on examining the eyes and determining their visual acuity, perception, focus and coordination and diagnosing for eye disease or abnormalities, like color blindness or glaucoma and any related tasks in connection to the results of the eye examination is still part of an optometrist’s job, 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. Generally as a rule, when contact lenses are prescribed by the optometrist to his patient, he should also educate his patient on proper contact lens care, as well as 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. Other related tasks of an optometrist are removal of foreign bodies in the eye and pre and post operative care of patients with cataract problems and those who have undergone laser vision correction.
An ophthalmologist does have similar functions as that of an optometrist, like prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems, but the level of training is higher than that of an optometrist, so that he is not only a doctor who specializes in eye and vision care, but also performs eye surgery and diagnoses and treats all kinds of eye diseases.
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The optometrist’s employment and career outlook for optometrist will gradually grow by24% from 2012 to 2022, which will be interrelated with the aging population since vision problems are also more connected to age, thus it is expected that as the population goes into an aging society there will be a demand 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 Beginner’s Guide to Doctors