WHAT IS AN OPTOMETRIST?

Optometrists are primary health care professionals for the eyes. An optometrist examines, diagnoses and treats while managing diseases, injuries and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as identifying related systemic conditions affecting the eye.

Doctors of optometry:

  • Prescribe medications
  • Offer services to rehabilitate low vision
  • Offer vision therapy services
  • Presribe:
    • spectacle lenses
    • frames
    • contact lenses
  • Perform certain surgical procedures (this depends on the country/state)

Optometrists counsel their patients regarding surgical and non-surgical options that meet their visual needs related to their occupations, avocations and lifestyle.

Optometrists are health care professionals government or state licensed to treat the eye. They may also participate in your pre-and-post operative care if you have eye surgery performed by an ophthalmologist. They test for glaucoma and other eye diseases and diagnose conditions caused by systemic diseases such as diabetes and high-blood pressure, while also referring patients to other health care practitioners as needed. Optometrists also encourage preventive measures by promoting nutrition and hygiene education to patients in order to minimize the risk of eye diseases.

Optometrists should not be confused with ophthalmologists or opticians. Ophthalmologists are physicians who perform eye surgery, as well as diagnose and treat eye injuries and diseases. Opticians fit, adjust and prescribe eyeglasses, lenses, frames and sometimes contact lenses according to prescriptions written by opthalmologists or optometrists.