Who is an Optometrist

Ophthalmic opticians, look after our eyes. You might be wondering what this staid name means, but when we tell you that they are your optometrist then you are assured. They are the people who are entrusted with the duty of providing us with the care for our eyes. They prescribe the glasses, the contact lenses and other visual aids. They recommend solutions for our own eye problems too. They have the knowledge to detect eye problems. They can refer these cases to the particular doctor. They are also allowed to administer drugs and also sell them over the counter.

These professionals study in the university for at least three years. They are put through a training and supervision tenure that may tale more than a year. This time period is called pre-registration year. They have to then appear for the qualifying test. Once they qualify, then they can focus in areas of study like contact lenses, eye treatment, low vision. Some might also specialize in children’s vision and sports vision.

Ophthalmic specialists are also named doctors of optometry (O.D.). They treat patients suffering from eye disorders, vision related problems. They also advise on the eye glasses, contact lenses and the specific solution for the particular eye problem. They cannot operate on a patient surgically, but they can provide you with valuable advice on dealing with an eye surgery. Sometimes ophthalmologists and optometrists work in tandem to provide the patient with a better experience and solution to his problems.

Qualifications of Optometrists

o Optometrists must complete at least three years of degree training in any recognized college or university. To be on the safe side, most optometrists have a bachelors degree or higher. That is when they can begin their optometry training.

o Then they have to enroll themselves in a 4-year degree in optometry in a medical school. After graduation, they must appear in the entrance tests conducted by the clinical state board examinations. It consists of a written and a practical test. Some of them go on to fetch their PhDs in disciplines like visual science, physiological optics, neurophysiology or public health.

o Optometrists are the crucial health care service providers for the diagnosis, management and treatment of those diseases without the ubiquitous surgical procedures. It cal also cure refractive disorders. Optometrists can be relied upon with identifying your myopic condition. They can also weed out all your eyesight related anomalies.

o Optometrists have a distinctive difference with the ophthalmologists and the practicing opticians. Ophthalmologists are entrusted with the duty of surgically treating eye disorders and can also diagnose and prescribe the particular drug. They can also suggest the right kind of spectacles or the correct contact lenses that suit your problem. Opticians are the ones who check whether a particular glass fits you. They can also check the suitability of a contact lens taking the help of the prescription of the ophthalmologist or optometrist.

o Optometrists are the helping hand for the common man. They often organize camps for the elderly, the young. They also conduct camps for the visually-challenged patients. Optometrists are known to have conducted research and come up with innovative solutions to save workers from on-the-job injury. They also focus on areas like contact lenses, sports vision and vision therapy.

Various kinds of instruments are used while testing the eyes. Vision charts and machines are used to chart vision and visual fields accurately. Trail (spectacle and contact) lenses or phoropters and retinoscopes are required for refraction. Prism bars, small objects and occluders are used to review eye movements and alignments. Test booklets, sheets, instructions and pencils could be tools for visual information processing examination.

Many optometrists take the help of computers to monitor the ocular diseases. Many optometrists have set up state of the art visual field analyzers and tonometers to help detect diseases in early stages. Digital imaging equipment forms an integral part of the document appearance of the anterior and posterior parts of the eye. Corneal topographers offer us a clear view of the anterior aspects of the anatomy of the eye and the cornea. Other high end gadgets for ocular testing are Optical coherence tomography, GDX or HRT II.