Job Functions 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. To graduate for a degree in Doctor of Optometry, this will require 7 to 8 years of post secondary education to obtain this professional course and other academic requirements include the following: 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. 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 the responsibility 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.
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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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 and, with that, the employment and career outlook for optometrist will gradually grow by24% from 2012 to 2022. Another positive outlook to the career of optometrist is the growth of insurance plans which include eye care insurance coverage and this certainly indicates the need for optometrist as more people gets hold of insurance plans.Finding Similarities Between Doctors and Life