Optometrist Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

Updated on: June 24, 2020
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Position Overview

Optometrists are medical professionals who specialize in the care of one of the most important organs in our bodies – the eye.

Commonly known as “eye doctors”, optometrists are considered the most common source of vision care in the United States of America.

You do not have to be within a certain age group to consult an optometrist – if you have vision issues, you can consult an optometrist; from babies to the elderly, everyone requires eye checkups now and then.

Optometrists diagnose and treat eye and vision problems and prescribe both medication and therapy where required.

See also: Optometrist Resume

Following is a list of duties that you will be required to perform when working as an optometrist.

Optometrist Job Duties and Responsibilities

• Engage patients in conversation to determine their vision problems

• Take and record patients’ histories to understand what may have led to eye diseases or disorders

• Examine patients’ eyes using observation, instruments, equipment and pharmaceutical agents

• Determine visual acuity and perception to diagnose diseases and abnormalities

• Maintain knowledge of eye diseases such as color blindness and glaucoma

• Perform tests on patients by operating eye testing equipment

• Analyze test results to determine the cause and nature of eye disease

• Formulate and implement treatment plans to counter eye problems and diseases

• Prescribe medications to treat eye diseases after ensuring that patients are not allergic to them

• Educate patients on the use and care of eyes such as visual hygiene and contact lenses care

• Refer patients to ophthalmologists or other healthcare professionals if eye problems are beyond the scope of practice

• Provide pre and post-operative care to patients due to undergo eye surgeries such as laser vision correction and cataract removal

• Prescribe therapeutic or corrective procedures such as eye exercises and patching for patients with strabismus or lazy eye

• Remove foreign substances from eyes and ensure that patients understand eye cared properly

• Provide patients with information on handling eye care activities during regular days

• Prescribe vision glasses to patients suffering from bad eyesight and/or photosensitivity

Eligibility Criteria

To work as an optometrist, one has to complete a 4-year bachelor’s program in a field related to biology, chemistry, or physiology.

Once this is done, you will need to complete an optometry program which will take an additional 4 years. Upon completion of both these, you will be required to meet state licensing requirements so that you can become a practicing optometrist!

Many optometrists own their own practices so it is important for them to concentrate on their business and accounting skills as much as their optometry skills.