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.
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. 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 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 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
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