An Optometrist is a person who adjusts and dispenses visual aids and carries out the necessary measurements. These measurements are complex and determine the exact values to correct the poor eyesight. In addition, an optometrist can recognize and treat eye diseases and look after patients before and after eye operations. They decide if the patient wears glasses and how strong those glasses should be.
Responsibilities of an Optometrist
Check the refractive properties of the patient’s eyes.
Perform qualitative and quantitative analysis of visual function and general ophthalmological examination on the eyes of patients with visual disorders.
Use optometry equipment, test frames, test lenses, test eye refractive power, stereotype, and quantitative analysis of three-level vision function.
Perform numerical calculation and photometric conversion of spherical and cylindrical lenses, optical center movement, prisms, and contact lenses.
Maintain and adjust the instrument; fitting rigid contact lenses also instruct patients on wearing contact lenses.
Conduct training and guidance for myopia prevention and control.
Help patients understand the relevant knowledge of eye protection areas.
Optometrists promote eye health and counsel cases on how general health can affect sight. They counsel on how weight loss or smoking cessation can reduce vision problems. Many optometrists enjoy their practice, and those who do may spend time on general business conditioning. In addition, they hire workers, order inventories, and sell their business. What’s more, optometrists work as advisers in eye care assiduity. Optometrists are not ophthalmologists or opticians. However, ophthalmologists perform eye surgery and treat eye conditions. In addition, they perform eye examinations and define eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Education and Training
To become an optometrist in the United States, you must complete a four (4) year Doctor of Optometry (O.D) program and become licensed in a particular state to practice. The United States has about 20 accredited O.D. programs across the country. Applicants of the degree program must have three (3) years of postsecondary education.
Optometry Admission Test (OAT): Before enrolling in the Doctor of Optometry program, students are required to take the optometry admission test; It is a computer-based test with multiple-choice test items. It accesses the potential for success among applicants for optometry admission programs. OATs are conducted year-round by centers in the United States and consist of four tests. Meanwhile, the test includes Physics, Survey of the National Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension.
Doctor of Optometry: The curriculum includes; biochemistry, optics, anatomy, physiology, visual science, and the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the optical system.
Residency: Having obtained the O.D. degree, some optometrists undergo a 1-year residency program. As a result, they get advanced clinical training in the area they wish to specialize in. These areas include; Pediatric or geriatric optometry, family practice, low vision rehabilitation, and ocular disease, among others.
Licensing and Certifications
Optometrists are required to become licensed. To get a license, optometrists must have a Doctor of Optometry degree. After that, they will complete all sections of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exam. However, some states require optometrists for an additional clinical exam.
The average annual salary of an optometrist is $118,050. However, this varies by location, with the range averaging between $60,750, and $195,810. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020.
The Rise of the Industry
Optometrists are a special kind of technical work in society, currently a hot industry in the United States. The employment of optometrists will grow 9% from 2020 to 2030. However, openings for optometrists are projected each time, on average, over the decade
As people age, they become more susceptible to conditions that vitiate vision, analogous to cataracts, and need vision care. As a result, the number of people with conditions analogous to diabetes has grown. In recent times, optometrists will need to cover, treat, and relate individualities with disease conditions stemming from diabetes. In addition, nearly all health plans cover medical eye care, and multitudinous cover precautionary eye examinations.
Consequently, optometrists will need to give services to further cases. Optometrists, however, spend much of their time furnishing specialized care if they’re working in a group practice with other optometrists or health practitioners. Some optometrists substantially treat cases with only partial sight, a condition known as low vision. But others may concentrate on treating babies and children.