Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): Optometrists
Optometrists are healthcare professionals who are trained to examine eyes, diagnose vision problems, and provide treatment for a variety of eye conditions. They typically complete a four-year undergraduate degree followed by four years of optometry school and clinical training. They are also required to pass a licensure examination to practice.
The main responsibilities of optometrists include:
Performing eye exams: Optometrists use various diagnostic tools and techniques to examine patients’ eyes, including visual acuity tests, tonometry (measurement of intraocular pressure), and retinal imaging.
Diagnosing vision problems: Optometrists use the information gathered during eye exams to diagnose conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
Prescribing corrective lenses and contact lenses: Optometrists prescribe glasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems. They also help patients choose the best type of lens based on their lifestyle, occupation, and other factors.
Treating eye diseases: Optometrists can also treat some eye diseases such as conjunctivitis, glaucoma, and cataracts. They also detect and manage some systemic diseases that have ocular manifestations such as diabetes.
Referring to other specialists: If an optometrist finds an eye condition that cannot be treated within their scope of practice, they may refer the patient to an ophthalmologist or other specialists for further evaluation and treatment.
Optometrists typically work in private practice, optometry offices, or clinics, they also work in retail settings, such as optical shops and department stores. They also play a role in public health settings such as schools, and community health centers.