What is an optometrist?
An optometrist is an eye care professional with a degree in optics. Optometrists check eyes for vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. A few optometrists likewise offer low vision care and vision treatment.
Optometrists may also be involved in your care before and after surgery if you’ve had eye surgery done by an ophthalmologist. Optometrists in the UK are not prepared or authorized to perform eye medical procedures.
An optometrist must complete a degree in optometry and then successfully complete a one-year pre-registration period of training under the supervision of an experienced optometrist. This includes a work-based assessment and a final assessment of the core competencies of Optometry.
Services and what optometrist can treat
You can visit an optometrist for an annual eye exam, to refill your eyeglasses or prescription, or even to receive medication and treatment for some eye conditions. Unlike an ophthalmologist, an optometrist is not a specialist in surgery and cannot treat more serious eye conditions.
Optometrists provide the following services:
- Annual or routine eye exams, including eye health education
- Diagnose eye diseases
- Prescriptions for eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other visual aids
- Medical treatments or minor surgical procedures for eye diseases
- Eye care after surgery
Conditions optometrists treat
Here are some conditions that optometrists can treat.
Glaucoma refers to damage to the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain. It is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States, affecting more than 3 million people. An optometrist can diagnose glaucoma and create a treatment plan.
A cataract occurs when the lens in the eye appears cloudy. It can grow larger, seriously affecting vision, and possibly blindness.
Albeit an optometrist can analyze cataracts and prescribe cataracts and recommend eyeglasses to help treat side effects, specific medical procedures from an ophthalmologist might be vital. The optometrist will also provide pre and post-operative care.
Most retinal problems share comparable indications, for example, obscured vision or vision misfortune. These disorders include floaters, retinal tearing or detachment, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and epiretinal membrane.
Optometrists can diagnose retinal disorders and may refer a person to an ophthalmologist if treatment is necessary.
Myopia is also known as myopia, which is a visual condition that makes focusing on distant objects difficult.
Treatments include eyeglasses, contact lenses, and laser therapy procedures for refractive cornea, or surgery (in extreme cases). The ophthalmologist usually performs laser or surgery procedures.
Optometrists regularly check kids for partial blindness in routine appraisals. The diagnosis is also evident as an adult. There is currently no cure, but eyeglasses and contact lenses, like many optical aids, can help.
Some systemic diseases have visual manifestations. Optometrists can help screen for diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid cancer, and HIV.
Optometrists can prescribe controlled medications for eye diseases. Depending on state legislation, some optometrists can also perform minor surgery. These surgical procedures may include the removal of foreign bodies, laser eye surgery, and some additional surgical interventions.