Eye care in the country is pivotal. According to Statistica, 56.25 million people sought the services of optometrists in the spring of 2017, in a period of 12 months. In addition to that, eye care services are a money minting industry, generating 36 billion US dollars. However, when looking for eye care, most people are not sure what professional to consult. In this article, we bring to your knowledge optometrists and their roles.
Optometrists are quite numerous in the country with 41,000 of them residing in the US. So, who are they? Well, optometrists are responsible for examining the eyes for health and vision problems. They also remedy refractive errors through prescribing contact lenses and eyeglasses. Optometrists are holders of a Doctor of Optometry degree. In the United States, optometrists are usually licensed to write prescriptions for medications to alleviate certain diseases and eye problems.
In addition to those services, optometrists sometimes take part in pre- and post-operative care when an ophthalmologist performs eye surgery on you. However, in most cases, optometrists in the state do not perform eye surgery as they are not licensed or trained to do so, except for some few exceptions.
As mentioned earlier on, they are holders of Doctor of Optometry degrees. They are awarded this after spending four years in a college in a science program. They then enroll for another four years for post-graduate studies in an optometry school. Quite similar to a dentist, eh?
Now that we know all this, when should one seek the services of an optometrist? Well, if you are not suffering from an eye problem or in need of specialized medical treatment, the kind of eye care professional you seek is up to you. However, an optometrist is still fit for a routine eye exam. This entails detecting, diagnosing and managing eye diseases which may call for medical or non-medical treatment. In most cases, optometrists are in a position to give medical treatment for the common eye problems which include eye infections and dry eyes as well as some chronic eye diseases like glaucoma.
What Optometrists aren’t?
In many cases, optometrists are confused with ophthalmologists. What are the differences then? Ophthalmologists’ specialists who can perform eye operations and are therefore capable of performing lasik surgery Nashville TN. They also carry out eye exams, diagnose as well as treat diseases and also prescribe medications. Like, optometrists, they can also prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses. They are mostly found in eye hospitals or in hospital eye departments. On education matters, the spend four years in college, an additional four in medical schools, a year of internship and finally at least three years of ophthalmology residency in a hospital.
Optometrists are also not opticians. In fact, opticians are not eye doctors but use the prescriptions from optometrists or ophthalmologists in order to find the best fit for eyeglasses and eyewear. With that said, you are now in a position to determine in particular, the eye care professional to see care from and especially the roles of an optometrist.