What is an Optometrist?
An optometrist (op-tom'-e-trist )is a primary health provider who specializes in the examination of the eye to diagnose and treat vision disorders, as well as diseases of the eye.
Optometrists manage vision disorders using all types of corrective lenses, contact lenses or glasses. Optometrists treat physical disorders of the eye using procedures such as the removal of foreign material from the eye. They also manage diseases of the eye through the use of medical prescriptions.
The career preparation of an optometrist includes undergraduate education (typically a four year degree) followed by four years of optometry school, which is specific to managing eye conditions and coordinating eye care with general health care. Additionally, residency and externships are available for specialized areas of study and training.
The Doctor of Optometry degree (O.D.) is awarded at graduation, and each optometrist must pass state and national board examinations prior to beginning practice.
Each optometrist must maintain current state licensure and certification. Continued education, training and experience are obtained through state-approved opportunities.