What is Optometry?
Optometrists are healthcare professionals but they are not medical doctors in the strict sense of the term. Optometrists instead get a doctorate by studying optometry in a four-year program to become ODs or doctors of optometry. Some may undergo additional training while others may not. With a doctorate in optometry, optometrists are licensed to practice with the focus on vision care and diagnostics. Optometrists can also detect eye abnormalities and make certain prescriptions, but for most serious cases, they will refer you to an ophthalmologist.
When Should One Visit an Optometrist?Our visual senses aren’t just critical for our survival; they also greatly enhance our quality of life. Most of us tend to take our vision for granted, but it is important to get it tested regularly as damage to the eyes is not always reversible. All adults should visit an optometrist regularly to make sure that prescriptions are up to date and also to detect any early signs of ocular disease. Periodic tests for children are also advisable because eye health is crucial to normal vision development and the academic performance of a child. Learning problems that develop in childhood are often traced back to undiagnosed vision problems. While you may expect your child to inform you about visual problems, a child with visual problems will not know that there is any difference between his /her vision and ‘normal’ vision.
Services Covered by OptometryOptometry is not regulated across the world in the same manner but the services provided through the discipline usually include the following:
- Eye exams and diagnostic tests.
- Detection and treatment of conditions like myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
- The prescription and fitting of contact lenses or glasses.
- An optometrist may also provide you with vision aids and some form of vision therapy.
- The detection and diagnosis of visual abnormalities and conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts, among other conditions, is an important feature of the discipline.
- In certain countries and in certain states in the US, optometrists may also prescribe certain medications.
- Optometrists often work closely with ophthalmologists and generally play an important role in patient care, both before and after surgery.
- In some parts of the world, optometrists are also allowed to perform specific types of laser surgery.
Help in Early identification of Diabetic Retinopathy
4. Anon (2010), Organization and Institution News, Plan to boost Indian optometry endorsed, Optometry and Vision Science, Volume 87, Number 7, page 520.
Latest Publications and Research on OptometryLeukocyte Distribution in the Open Eye Tears of Normal and Dry Eye Subjects. - Published by PubMed
Anterior Corneal Curvature and Aberration Changes After Scleral Lens Wear in Keratoconus Patients With and Without Ring Segments. - Published by PubMed
Pentacam Accuracy in Discriminating Keratoconus From Normal Corneas: A Diagnostic Evaluation Study. - Published by PubMed
Long-term histological changes in the macaque primary visual cortex and the lateral geniculate nucleus after monocular deprivation produced by early restricted retinal lesions and diffuser induced form deprivation. - Published by PubMed
Increased risk of periodontitis among patients with Crohn's disease: a population-based matched-cohort study. - Published by PubMed