Who Are Optometrists?

Optometrists are independent primary eye care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures; as well as diagnose related systemic conditions. They examine the internal and external structure of the eyes to diagnose eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disorders, systemic diseases like hypertension and diabetes, and vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.

Optometrists also examine the eye to determine the patient’s ability to focus and coordinate the eye and to judge depth and see colors accurately. They prescribe spectacle corrective lenses and contact lenses, low vision aids, vision therapy and drugs to treat eye diseases as well as perform minor emergency procedures. As primary eye care providers, Optometrists are an integral part of the health care team and entry points into the health care system. They are skilled in the co-management of care that affects the eye health and vision of their patients; and an excellent source of referrals to other health care professionals.

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