Optometrist (OD): Vision Care and Eye Care Services

Optometrists are trained to diagnose and treat vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. They are trained in prescribing eyeglasses, contact lenses, eye exercises, low vision aids and vision therapy. They are also trained to identify cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal disease and to use some medications to treat eye disease.

Optometrists do not attend medical school. Most complete an undergraduate degree before beginning four years of training for an optometry (OD) degree; doctorate of optometry. Some complete a postgraduate one-year clinical residency to gain specialist certification.

The services optometrists provide include:

  • Vision services such as eye examinations and treatment of conditions such as amblyopia and strabismus
  • Diagnosing eye conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and conjunctivitis
  • Prescribing medications for certain eye conditions (permitted in limited states)
  • Eye disease and injury-prevention services
  • Prescribing and fitting glasses and contact lenses

Optometrists may also take part in preoperative and postoperative care for patients having eye surgery.

Optometrists and ophthalmologists may work in the same office and co-manage patients.

definitions taken from www.webMD.com