Optometrists are healthcare professionals who specialize in examining, diagnosing, and treating a variety of eye conditions and visual disorders. They are the ideal choice for people who need a lot of eye maintenance and monitoring, as well as those considering laser eye surgery or other types of eye surgery. Optometrists are perfect for those who want to get an eye test, put on contact lenses, put on prescription glasses, receive vision therapy, and have eye exams. They can also detect more serious eye diseases and injuries in a patient and refer them to the necessary specialist. Optometrists are highly skilled in diagnosing and treating myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism, double vision (diplopia), presbyopia (tired eyesight), color blindness, eye infections, eye inflammation, and more.
They offer several types of vision evaluations to their patients, such as a visual acuity test, retinoscopy, and refraction test. Optometrists can also detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy during a comprehensive eye exam and work with other healthcare providers to manage the condition. Ophthalmologists are recommended for people who have serious eye conditions such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. They can also diagnose and treat complications related to contact lenses, such as infections, corneal ulcers, or dry eye caused by contact lenses. Optometrists can diagnose and treat conjunctivitis, corneal abrasions, keratitis, blepharitis, aneurysms, brain tumors, and giant cell arteritis (GCA).Vision-related problems in children are another area of expertise for optometrists.
Early detection and treatment of vision problems in children are essential for proper visual development. Optometrists perform specialized tests to assess visual acuity, eye alignment, and eye teamwork skills. Through vision therapy and appropriate interventions, optometrists can help children overcome visual challenges and achieve optimal visual function. If a patient has just developed cataracts, the optometrist will have the patient come every six months for a checkup. Depending on the severity of the condition, optometrists may prescribe medications, offer lifestyle recommendations, or refer patients to ophthalmologists for further treatment.
When the optometrist can no longer adjust the prescription to improve the patient's vision, he or she will refer the patient to a highly qualified ophthalmologist for cataract surgery. Some optometrists receive additional clinical training or complete a specialized fellowship after studying optometry. This allows them to provide even more specialized care for their patients.