The Doctor of Optometry (O.D.), also known as an Optometrist, provides most primary vision care. They examine people’s eyes to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases, and they test patients’ visual acuity, depth and color perception, and ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. Optometrists prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses and provide vision therapy and low-vision rehabilitation.
Optometrists analyze test results and develop a treatment plan. They administer drugs to patients to aid in the diagnosis of vision problems and prescribe drugs to treat some eye diseases. Optometrists often provide preoperative and postoperative care to cataract patients, as well as patients who have had laser vision correction or other eye surgery. They also diagnose conditions due to systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, referring patients to other health practitioners as needed. (Optometrists should not be confused with ophthalmologists. Ophthalmologists are physicians who perform eye surgery and diagnose and treat eye diseases and injuries).
Students apply to optometry school using the Optometry Centralized Application Service.
This health profession description is from the U.S. Department of Labor occupational outlook handbook.