An Optometrist, also known as an eye doctor, is a medical specialist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of problems of the eyes, the vision, and the area around the eyes, including the eyelids, iris, sclera, and cornea.
An optometrist carries out full eye examinations including visual field testing to diagnose vision-related problems as well as to detect abnormalities of the eye such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, peripheral vision, and coordination of the eyes.
Despite not being trained or licensed to perform surgery, optometrists work in conjunction with and refer patients to ophthalmologists (eye surgeons) to make sure the patients receive the appropriate surgical treatment, if and when necessary.
The treatments offered by optometrists can include the use of topical eye drops and oral medications, such as antibiotics or pain relievers, as part of the patient’s treatment. Another specialist within the field of vision medicine, Opticians, can also prescribe eye exams and corrective lenses such as eyeglasses and other vision aids. Patients may be referred to optometrists for the provision of corrective ophthalmic appliances such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, frames and lenses, and other vision aids.
A licensed optometrist can pursue additional training in sub-specialties of optometry, which include geriatric optometry, pediatric optometry, sports vision, and vision therapy.
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