Optometrists are doctors that provide comprehensive eye care to patients. Known as doctors of optometry, optometrists have the proper training to diagnose vision and health problems related to the eye. In order to be licensed as an optometrist, you must earn a Doctor of Optometry degree from an optometry school.
There are also exams given by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry that must be passed in order to be qualified as an optometrist.
Optometrists most commonly check for defects in the vision, including nearsightedness and farsightedness. During the visit, an optometrist will also check for how
well a patient can focus his eyes. The eyes are tested both singly and as a pair, by reading a variety of lines. An optometrist will also test for the depth and color
perception of the eyes.
Besides checking the vision, optometrists will also look at the health of the eye. Eye diseases caused by diabetes and high blood pressure are looked into, as well
as tests for glaucoma. If any of these issues are of concern, an optometrist will direct patients to a specialist.
At the end of the visit, an optometrist will recommend eyeglasses or contact lenses if needed. Or, an optometrist will simply alter the strength of the prescription glasses or lenses in order to fit the patient's needs.
While all optometrists have an understanding of how the eye works, some specialize in different areas. Behavioral optometrists focus on how patients use their eyes and visual abilities. Behavioral optometrists believe that how patients see is based on these abilities, which can be strengthened if needed.
Behavioral optometrists can prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, but are ideal for working on strengthening the eyes to improve overall vision. In fact,
behavioral optometrists will sometimes allow patients to wear a lower strength prescription, while doing eye exercises to rebuild the vision and strength of the
When working with children, a pediatric optometrist is the best option, since these doctors are well-versed in pediatric eye care. A pediatric optometrist not only
tests for vision corrections, but also common eye issues that develop in childhood. Some of the most common eye conditions that a pediatric optometrist would be
able to successfully treat are lazy eyes and crossed eyes.
Many people believe that optometric eye care is only required if there is an issue regarding vision. However, it is important to visit the optometrist annually to
check for the health of the eye as well. Patients often times do not notice eye conditions, which can lead to vision loss, double vision or frequent dry eye.
When searching for od optometrists, you can use the Internet, phonebook or simply ask for a referral from a friend or family member. Some trusted optometry
websites will also have links that can direct you to trusted doctors of optometry. Whichever od doctors you choose to see, be sure that all the necessary tests will be run to ensure that the health of your eye will be treated and cared for in the proper way.