Optometrist Career Guide

Overview and Job Duties

An optometrist is an eye specialist who is basically concern about the testing of a person’s sight and the prescription of the visual aids that are necessary. Aside from such, optometrists are also equipped with the knowledge and skills to detect and diagnose any form of abnormality or illness in vision. To add, they also refer the patients to medical practitioners for the treatments that they need. They also provide help to medical practitioners in dealing with patients who are suffering from repetitive ophthalmic disorders.

Optometrists engage in the analysis of the sensory aspect of vision and other related functions. They detect, treat, and take care of various illnesses, damages and malfunctions that are related to the eyesight. Among their primary responsibilities is to check for common eyesight problems, such as far sightedness or near sightedness. They also detect various eye diseases, like glaucoma. They prescribe various visual aids that will be needed by their patients, such as glasses and lenses, among others, as well as the medications that will be needed. Vision therapy and rehabilitation are also offered by these professionals for people who are suffering from having low vision. If there is an eye surgery, they take care of the patient before and after the procedure.

Career Outlook

Optometrists can be employed in various settings. For instance they can work in retail stores that sell spectacles, glasses, and contact lenses, among other types of visual aids. They can also be employed in pediatric clinics, since it is quite common for children to have eyesight problems. They can also work in sports centers, which will require them to enhance the ability of the athlete to have better coordination between their eyes and body. There are also some who choose to work in the military and private sector.

If you would want to impart your knowledge on other people, you can consider a teaching profession or a career in the field of research.

Salary

In 2012, the optometrists in the U.S. are earning an average annual salary of $66,000. (indeed.com)

Educational Requirements

To practice optometry, you should be able to have the requirements that are need by your state. Take note that there are differences in the requirements, which will be likely affected by your location. Generally, however, you will need to take post-graduate studies in optometry. This will provide you with the necessary skills that will be needed to obtain a license. Some of the things that you can learn at this level will include the examination and detection of the changes in vision and communicating with the patients. Some of the courses that you will take are related to neuro-anatomy, vision sciences, and human anatomy.

After few years of basic education, you will also be required to perform clinical and laboratory work. In your final year, you need to apply for an internship in an eye hospital or other related institutions that will provide you with the opportunity to gain practical experience.

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