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These include the following:. While glasses and contact lenses are the two most obvious treatments provided by optometrists, there actually are many more treatments they can provide, depending on your eye problem. These include:. Optometrists can assist with a wide range of eye problems, but some optometrists will further specialize in a certain area so they have a deeper knowledge.
The following are subspecialties within optometry. Optometrists with a specialty in cornea and contact lenses have more in-depth knowledge about diagnosing and treating various diseases of the cornea and conducting contact lens fittings. This can include the use of specialized contact lenses.
Optometrists who have subspecialized in ocular disease are trained to detect a variety of diseases that affect the front and the back of the eye, including glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Optometrists treating low vision help patients with a visual impairment that cannot be helped through surgery, glasses, or contact lenses. Low vision is more common among older adults. There are tools and technology to help those with low vision. Optometrists specializing in pediatrics treat children and their vision disorders. In addition to performing routine eye exams, pediatric optometrists diagnose and treat binocular vision and help to provide vision therapy.
Geriatric optometrists are specially trained to provide eye care to older adults. They frequently diagnose and treat eye problems more common in older adults, including diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Neuro-optometrists diagnose and treat vision problems related to the brain. This could include vision loss associated with neurological diseases, trauma, or congenital present at birth conditions. Behavioral optometrists focus on how visual function affects your daily activities.
Behavioral optometrists may aim to improve visual function through vision therapy, including eye exercises and the use of special prisms and lenses. Their schooling combines classroom learning with clinical experience. Some optometrists will go on to complete a one-year residency in a specialty area, such as low vision, pediatric optometry, or ocular disease. All optometrists must be licensed in their state and complete the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exam.
All states require optometrists to renew their license periodically and take continuing education classes. Some states may have additional requirements for optometrists. Optometrists also can become board certified by the American Board of Optometry to show advanced knowledge within their field.
Although opticians and optometrists both work with the eyes, they have different roles. Opticians also do not diagnose or treat eye diseases. Ask your primary care doctor for optometrist recommendations if you do not currently have one. The American Optometric Association also has a site to help you find an optometrist. You can use this site to find an optometrist by location, languages spoken, and specialties.
Here are a few ways to help prepare for your visit to an optometrist:. Optometrists can do a lot to help preserve your vision and even help monitor for common systemic diseases. Regular visits to an optometrist help ensure that you can see clearly and that you keep your vision crisp now and in the future.
American Optometric Association. See the full picture of your health with an annual comprehensive eye exam. National Eye Institute. Get a dilated eye exam. Dry eye. American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Difference between an ophthalmology, optometrist, and optician.
By Vanessa Caceres Vanessa Caceres is a nationally published health journalist with over 15 years of experience covering medical topics including eye health, cardiology, and more. Eye Health. By Vanessa Caceres. Vanessa Caceres. Learn about our editorial process. Medically reviewed Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals.
These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. Shah, MD. Medically reviewed by Ami A. Learn about our Medical Expert Board. Table of Contents View All. Table of Contents. Procedural Expertise. Appointment Tips. Here are some differences between optometrists and ophthalmologists: Ophthalmologists perform eye surgery.
In most states, they may use drugs to treat eye disease. Optometrists are not medical doctors and are educated and licensed in accordance with state laws.
Preparation includes a preprofessional undergraduate degree and four years of professional education at a college of optometry, leading to a degree of Doctor of Optometry OD ; some optometrists also complete a residency. All rights reserved.
A person who is professionally trained and licensed to examine the eyes for visual defects, diagnose problems or impairments, and prescribe corrective lenses or provide other types of treatment. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. Segen's Medical Dictionary. Youngson , In many states, optometrists are licensed to use diagnostic and therapeutic drugs to treat certain ocular diseases.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright The Gale Group, Inc. A person trained in the practice of optometry. Millodot: Dictionary of Optometry and Visual Science, 7th edition. Mentioned in? References in periodicals archive? Voters last year narrowly defeated State Question , which would have amended the Oklahoma Constitution, doing away with a "two-door rule" requiring optometrists working in retail settings to operate separate and apart from establishments where glasses are sold.
Governor signs bill allowing eye care in retail stores. Department of Labor, Occupational outlook handbook, optometrists.