What it Takes To Become an Optometrist
Generally speaking, an Optometrist is a trained healthcare professional who diagnoses vision defects, ocular diseases, or other general issues related to eye health. An optometrist treatment by prescribing corrective lenses and medications. Optometrists cannot perform eye surgery as it is not a part of their professional training. Ophthalmologists are the eye care professionals who are trained to perform any kind of surgery on the eye. Optometrists go through many years of formal education before getting a degree. Most people who become optometrists are passionate about improving people’s lives through maintaining eye health, and vision correction, so people can see better.
Optometrists need to spend four years in an undergraduate program at an accredited university. During undergraduate study, most time is spent pursuing science intensive courses like biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Students must also participate in clinical trainings and practices. Once an undergraduate degree is obtained, the student must then enter an optometry program by passing the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). Once the student passes the four years of optometry school, he or she must get licensed by the state or states they are going to practice in. All of the doctor listed in our Eye Doctor Near Me directory are licensed and have completed the necessary training.
Once the optometrist is licensed they may begin practicing and seeing patients. Optometrist use a wide variety of tools and techniques to examine the eye for any diseases or health issues. They also administer vision tests to test the eyesight of patients.
Common Equipment That Eye Doctors Use
Below a list of equipment’s that eye doctor routinely use to help patients:
1. Retinal Camera- this is used during the eye examination to take a photograph of the back of your eyes including the retina. It produces a bright flash when the picture is taken and used to analyze eye diseases.
2. Phoropter- This is an instrument used to measure refractive error and determines eyeglass prescriptions. This is how it works. The patient is asked to sit behind the phoropter and looks through it at an eye chart. The patient has to tell the optometrist about the adjustment of lenses he made, to identify the power of lenses.
3. Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscope- A head held instrument used by optometrists to know the patient’s interior structures of the eye, especially retina. It holds a mirror that reflects light into the eye and a central hole through which the optometrist examines the eye.
4. Manual Keratometer- This device is used to define how flat or steep the cornea is. It is also commonly used to set contact lenses as well. Most of the time amanualkeratometer is used to identify conditions like astigmatism, keratonus, corneal scarring and corneal distortion.
5.Autorefractor- An autorefractor is an instrument used to identify refractive errors. The machine is very quick, accurate, simple to use, and painless for both parties. The patient is required to put his chin on the chin rest and look through the hole using one eye. The instrument displays a picture and moves in and out of focus, and takes readings when the image displays on the retina. These readings are used to prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses. The machine basically measures how the light has changed as it enters a person’s eye. The patient is not supposed to provide any feedback after examination.
6. Slit Lamp- Like a microscope,this is used to examine deep into the eye. It allows the eye doctor to closely observe the patient’s cornea, iris and lens. Using an advanced lens in a slit lamp, it is now possible to study the back of the eye.
7. Tonometer- A tanometer is basically used to check the pressure of the eye by measuring aqueous humor, the liquid found inside the eye, and the rate at which it drains. This is useful to detect glaucoma which is a group of eye conditions that can cause blindness. Some optometrists use numbing drops that actually touches the eye of the patient, and some use an air-puff tanometer.
8. Lensometer- A lensometer is an instrument used to measure the power of existing lenses. Usually, optician’s uses the instrument to prescribe a patient’s eyeglasses.
9. Retinoscope- A retinoscope is a handheld instrument that eye doctosr use to shines light into patient’s eye to observe the reflection of the retina. The optometrist moves the light back and forth to determine the problem. It helps to identify what prescription lenses the patients need.
10. Direct Ophthalmoscope- This is a handheld device used to examine the interior structure of the eye. The instrument holds a mirror that reflects a light into the eye through which the eye doctor examines any issues with the eye.
As I’m sure you can tell from this article, an eye doctor goes through many years of training before he can become licensed and begin seeing patients. When it’s all said and done, an optometrist attends anywhere from 8 to 10 years of schooling. Not only do they have to learn about the human body, and specifically the eye, they must learn how to correctly use numerous instruments. Many optometrists say they get great self satisfaction out of knowing they are helping people.