What is a Doctor of Optometry?
As defined by the American Optometric Association: Doctors of Optometry are primary eye care professionals who examine, diagnose, treat, manage diseases, injuries and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye.
What education is required to become a Doctor of Optometry?
Doctors of Optometry attend college or a university to complete their undergraduate education. They spend an additional four years at the graduate level studying the structure, function, and disorders of the eye to earn their doctoral degree. Upon graduation and successfully passing rigorous national board and state board examinations, Doctors of Optometry become licensed to practice optometry. Additionally, Doctors of Optometry are required to complete 50 hours of continuing education every two years in order to keep current in their profession.
Why did my medical doctor recommend that I see a Doctor of Optometry?
As Primary eye care providers, Doctors of Optometry are an integral part of the health care team. They have the education and training to diagnose ocular manifestations of diseases that affect the body, such as hypertension and diabetes, and the diagnostic tools to detect and document numerous other diseases and conditions.
How often should I have my eyes examined?
Due to the many conditions that can affect the eyes, it is important to have annual eye exams. Many people believe that if their vision is stable, they have no reason to have an eye exam. During the course of a comprehensive eye examination, the doctor performs and evaluates the following: visual acuity, pupillary reflexes and visual fields (neurological evaluations), eye muscle coordination, the prescription to correct your refractive error (nearsighted, farsighted, etc), glaucoma screening test, cataract, optic nerve and retinal examination.