What exactly is an optometrist?
Per the American Optometric Association,
Doctors of Optometry (O.D.s/optometrists) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye.
Doctors of Optometry prescribe medications, low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and perform certain surgical procedures. Optometrists counsel their patients regarding surgical and non-surgical options that meet their visual needs related to their occupations, avocations, and lifestyle.
Additionally, optometrists diagnose, manage, and refer systemic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and others that are often first detected in the eye; provide pre- and post-surgical care for cataracts, refractive laser treatment, retinal problems, and other conditions; and encourage preventative measures such as monitoring infant’s and children’s visual development, evaluating job/school/hobby related tasks, and promoting nutrition and hygiene education.
A few optometry facts:
- Businessinsider.com has optometrists listed in their 2016 article, 25 high-paying jobs for people who don't like stress
- The median annual wage for optometrists was $111,790 in May 2018, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Employment of optometrists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Because vision problems tend to occur more frequently later in life, an aging population will lead to demand for more optometrists, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics