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Selecting an eye care expert is an important decision to make in the field of healthcare. After all, this would be a person who will safeguard your precious eyes and help in maintaining a good vision for a lifetime. Optometrists are eye doctors who have earned an OD degree (Doctor of Optometry), and they are specialized in examining eyes for vision or other health problems, correcting refractive errors with the help of contact lenses or eyeglasses, providing vision therapy and low vision care, etc. In certain conditions, they also prescribe medicines to treat certain problems related to the eyes. They are also involved in pre-operative and post-operative care before or after eye surgery, though they are not licensed to perform such surgeries. So, if you are having a problem with your eyes or vision, then get ready to book an appointment with an optometrist now. Learn which is the best Lenses you also know about it.
What do Optometrists Do?
If your eyes are in healthy condition and do not require any specialized surgical or medical treatment, then an optometrist would be the expert you will have to choose. Optometrists are qualified to perform routine eye tests, and they are trained to diagnose, detect, and manage diseases in need of medical or non-medical treatment. However, if you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration or any other eye problem, then you will need to find an eye specialist who is highly skilled and trained to monitor and treat your condition. In such cases, your optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist for proper treatment. Problems like eye infections and dry eyes can be handled by an optometrist, but for chronic conditions like glaucoma, you will need the specialty care of an ophthalmologist.
Tasks Handled by Optometrists
A qualified optometrist with 4 years of academic training is qualified to handle the following tasks:
• Prescribing latest types of lenses and spectacles, including aspheric, progressive, protective glasses or lenses, depending on the condition and needs of the patient
• Prescribed soft and rigid lenses to the patient, including frequent replacement lenses, extended wear lenses, orthokeratology, etc.
• Fitting complex contact lenses after eye trauma, corneal ectasia, keratoconus, etc.
• Handling pediatric conditions and post-surgical complications
• Prescribing vision therapy and training
• Providing orthoptic treatment to pediatric patients with binocular vision problems like amblyopia and strabismus
• Providing rehabilitative services to patients with vision aids
• Assisting patients in using their functional vision properly
• Detecting and diagnose systemic health conditions related to the eye conditions
• Referring the patients to appropriate healthcare providers, depending on their condition
• Counselling patients for preventive eye care
Selecting the Right Optometrist
Now that you have realized that you need the assistance of an optometrist, here are a few points you must consider while selecting them and visiting their clinic:
• Insurance: If you are paying for your medical insurance, then why would you want to pay extra at an optometrist’s clinic? So, the first thing you need to check is whether their service is supported by your insurance company or not. Also, check whether the procedure prescribed to you is covered by your insurer or not.
• Qualifications: Check the optometrist’s memberships and affiliations to check their expertise and areas of practice. Most organizations have rigorous standards to give their memberships, and if your optometrist has one, then he is the one to go for.
• Scope of care: Try to find out the specialties of the optometrists, and check whether they detect and treat your problem or not. If not, then check if they are able to refer you to another medical or surgical specialist.
• Reputation: Another major factor you must check is their reputation in the industry. If they have been recommended to you by a friend, family member, or colleague, then talk to them about their experience and check if they are satisfied or not.
So, choosing the right optometrist will ensure that you are handing over the health of your eyes to a qualified specialist who knows how to do his work with precision. Even if your eye problem does not come under their scope of treatment, the optometrists would refer you to the appropriate specialist for quick and efficient treatment.