An optometrist is a healthcare provider who specializes in routine and preventive eye and vision care. Optometrists diagnose vision abnormalities and prescribe eyeglasses and contacts. They detect and treat cataracts, glaucoma, and eye infections. Optometrists also screen for conditions that affect the eyes and vision, including high blood pressure and diabetes.
An optometrist typically:
Evaluates a patient’s medical and vision history
Educates the patient about eye and vision disease prevention and health
Performs a comprehensive eye and vision exam and evaluates blood pressure
Performs and interprets specialized eye tests
Diagnoses and often treats acute and chronic eye diseases and conditions that affect vision, including eye injuries, vision problems, cataracts, and glaucoma
Screens for conditions that increase the risk of eye and vision conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure
Prescribes eye glasses, contacts, and certain medications
Refers patients to an ophthalmologist for serious eye problems and most eye surgeries
Performs laser or glaucoma surgeries in some cases
Provides eye and vision care before and after eye surgery
An optometrist may also be known by the following names: eye doctor, vision care specialist, and Doctor of Optometry (OD).
There are 26054 specialists practicing Ophthalmology in the United States with an overall average rating of 4.2 stars. There are 3256 hospitals in the United States with affiliated Ophthalmology specialists, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Lenox Hill Hospital.