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An optometrist is an eye doctor who performs eye examinations and diagnoses and treats diseases of the eyes and related structures. Optometrists offer a number of services which may include prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses, providing laser eye surgery consultations, and testing for diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. In treating patients an optometrist can also educate them on diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, astigmatism, conjunctivitis and eye conditions related to arthritis. 

An optometrist is a healthcare professional who specializes in providing primary eye care services. They are trained to perform comprehensive eye examinations, diagnose and treat various eye conditions, and prescribe corrective eyewear such as glasses and contact lenses. Optometrists play a crucial role in maintaining and improving the overall health of the eyes and related structures.

Here are some of the services commonly offered by optometrists:

  1. Eye Examinations: Optometrists perform thorough eye examinations to assess visual acuity, refractive errors (such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism), and the overall health of the eyes. These examinations may involve various tests, including the use of specialized instruments to evaluate the structures of the eye.

  2. Prescribing Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses: Optometrists can determine the appropriate prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses based on the individual's visual needs and refractive error. They consider factors such as distance vision, near vision, and any specific requirements the patient may have.

  3. Laser Eye Surgery Consultations: Some optometrists provide consultations and co-management services for laser eye surgery, such as LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis). They assess the patient's eligibility for the procedure, provide pre- and post-operative care, and work closely with ophthalmologists who perform the surgery.

  4. Testing for Eye Diseases: Optometrists are trained to diagnose and manage common eye diseases, including glaucoma (a condition characterized by increased pressure within the eye), macular degeneration (a degenerative condition affecting central vision), and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels in the retina).

  5. Education on Eye Conditions: Optometrists can educate patients about various eye conditions and diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts (clouding of the eye's natural lens), astigmatism (a refractive error causing blurred vision), conjunctivitis (commonly known as "pink eye"), and eye conditions related to arthritis.

Overall, optometrists provide essential eye care services, ranging from routine eye examinations to the diagnosis and management of eye diseases. They help individuals maintain good eye health, improve visual acuity, and address specific vision concerns. It's important to visit an optometrist regularly to ensure the health and well-being of your eyes.

Useful Resources


Canadian Association of Optometrists

British Columbia






Newfoundland and Labrador

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island


Northwest Territories



United States of America

American Academy of Optometry

National Provider Identifier (NPI)



Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

Optometry Board of Australia


United Kingdom

General Optical Council


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