Ever heard optometrists?
Well, needless to say, that most people haven’t
heard of optometrists.
Although optometrists might not be as popular as doctors in the society, their services cannot be neglected. In fact, they are the people who treat our eye disorders with the use of lenses and other optical aids.
This page will give you all the details of optometry and optometrists in our society.
What is Optometry?
The professional practice of primary eye and vision care that includes the examination of the eyes, the diagnoses of the eye diseases, the measurement of visual refractive power, the correction of visual defects with lenses or glasses and the treatments of certain eye conditions that do not require surgical treatment.
Who is the Optometrsit ?
Optometrists are primary health-care specialists trained to examine, detect and monitor the eyes for defects in sight, ocular diseases and problems related to general health.
Optometrist “ are independent primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions.”(American Optometric Association, 1993).
The optometrist’s role goes beyond the correction of refractive errors, they cannot perform surgery, but they often provide patients with pre - and post surgical care. They are trained to provide managemt of paediatric and geriatric eye disorders, binocular vision problems, care of patients with low vision as well as educational and occupational vision disorder.
Optometrist are also traind to offer advice on colour vision fitting, supply optical appliances such as spectacles, contact lenses and low vision aids and assess the role of vision at work and in sport.
Why an Optometrist?
Optometrists are important primary health care providers, as well as, the only eye care providers thoroughly trained in all aspects of optics and vision science. They provide approximately 90% of primary eye care in the society and the profession is responsible for 40% of ocular and ophthalmic referrals to the secondary care sector (City University London)
Many people mistakenly believe that an ophthalmologist, as a medical doctor, is better to see for routine eye exams than an optometrist. Though there is nothing wrong with seeing an ophthalmologist, his or her expertise is in medical treatments and surgery, while the optometrist specializes in the kind of care required for routine comprehensive eye exams as well as noninvasive therapies and treatments for eye disease.
If a problem arises that can be treated with surgery or alternate therapies, the ophthalmologist might be more likely to suggest surgery, while the optometrist will likely exhaust other potential treatments first. This means that optometrists, as primary health care providers, are the “eye-doctor” that the majority of people should seek care from first.
Optometrists are practice in many different settings. Some have private practices, either as a solo practice or with a partner or group.
Others collaborate with other health care professionals, such as ophthalmologists, in a multi-disciplinary practice. Others are engaged by the military, public health service, hospitals, teaching institutions, or the ophthalmic industry. An interesting thing to note here is that optometry can be of various types. For example: behavioral optometry, pediatric optometry and sport vision optometry.
Optometry in Saudi Arabia was evolving throughout this decade, there where innumerable optometrists operating across the continent. This was evident from the growing number of youngsters queuing outside the colleges imparting education in optometry. Because of optometrists are becoming extremely important people in the society sub continent now days, a major optometrists association has been developed and conducted. The Saudi association of optometry and visual science was established on the 12 / 4 / 1429 – 29 / 4 / 2007 aiming to support optometrist all around Saudi Arabia as well as raising the optometry career to the uppermost level of proficiency