What is an optometrist?

An optometrist has a four-year advanced degree as a Doctor of Optometry. He or she is licensed to provide primary eye care, including annual exams.
Laura C. Fine, MD
An optometrist, or doctor of optometry, is a health service provider who deals with vision problems. Optometrists must complete a four-year course at an accredited college of optometry, but they do not attend medical school and are not trained to perform surgery. They are licensed by the state to examine the eyes, determine the presence of vision problems (including eye diseases), recommend eye exercises, and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. In many states, optometrists are permitted to treat certain eye conditions with medications. Normally, if an optometrist diagnoses a serious eye disorder in a patient, he or she will refer that person to an ophthalmologist.

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