Optometrist (OD)

Optometrists, known as doctors of optometry (O.D.’s), examine and test eyes to detect vision problems, abnormalities and diseases. They prescribe corrective lenses and/or procedures to fix or improve vision problems.

Specializations

  • Geriatric optometry
  • Pediatric optometry
  • Primary care optometry
  • Low-vision rehabilitation
  • Vision therapy
  • Contact lenses
  • Hospital-based optometry

Work Activities/Work Locations

Optometrists typically work as a salaried employee in a private practice, health maintenance organization (HMO), retail store, as a consultant, or in public health. They may work for an ophthalmologist, as a college instructor or in research. Optometrists examine eyes to detect vision problems and prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses or other procedures. They also may prescribe medications to treat diseases of the eye. In some cases, optometrists consult with and refer patients to ophthalmologists or other health care practitioner. Optometric assistants or technicians assist in preparing patients for examination, performing vision tests, cleaning instruments, repairing frames and modifying contact lenses.

Getting Started

Career Outlook