Provides information on optometry jobs and their function within society.
Optometrists examine peoples eyes to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases. They test patients visual acuity, depth and color perception, and ability to focus and coordinate the eyes; analyze test results and develop a treatment plan, and administer drugs to patients to aid in diagnosis of vision problems and prescribe drugs to treat some eye diseases.
Optometrists work in placesusually their own officesthat are clean, well lighted, and comfortable. Most full-time optometrists work about 40 hours a week. Many work weekends and evenings to suit needs of patients. Emergency calls, once uncommon, have increased with the passage of therapeutic-drug laws expanding optometrists ability to prescribe medications.
Optometry jobs comprise prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses and provide vision therapy and low-vision rehabilitation. Optometrists often provide preoperative/postoperative care to cataract patients as well as patients who have had laser vision correction or other eye surgery.
There will be greater demand for optometrists owing to vision problems in middle age, including those resulting from the extensive use of computers. The demand for optometric services also will increase because of growth in the oldest age group, with its increased likelihood of eye problems. Greater recognition of the importance of vision care, rising personal incomes, and growth in employee vision care plans will spur employment growth, as well.
The work of optometrists requires attention to detail and manual dexterity. Optometrists usually remain in practice until they retire, so relatively few job openings arise from the need to replace those who leave the occupation.