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Definition of «Optometrist»

Optometrist: A health care professional who is licensed to provide primary eye care services:

  • to examine and diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal diseases and, in certain states in the U.S., to treat them;
  • to diagnose related systemic (bodywide) conditions such as hypertension and diabetes that may affect the eyes;
  • to examine, diagnose and treat visual conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia; and
  • to prescribe glasses, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation and medications as well as perform minor surgical procedures such as the removal of foreign bodies.

An optometrist is a Doctor of Optometry, an O.D. (not to be confused with a Doctor of Medicine, an M.D.). To become an optometrist, one must complete pre-professional undergraduate college education followed by 4 years of professional education in a college of optometry. Some optometrists also do a residency.

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