Optometrists, also known as doctors of optometry (ODs), are providers of vision care. They examine people's eyes to diagnose vision problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, and they test patients' depth and color perception and ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. Optometrists may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses, or they may provide other treatments, such as vision therapy or low-vision rehabilitation.
Optometrists also test for glaucoma and other eye diseases and can also notice conditions caused by systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, referring patients to other health practitioners as needed.
Optometrists should not be confused with ophthalmologists or opticians. Ophthalmologists are physicians who perform eye surgery, as well as diagnose and treat eye diseases and injuries. Opticians fit and adjust eyeglasses and, in some states, may fit contact lenses according to prescriptions written by ophthalmologists or optometrists.
Note: This definition was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.
- American Optometric Association
- This site has a section for patients, including information on eye and vision problems, as well as children's vision, contact lenses, and caring for your eyes.