Study Optometry, Optometry Schools


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Optometry is a medical profession that generally deals with the eyes and vision. Like other professions related to health care, the certification and practice of Optometry is regulated in most countries. Optometrists and organizations that have to do with the practice of optometry usually work hand in hand with government agencies’ and the medical community in general in order to provide people with eye and vision care.

Optometry comes from the Greek words ‘optos’ and ‘metria’ which means ‘eye or vision measurement’. The practice itself would have to do with the eyes and the parts close to the eye. Optometry deals with vision disorders as well as diseases. Vision disorders would include myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. These disorders can usually be corrected by using eyeglasses, contact lenses or more recently, eye surgery like LASIK and PRK. Contact lenses are quite a recent development in optometry, too, having been first used in the 1940s.

Diseases, on the other hand, would include glaucoma and cataracts.

These can be treated with pills and in some cases, surgery. Optometry can be divided into different branches to best deal with such vision problems, and most known would be ophthalmology, which is the branch of eye care that deals primarily with eye surgery. Orthoptics, on the other hand, is a specialization of ophthalmology that deals with the strabismus. There is also a non-strabismus vision therapy called behavioural optometry being practiced in the recent years, but this area of the discipline is generally not practiced by ophthalmologists.

Optometrists are also sometimes called ‘glass fitters’ because some of the practitioners of this profession are primarily concerned with the making of eye glasses that would correct vision disorders among patients. Lately, laser treatments are also getting to be popular in treating vision disorders. This type of eye surgery would be practiced only by licensed ophthalmologists using laser machines that have been approved of by the medical associations involved. People who have undergone eye surgeries like LASIK and PRK are generally satisfied with the results of the operations. Successful surgeries would give the patient best corrected vision after a minimum time of recovery depending on the kind of surgery that has been done. Nowadays, patients who have undergone both LASIK and PRK would be able to see well enough to drive home after the operation itself.

The course requirements for the eventual practice of optometry differ from country to country. Some countries would require several years of related undergraduate courses before students of Optometry can take licensure exams that would allow them to practice eye care in said country. On the other hand, some countries require the student of Optometry to study as an apprentice to a practicing optometrist in order to have hands-on experience regarding the field before they can begin with their own practice. There are of course standardized educational guidelines that are maintained in some parts of the world that would ensure that the discipline and practice are upheld and do not differ drastically in different countries.