Optometrist: Primary Eye Care provider
The roles of optometrists in primary eye care goes beyond the testing of vision and prescribing spectacles and contact lenses. In this blog, we’ll highlight some of the work optometrists are involved in.
Optometrists are often the first point of contact for patients with vision problems. They also receive referrals from the patient’s family doctor. A patient who has a condition that affects sight will be referred by the primary doctor to the optometrist for further tests and treatment.
Medical ocular diagnosis and treatment:
Optometrist are primary eyecare doctors. Monitoring the retina for diabetic complications, treating and managing dry eye disease and other chronic conditions, and removing foreign bodies from the eye are some of the many conditions patients see optometrist for.
What is the role of the optometrists in management of diabetes?
Diseases like glaucoma and diabetes usually have no obvious early symptoms. Optometrists will conduct a dilated fundus exam to detect eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes. Early detection and treatment of such diseases will help minimize the risk of developing permanent vision loss. The importance of regular eye exams cannot be stressed enough. Your optometrist plays a vital role in management of your diabetes. Most ocular complications due to diabetes are usually asymptomatic in the early stages. When detected early, the progression of further complications is minimized and usually treatment is most successful. Your optometrist will communicate with your family doctor or endocrinologist with the test results.
Comprehensive eye examinations involve numerous tests starting with preliminary external tests following by refraction and dilated retinal assessment.
External ocular examination and refraction:
The eye doctor performs examinations to measure the depth perception, ocular motility, color perception and eye coordination. They also determine the deviation of the eyes and provide a leading role in vision therapy when needed as a rehab treatment. Vision therapy includes orthoptic exercises, prismatic correction, and occlusion therapy.
The optometrists conduct other preliminary eye tests such as automated refractory, streak radioscopy and vision assessment. Optometrists play a significant role in the treatment of refractive errors. Once refraction is completed, the optometrist will provide a prescription for glasses. Contact lenses including soft and gas permeable lenses are also fitted and prescribed by your optometrist. Optometrists who are trained in low vision are also able to provide low vision aids to correct and amplify vision for people with subnormal vision. Patients with enucleated eyes can be fitted with prosthetic shells or lenses cosmetically.
The importance of regular Eye Examinations:
Optometrists are often the first point of contact for patients with vision problems. They also receive referrals from the patient’s family doctor and other health care practitioners. Usually a patient who has a condition that affects sight will be referred by the general practitioner to the optometrist for further assessment and management. Individuals are advised to take regular eye exams even if they are otherwise healthy or experience no visual symptoms. Eye exams can help detect eye conditions early enough when it is more likely to be successfully treated. The exam will allow the optometrist to evaluate the patient’s eye health as an indicator of the overall body health and communicate with the patients family doctor as needed. If you are looking to book an eye exam in downtown Toronto contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your appointment with one of our optometrists today.