Leading Medical Clinics of the World® is a valuable tool for helping you find the best optometrists in your area. You can rest assured that each optometry clinic featured on this site has gone through a stringent evaluation process, so that potential patients can have access to only the finest practices and optometrists available.
What is an Optometrist?
An optometrist is an eye doctor (OD) that can perform comprehensive eye exams to diagnose vision problems and provide vision correction through the prescription of glasses and contact lenses. Some vision problems commonly treated and diagnosed by an optometrist includes hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia. Optometrists also may participate in your pre- and post-operative care if you have eye surgery performed by an ophthalmologist.
Optometrists can provide vision therapy, a type of physical therapy for the eyes that acts like non-surgical treatments for common vision problems. An optometrist can also offer rehabilitation for “low vision,” a term for eye conditions that can’t be fixed with lenses, surgery, or prescriptions, like blurred vision, tunnel vision, or blind spots.
What Can an Optometrist Treat?
As a primary care doctor, an optometrist is there to care for the overall wellness and health of the eye. Optometrists have the ability to diagnose and prescribe medication for common eye conditions like eye infections and glaucoma. An optometrist can also diagnose eye diseases like cataracts or macular degeneration, or other eye-related symptoms caused by diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, or aging.
Oftentimes, an optometrist and an ophthalmologist will work together in an arrangement called co-management. If needed, your optometrist can refer you to an ophthalmologist to treat a medical problem or perform eye surgery. Afterwards, your optometrist will be in charge of providing aftercare and monitoring your recovery.
An optometrist is essential for providing crucial primary care, and co-management is an excellent way to combine the benefits of medical care by a specialist and treatment by an optometrist you trust.
Medical Training Required to be an Optometrist
After completing 4 years of an undergraduate degree from a college or university, a prospective optometrist will complete an additional four years of professional education from a school of optometry to receive a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. An optometrist needs to go to a school specifically accredited for teaching optometry. Afterwards, some optometrists will choose to complete an advanced, post-graduate residency in a specialized area of eye care.
Every practicing optometrist also passes an extensive exam before getting their license to practice optometry.
How to Find the Best Optometrist
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when looking for the best optometrist in your area:
- Professional accreditations: It’s a good sign when an optometrist is a member of a respected society or professional organization for optometrists. Often, these organizations have stringent eligibility requirements based on an optometrist’s skills and education.
- Experience: Make sure your optometrist has a specialty, extensive experience, or training in the treatment of your choice, like low vision, pediatrics, occupational vision, vision therapy etc.
- Reviews: A good optometrist will be well regarded by their community and their peers in the field of optometry. Look for consistently good reviews on online review sites across the board.
Finding an optometrist doesn’t have to be hard. With a quick look through the Leading Medical Clinics of the World® search engine, you can easily find the leading optometry practices in your area.