Optometry is comprehensive, professional eye care performed by optometric physicians (known as an optometrists) who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions.
More than 70% of primary eye examinations are conducted by optometric physicians who work closely with surgical and non-surgical sub-specialists to deliver complete eye care to patients of all ages.
Optometric physicians provide a full range of primary eye health care service:
Examine the internal and external structure of the eyes to diagnose and/or coordinate care for eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disorders; diseases affecting multiple bodily systems such as diabetes and hypertension; vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia
Test the visual system to determine a patient’s ability to focus and coordinate the eyes, judge depth and see colors accurately
Prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, low vision aids, vision therapy and medicines to treat eye diseases
Refer patients to other health care specialists, including surgical eye sub-specialists
Provide pre- and post-operative eye care services for procedures ranging from cataract surgery to laser vision correction surgery
Offer specialty services such as hard-to-fit contact lenses, low vision care, sports vision, pediatric care, older adult eye care, vision therapy and occupational vision (including eye care for computer users)
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, regular eye examinations are also important. An eye exam can also tell you if you are a good candidate for LASIK or other refractive eye surgery.
Ask your primary care provider about regular eye exams. Routine eye exams are typically recommended every one to two years for children and adults. Children should have their first eye exam before starting kindergarten. After age 60, yearly exams are advised. All patients with diabetes should have a complete eye exam at least once a year.
Medicare covers the eye health part of an optometric examination (when the patient has a symptom or complaint that necessitated the visit) and the treatment for eye disease prescribed by an optometric physician.