Optometrists, earlier known as opticians, are professionals who conduct various eye tests to detect the issue with your eyesight. If you have any problem with your vision or ocular deformity, the best Optometrist performs basic tests for assessing your vision as well as general health issues such as diabetes, thyroid, or high blood pressure due to which your eyesight may get affected. On the basis of these test reports the specialist offers advice, recommends spectacles or contact lenses, and even refers patients to ophthalmologists for advanced treatment like eye surgery, if and whenever needed.
Who should you choose? Ophthalmologist or an optometrist?
Once you encounter any eyesight problem, and you need to decide whether you have to visit an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, often it becomes quite a puzzling task. While optometrists are doctorates in optometry and are professionally trained to assess vision and prescribe spectacles, ophthalmologists are eye doctors who are qualified for diagnosing and treating various ocular diseases through medication or surgeries. Thus, a regular eye check-up becomes highly essential for everyone.
What does an optometrist do?
The optometrists use state-of-art equipment and techniques for assessing the visual acuity of a person. They conduct special tests to evaluate the general health of the eyes. These tests determine if there is any symptom of severe eye problems or ocular diseases. On the basis of his detections, the optometrist will prescribe spectacles and match the power of the glasses as well. Some optometrists are eligible to advise topical medications for eye conditions like infections, allergies, or glaucoma.
Optometrist teams up with optical mechanics and dispensers
The optical mechanics and optical dispensers often work hand in hand with optometrists. Optical dispensers interpret prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses and ensure that they fit you well. While the job of an optical dispenser involves interpreting the prescription of an optometrist to ensure the right fit of the contact lenses or glasses, an optical mechanic takes care of the making and accurate installation of the lenses in the frame of the spectacles.
Some common eye tests conducted by an expert optometrist include
The doctor will conduct tests to detect your problem and accordingly offer the best treatment.
- Eye movement tests are important. This test helps to detect eye muscle weakness that causes eye problems like ‘cross eyes’.
- Visual acuity test to ensure that you are able to perceive clearly the letters and numbers or recognize shapes and symbols from close as well as from distance.
- Refraction testing and radioscopy to determine if the patient should be given contact lenses.
- A pupillary reaction test is conducted to assess how the pupil reacts to light
- The slit lamp test determines the interior health of the eyes. This test shows the condition of the eye lens, iris, cornea, and anterior chamber.
- Ophthalmoscopy or retinal test to check the retina, vitreous, retinal blood vessels, and optic nerve head including the entire back of the eye.
- Tonometry test to check the pressure inside the eye. This test detects glaucoma.
- Perimeter test allows assessing the visual field. This test is conducted to identify the areas of vision loss.
A visit to the optometrist or eye test does not require a referral whereas the optometrists will provide a referral if you need to see the specialist for your eye treatment and eye surgeries. Moreover, you can avail Medicare rebate for all sorts of optometry services. Eyesight problems can be prevented and cured if detected at the earliest. As you identify any symptoms of an eye condition, you must get in touch with the nearest optometrist and undergo the eye tests advised by the specialist.