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Optometrists examine people's eyes to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases. They examine eye health and test patients' visual acuity, depth and color perception, and their ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. They analyze test results and develop treatment plans. Optometrists prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, and provide vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation. They use drugs for diagnosis of eye vision problems and prescribe drugs to treat some eye diseases. Optometrists often provide pre- and post-operative care to cataract and other eye surgery patients. They also diagnose conditions due to systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and refer patients to other health practitioners as needed.

All States and the District of Columbia require that optometrists be licensed. Applicants for a license must have a Doctor of Optometry degree from an accredited optometry school and pass both a written and a clinical State board  examination. Licenses are renewed every 1 to 3 years and, in all States, continuing education credits are needed for license renewal.

Consult the Health Information Center for more consumer information
related to this specialty

To locate an Optometrist: Directory of Optometrists

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