Skip To Main Content

What Do Optometrists Do?

Optometrists examine the internal and external structure of the eyes to diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disorders; systemic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes; and vision conditions including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. Optometrists:

  • eye doctor illustration with iconsConduct Eye Exams
    Optometrists conduct vision assessments/ refraction to determine the clarity or blur that patients have.  
  • Evaluate Binocular Vision
    Optometrists determine the patient’s ability to properly focus and coordinate the eyes, and assess depth perception. 
  • Assess Eye Disease
    Optometrists diagnose and treat some eye diseases with pharmaceutical agents. They also identify systemic diseases with ocular manifestations such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid conditions, cancer, and HIV. 
  • Write Prescriptions
    Based on the results of a comprehensive eye exam, optometrists use tailored techniques to find a prescription for the patients best possible vision. This may involve eye glasses or contact lenses. 
  • Recommend Services
    Doctors of Optometry (ODs) may recommend further services such as low vision rehabilitation and vision therapy.
  • Provide Pre/post-op care
    Optometrists provide both pre-operative and post-operative care for cataract surgery, refractive surgery (LASIK), and retinal surgery. 

View a career guide about optometry from ASCO, the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

What are some eye & vision problems optometrists encounter?

Eye Problems

As an optometrist, you have the opportunity to assess an individual's vision and diagnose issues relating to vision and eye health.

Learn more about common eye and vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia, cataracts, color blindness, strabismus, glaucoma, and macular generation through this Eye & Vision Health Problems interactive from VisionDirect in the UK.

You can utilize their interactive Human Eye Tool to learn more about how how we see.

Why choose optometry?