3121 – Optometrists

Optometrists examine eyes and diagnose ocular diseases and disorders. They prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses and recommend treatments such as exercises to correct vision problems or ocular disorders. They work in private practice, clinics and community health centres.

  • Illustrative example(s)
    • doctor of optometry (OD)
    • optometrist
  • All Examples
  • doctor of optometry (OD)
  • OD (doctor of optometry)doctor of optometry
  • Optometrist
  • Exclusion(s)
    • Ocularists (See 3219 Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health))
    • Ophthalmologists (See 3111 Specialist physicians)
    • Opticians (3231)
    • Orthoptists (See 3125 Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating)
  • Main duties

Optometrists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Examine patients' eyes, conduct tests and use ophthalmoscopes, biomicroscopes and other specialized instruments to determine ocular health and visual efficiency
  • Prescribe treatment (excluding surgery) to maintain, improve and correct vision and manage other ocular disorders
  • Prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Educate and advise patients on contact lens use and care, ocular hygiene, preventive care and maintenance, lighting arrangements, working distances and other safety factors
  • Refer patients to ophthalmologists or other physicians and surgeons for treatment of ocular or other diseases or conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Optometrists may specialize in fitting visual aids for people who are partially blind, fitting contact lenses or correcting special vision problems.

  • Employment requirements
    • Three years of university undergraduate studies in mathematics and sciences
      A four-year university program in optometry are required.
    • Licensing by the provincial or territorial regulatory governing body is required.

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