Optometrists are medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of vision problems. They are responsible for providing preventive and corrective eye care, as well as performing laser surgery and other treatments and surgeries. With an aging population and an increasing demand for eye care services, the need for optometrists is growing rapidly. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the job requirements of an optometrist, the different types of optometrists, the demand for optometrists, and the supply of optometrists. We will also discuss the role of opticians and optical regulators in the field of optometry.
What is an Optometrist?An optometrist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of vision problems.
Optometrists are also known as ophthalmologists or eye doctors. Optometrists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases. They also provide vision therapy to help patients improve their vision.
Types of OptometristsThere are several different types of optometrists. The most common type is a medical optometrist, who is trained to diagnose and treat vision problems. Other types of optometrists include pediatric eye doctors, who specialize in treating children's vision problems; ophthalmologists, who specialize in treating diseases of the eye; and opticians, who specialize in fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Demand for OptometristsThe demand for optometrists in larger cities such as Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, and more in Canada is growing rapidly due to an aging population and an increasing demand for eye care services.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of optometrists is projected to grow by 14% from 2019 to 2029—much faster than the average for all occupations.
Supply of OptometristsThe supply of optometrists is also increasing due to an increase in the number of medical schools offering programs in optometry. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), there were more than 3,000 optometry programs in the United States in 2019.
Role of OpticiansOpticians are responsible for fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses. They work closely with optometrists to ensure that patients receive the best possible vision care. Opticians also provide advice on selecting frames and lenses that best suit a patient's needs.
Role of Optical RegulatorsOptical regulators are responsible for ensuring that all optical products meet safety standards.
They also ensure that all optical products are properly labeled and that all optical services are provided in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.