Opticians are an important part of the healthcare system in Canada, providing customers with the necessary eyeglasses and contact lenses to improve their vision. They work in retail stores, optical chains, and even travel to remote areas to provide care. Opticians must be knowledgeable about the latest technology and standards in order to provide the best care for their patients. In retail stores, opticians help customers select eyeglass frames, take measurements, and organize the production of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
They also mount the lenses on the frames and provide customers with state-of-the-art eyewear. Some opticians own their own retail dispensaries, while others work for large optical chains with domestic and international outlets. If a patient is a good candidate for contact lenses, opticians will take a number of steps to make sure they fit properly. This includes evaluating lens movement, visual acuity, and patient comfort.
Opticians must also balance their retail responsibilities with their responsibility for public health. To do this, they use professional standards, also known as tolerances, to ensure that every aspect of the final product matches the original order. Opticians must also verify the accuracy of the finished product before dispensing it to their patients. They may also need to make a series of test settings during the first consultation or during several follow-up appointments to find the best contact lenses for each patient.
In addition to providing eyewear, opticians may also address unique visual needs such as low vision, specialized contact lens fitting, or post-surgical treatments. They use a patient's history - which includes personal, health, optical health and lifestyle information - to provide better care for their patients. Opticians also educate patients and facilitate decision-making by combining patient needs with prescriptive, anatomical, budgetary and lifestyle concerns.
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