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Optometry Overview


For more information on becoming an optometrist, see the profile on the right. For salary ranges, schooling requirements and more, check out the Career Explorer.

Optometry is the field involving virtually everything that has to do with eyes and vision, including examination, diagnosis and treatment of the eyes and surrounding structures, and the treatment of vision problems.

Doctors of Optometry (ODs), commonly known as optometrists, are independent primary health care professionals for the eyes. They are trained to evaluate a patient’s visual condition and determine the best treatment for that condition.

They should not be confused with ophthalmologists or dispensing opticians. Ophthalmologists are physicians who perform eye surgery, in addition to diagnosing and treating eye conditions. Dispensing opticians fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions written by ophthalmologists or optometrists. 

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Note: The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry reviewed this overview.

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