Optometrists are not ophthalmologists who are medical doctors who perform operations on the eye, as well as assess and treat eye diseases and injuries. An optometrist deals with the eyes and their related structures, as well as condition of sight and rectification of any deficiencies in that area.
The roles of the optometrist may include:
• examine and assess eye problems
• prescribe medication to treat eye ailments
• examine and treat vision deficiencies like nearsightedness
• do minor surgery like taking foreign objects out of the eye
General eye examination has four sections: Eyecare and eyesight history, testing of neuro-muscular control of eye, vision control, visual acuity and refraction, and testing of condition of eyes.
A range of equipment is used for testing of eyes and some are vision charts and apparatus used to determine vision and visual fields. Small light sources and transilluminators may be used to gauge pupil light reaction.
Specifically designed computer programs are used to aid in the assessment and recording of developments in certain ocular diseases by:
• diagnoses made by optometrists rely on the integration of test results
• some ocular diseases can be associated with systemic, neural, or other disease related complications. Most eye deficiencies may be treated by an optometrist.
Optical problems determined by optometrists could be:
• refractive error like myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia
• accommodative-vergence disorders most of which can be corrected by prescribing glasses
Eye problems assessed and treated by optometrists include:
• Damage to the cornea
• Contact lens problems
• Dry eyes
• Eye infections and inflammation
• Strabismus (squint or turned eye)