What is an Optometrist?

Optometry is the branch of medicine that deals with eyes and eyes-related structures, visual systems, and vision information processing in humans. Optometrists are healthcare professionals who provide primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis and treatment of vision changes. Optometrists are qualified to diagnose and treat eye diseases like Diabetic Retinopathy, Cataracts, Glaucoma, and Macular Degeneration. Optometrists are in some cases qualified to perfrom minor eye surgeries, but for major eye surgery, the patient must seek a qualified opthamologist.

Optometry education and certification is regulated in most countries.

The median annual wages of salaried optometrists were $96,320 in the USA in 2008, whereas the average annual income for a self-employed optometrists is $175,329, according to the American Optometric Association.

In America, it takes four years of optometry school to obtain Optometry Doctorate (OD). Most optometrists or eye doctors also have a bachelor’s degree. It then generally takes a minimum of eight years after graduation from high school. Four years of undergrad studies and four years of medical school studies. Add to that an optional fifth year residency.

Optometry Schools in America:

United States of America

There are 20 American educational institutions that offers a doctorate level program in optometry. These programs generally have an undergraduate degree as a must for admission and they then run four years addressing academic and clinical eye care topics.

  • AL: University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • AZ: Midwestern University-Arizona College of Optometry
  • CA: University of California, Berkeley
  • CA: Southern California College of Optometry
  • CA: Western University of Health Sciences
  • FL: Nova Southeastern University
  • IL: Illinois College of Optometry
  • IN: Indiana University
  • MA: New England College of Optometry
  • MI: Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University
  • MO: University of Missouri St. Louis
  • NY: State University of New York
  • OH: Ohio State University [84]
  • OK: Northeastern State University
  • OR: Pacific University
  • PA: Pennsylvania College of Optometry
  • PR: Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, School of Optometry
  • TN: Southern College of Optometry
  • TX: University of Houston
  • TX: University of the Incarnate Word