What Does an Optometric Physician Do?

Esther Ejim

An optometric physician is a type of health professional who is focused on issues related to vision in the sense that they are trained and dedicated to ensuring that their patients have the best vision under their unique circumstances. To this end, an optometric physician accepts patients for consultations on issues relating to their eyes and to any perceived difficulties such issues might be causing them. It would be the duty of the optometric physician to fall back on the knowledge gained through extensive training as well as the experience gained through constant practice to access the condition of the patient with a view to coming up with a diagnosis and the possible solution to the problem.

An optometric physician examines a patient's eyes.
An optometric physician examines a patient's eyes.

Usually, when patients consult the optometric physician, he or she will listen to the complaints of the patients, ask questions to clarify certain issues, and finally conduct a series of tests aimed at either eliminating some suspected conditions or confirming them. For instance, a patient could complain about vision problems that make it difficult to see some objects in certain conditions. In order to determine the exact problem, the optometric physician will perform tests, such as asking the patient to read some letters that vary in size from large to small, with a view to ascertaining the degree of vision accuracy of the patient. Sometimes, when the client has problems reading the letters, the optometric physician will perform other tests that eventually lead to the testing of various strengths of lenses in order to determine if any one of them will help improve the patient’s vision.

Optometrists specialize in eye care.
Optometrists specialize in eye care.

Apart from the vision itself, the optometric physician also examines the patients for what may either be underlying factors that contribute to the condition, or that are separate diseases or conditions of their own. An example of this could be a cloudiness of the eye that seems to obstruct some portion of the eyeball, which could be the result of the deterioration of the eyes from other diseases, such as diabetes — or it could be other factors. They also treat eyes that may have been physically injured as a result of perforations, splashing of corrosive or harsh liquids, or the effects of noxious vapor or gasses. Some are general practitioners in which case they treat patients across the board, while others select a particular field in which to specialize, such a pediatrics.

An optometric physician will usually perform a vision test on a patient after the initial consultation.
An optometric physician will usually perform a vision test on a patient after the initial consultation.

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