Care for the eyes
Optometry is concerned with vision care. The structure, function and working of the human eye are dealt under the Ophthalmic Optics science. The health professionals or the physicians dealing with primary eye care are known as Optometrists or optometric physicians. The line of work concerns with examination, diagnosis and treatment of eyes, specially related to visual, optical symptoms, refractive errors and their correction, using lenses and other optical aids. Optometry as a career choice is a dynamic and challenging one. Today the scope for this profession has grown manifold both in India and abroad. There are boundless opportunities in this field to achieve personal growth, community respect and monetary success.
The Optometrists are expert in vision care. They are proficient in determining one’s refractive faults and prescribing suitable correction. They deal with vision screening (eye testing), diagnosis of visual problems, orthoptics and vision training, optometric counseling of patients with partial sight, color blindness and hereditary vision defects, and designing and fitting of spectacles, contact lens and low vision aids. They also prescribe Vision therapy eye exercises to patients complaining of Visual symptoms such as squint etc.
Many a times optometry is confused with Ophthalmology though both go hand in hand for restoring visual disorder. An ophthalmologist is a qualified physician who specializes in eye and vision care who perform eye surgery, as well as diagnose and treat eye diseases and injuries. But an optometrist performs all the functions of the ophthalmologist short of surgery.
To become a successful optometrist the candidate must have tolerance, manual deftness , a confident manner, devotion , persistence, the ability to deal tactfully with patients and the most important a disposition to serve others.
Students in order to do degree or diploma course in ophthalmic technology should clear 10+2 or equivalent examination, with a minimum of 50% marks in physics, chemistry and biology. It is necessary to have a Bachelor’s degree in Optometry (Bachelor of Clinical Optometry) (B.Optom) in order to practice optometry. Candidates have to appear for the EYECET examination. The EYECET exam is the centralized, combined, entrance test for entry into optometry courses, which is universally recognized all over the country.
Career opportunities presented to an optometrist are diverse. They can set up an independent practice by starting their own eye clinic, optical shop, lens manufacturing unit etc. They can work with Optician showrooms, Eye doctors, Contact Lens and Ophthalmic lens industry, hospital Eye departments etc. Now days many multi national organizations dealing with eye care recruit Optometrists as professional services executives or take up teaching as a career. They can go in for further research in the field of Optometry. Optometrists could also take up the work of occupational health specialists in the vision care of industrial workers.
Today Optometry is one of the top ten income-earning professions in the country today.
There are many institutes around the county which offer optometry like Academy of Optometry, Kolkotta, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry, Hyderabad etc.