What is an Optometrist

An optometrist or Doctor of Optometry  is a highly skilled and knowledgeable health care practitioner who is educated and trained to examine, assess, measure, diagnose, treat, manage and correct diseases and disorders of the human visual system, the eye and its associated structures.

Optometrists must complete a 3-4 year Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc.) and a 4-year Doctor of Optometry degree (O.D.) before successfully passing the Optometry Examining Board of Canada Exam (that contains a written exam and an OSCE exam).  Optometrists provide the vast majority of primary vision care services in Alberta.

Specifically, optometrists:

  • Examine, assess, measure, diagnose, treat, manage and correct disorders and diseases of the human visual system, the eye and its associated structures.
  • Prescribe all scheduled topical and oral medications for eye diseases and conditions.
  • Recognize, detect, refer and collaborate with physicians and other health professionals regarding related systemic diseases and conditions that manifest in the vision system.
  • Prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses.
  • Diagnose, assess and treat low and subnormal vision conditions with magnifiers, telescopes, other low vision devices, prisms and mobility training..
  • Diagnose, treat and manage accommodative, binocular and perceptual vision disorders.
  • Enhance workplace safety through ergonomic, lighting and environmental assessments; and, provision of approved safety eyewear.
  • Conduct research and promote education in the vision sciences.
  • Provide counselling to ensure life-long eye health.
FAQS ON OPTOMETRISTS