What is an Optometrist?
The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) defines an optometrist as “an independent primary health care provider who specializes in the examination, diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of disease and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as the diagnosis of ocular manifestations of systemic conditions”.
As primary eye care providers, an optometrist’s main responsibilities are:
- The examination of the human eye by any method (other than surgery), to diagnose, treat, and/or refer for treatment any abnormal condition of the eye, in cooperation with physicians and other health professionals.
- The employment of instruments, procedures or agents to measure, examine or diagnose visual defects or abnormal conditions of the eye.
- The prescribing, fitting and application of glasses, contact lenses or other devices to correct, relieve or treat the eye.
- The prescription, supervision and management of therapy for the improvement/monitoring of visual health.
- The referral of patients to other health practitioners as required.