An optometrist examines eyes, tests sight and prescribes and fits spectacles or contact lenses for those who need them. They also give advice on visual problems and detect any ocular disease or abnormality. Optometrists will treat non-sight threatening ocular conditions within their practices, and refer patients to a medical practitioner if necessary.
Independent Prescribing Optometrist
Independent Prescribing optometrists are able to clinically assess a patient, establish a diagnosis, determine the clinical management required and prescribe where necessary. Once qualified they can prescribe any licensed medicine (except for controlled drugs or medicines for parenteral (injected) administration) for conditions affecting the eye, and the tissues surrounding the eye.
A dispensing optician advises on, fits and supplies the most appropriatespectacles after taking account of each patient's visual, lifestyle and vocational needs. They dispense low vision aids and fit spectacles for children. They are also able to fit and provide aftercare for contact lenses after undergoing further specialist training.
An optical assistant, or optometric assistant, is a person who aids an optometrist in both clinical and administrative duties. Common duties of optical assistants include handling and responding to correspondence, maintaining patient records, scheduling appointments, assisting with vision tests and teaching patients how to use and care for contact lenses.