Dr. of Optometry is a healthcare profession concerned with the eyes and related structures, as well as vision, visual systems, and vision information processing in humans. Dr. of Optometry are trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision, and in some countries are trained to diagnose and treat various eye diseases.
In the United States, Canada, and Ghana, optometrists are known as Dr. of Optometry (abbreviated as OD), and are held to the same legal standards as physicians.
Dr. of Optometry are the primary health care professionals for the eye. Dr. of Optometry examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. Dr. of Optometry provide more than two-thirds of the primary eye care services in the United States. They are more widely distributed geographically than other eye care providers and are readily accessible for the delivery of eye and vision care services. Approximately 37,000 full-time equivalent Dr. of Optometry practice in more than 7,000 communities across the United States, serving as the sole primary eye care provider in more than 4,300 communities. The mission of a Dr. of Optometry is to fulfill the vision and eye care needs of the public through clinical care, research, and education, all of which enhance the quality of life.