An eye care professional is an individual who provides a service related to the eyes, vision or eye care. Eye care is a general term that can refer to any healthcare worker involved in eye care, from one with a small amount of post-secondary training to practitioners with a doctoral level of education.
Eye care is the provision of appropriate, accessible, and affordable care that meets patients’ eye care needs in a comprehensive and competent manner. Eye care provides the patient with the first contact for eye care as well as a lifetime of continuing care.
Eye care services are integrated to meet the needs of patients from a single source so patients receive quality, efficient eye care that is coordinated with general health care services. Competent and expert management and decision-making are critical in promoting the quality and efficiency of eye care.
Eye care services include:
- Educating patients about maintaining and promoting healthy vision.
- Performing a comprehensive examination of the visual system.
- Screening for eye diseases and conditions affecting vision that may be asymptomatic.
- Recognizing ocular manifestations of systemic diseases and systemic effects of ocular medications.
- Making a differential diagnosis and definitive diagnosis for any detected abnormalities.
- Performing refractions.
- Fitting and prescribing optical aids, such as glasses and contact lenses.
- Deciding on a treatment plan and treating patients’ eye care needs with appropriate therapies.
- Counseling and educating patients about their eye disease conditions.
- Recognizing and managing local and systemic effects of drug therapy.
- Determining when to triage patients for more specialized care and referring to specialists as needed and appropriate.
- Coordinating care with other physicians involved in the patient’s overall medical management.