What is a Doctor of Optometry?

I think it’s safe to say that most of us understand the importance of seeing our Family Physician every year to stay healthy. But, many people overlook the importance of seeing their Optometrist.

In this article, I’d like to share what a Doctor of Optometry does, and why it’s important to your health.

Doctors of Optometry (O.D.s/optometrists) examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures. They also identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye.

Did you know that optometrists are responsible for detecting the early signs of conditions like diabetes in over 50% of those diagnosed with this condition?

Like other conditions affecting the eye, diabetes doesn’t necessarily have obvious symptoms. However, early changes in your vision can be signs that your health is at risk. When you go to your eye doctor after noticing a change in your vision, your doctor will perform a complete eye and health exam to ensure you don’t have an underlying disease causing these symptoms.

Interestingly, vascular problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol first affect the small blood vessels in your body — and the eye is the only place where your doctor can see those vessels (without cutting you open)! Pretty neat, right?

In fact, there are over 18 different diseases and conditions that can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam!

Knowing this, you may no longer be surprised to learn that merchandising glasses and contact lenses are only a very small part of what optometrists do! Optometrists supply these medical devices (also called optical aids) to ensure the prescription they provide performs the way it was intended.

Their primary concern, however, is to ensure you receive the best comprehensive eye care. That’s really what optometrists do!

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