optometrist examining a child's eyesOptometrists work to evaluate, improve and preserve vision. They diagnose and treat certain conditions and diseases of the eye.  Depending on the diagnosis, optometrists may prescribe medication, visual training, or corrective lenses. They examine the internal and external structure of the eye, evaluate vision and determine if glasses or contact lenses are needed.

For information on prerequisites, the OAT, and more please visit the University of Alabama Optometry School Admissions Guide.

What Do Optometrists Do?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, optometrists typically do the following:

  • Perform vision tests and analyze results
  • Diagnose sight problems, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, and eye diseases, such as glaucoma
  • Prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other visual aids, and if state law permits, medications
  • Perform minor surgical procedures to correct or treat visual or eye health issues
  • Provide treatments such as vision therapy or low-vision rehabilitation
  • Provide pre- and postoperative care to patients undergoing eye surgery—for example, examining a patient’s eyes the day after surgery
  • Evaluate patients for the presence of other diseases and conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, and refer patients to other healthcare providers as needed
  • Promote eye and general health by counseling patient

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