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career opportunities for optometrists


Optometrists provide primary vision care. Also called Doctors of Optometry or ODs, they diagnose and treat eye diseases and disorders. They determine whether vision correction is needed and if it is they prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Today, there is a demand for over one lakh Optometrists. The need is expected to rise in the coming years. According to a study, India estimates a need for about 2 lakh institutionally qualified Optometrists, as opposed to current availability of 10,000. With the new hospitals and optical centres opening up across the nation, the Optometrists are much in demand. Graduates can enhance their skills and knowledge in core Optometry subjects as well as emphasise the Optometrist’s role in public and community health. Here are some frequently asked questions, that you might want to know. Who is an Optometrist? Previously known as Ophthalmic Opticians, Optometrists are the primary health care specialists trained to examine the eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases or abnormality and problems with general health.

A detailed examination of the eye can reveal conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Optometrists make a diagnosis, offer advice, and when necessary prescribe, fit and supply contact lenses or glasses. Referrals for specialists advice may be required, patients may require a corrective lens or no further treatment. What is Optometry course? Optometry is a medical subject, which deals with the health of eyes and related structures. It deals with vision, visual system and vision information processing in humans. It is a primary health care profession. The course includes computers and information systems, research methodology, visual perception, special clinics, technical communication and advances in Optometry. Optometry, being a practical vocational subject places strong focus on candidates to gain practical and clinical knowledge.

The Start of Optometry course. In India, two schools of Optometry were established in the year 1958, one at Gandhi Eye Hospital-Aligarh, UP and another at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital- Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. These Schools offer Diploma in Optometry courses of two years duration, which is validated by the State Medical Faculties. Additionally, 4 more schools were opened across state, situated at Sitapur Eye Hospital-Uttar Pradesh, Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Bangalore in Karnataka, and Thiruvananthapuram/ Trivandrum in Kerala. The Elite Schools of Optometry (ESO) was established in 1985 at Chennai, and this was the first to offer a four-year degree course in Optometry.

Which colleges offer courses in Optometry?
The four-year degree courses are offered in well established schools and institutions including All India Institute of Medical Sciences – New Delhi; Elite School of Optometry attached to Shankar Netralaya – Chennai; Bausch and Lomb School attached to L. V. Prasad Eye Institute – Hyderabad; Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (Govt. Medical college), Thiruvananthapuram ; Shri Prakash Institute of Optometry attached to Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital – Chennai; College of Optometry & Ophthalmic Science, Nasik Maharashtra, Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College – Pune; Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal; Dr. D.Y. Patil Institute of Optometry – Pimpri, Pune; Nethradhama school of Optometry, Bangalore; Sankara College of Optometry in the state of Karnataka launched under the aegis of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Dr.Anand College of Optometry and Vision Science at Salem, Tamil Nadu in collaboration with Periyar University and Shri Bharatimaiya College of Optometry, Surat. Presently more colleges and schools of Optometry in India are offering a four-year degree course based on the CMOC curriculum. What are the Career factors in Optometry course? An Optometrist, or Doctor of Optometry (OD), is a healthcare professional who provides Primary Vision Care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of eye disease such as diabetes and hypertension. With routine hours, few emergencies, and a good income, OD’s enjoy a lifelong career with a satisfying lifestyle. Career opportunities include solo, partnership, or group practice, large clinics and hospitals, part-time or full-time, regular practice or specialisation.

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