Optometrist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Diagnoses, manages, and treats conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examines eyes and visual system, diagnoses problems or impairments, prescribes corrective lenses, and provides treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Examines eyes, using observation, instruments and pharmaceutical agents, to determine visual acuity and perception, focus and coordination and to diagnose diseases and other abnormalities such as glaucoma or color blindness.
  • Analyzes test results and develops a treatment plan.
  • Prescribes, supplies, fits and adjusts eyeglasses, contact lenses and other vision aids.
  • Prescribes medications to treat eye diseases if state laws permit.
  • Removes foreign bodies from the eye.
  • Educates and counsels patients on contact lens care, visual hygiene, lighting arrangements and safety factors.
  • Consults with and refers patients to ophthalmologist or other health care practitioner if additional medical treatment is determined necessary.
  • Prescribes therapeutic procedures to correct or conserve vision.
  • Provides patients undergoing eye surgeries, such as cataract and laser vision correction, with pre- and post-operative care.
  • Provides vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Eye Doctor --