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How to get a Degree in Optometry

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What is Optometry?

The word optometry comes from the ancient Greek words optos, meaning eye or vision, and metria, meaning measurement. Optometry is the health profession of vision and eye care. Eye doctor who have a degree in optometry are the United States’ number one vision health care profession.

The Practice of Optometry

The roles of an eye doctor with a degree in optometry include;

  • Conducting conventional and specialist eye exams
  • Prescribing corrective glasses and contact lenses
  • Diagnosing and treating eye diseases
  • Conducting vision therapies
  • Referring patients to an ophthalmologist if surgery is required

Behavioral Optometry

Behavioral optometry (also known as functional optometry), is a specialized field of vision therapy that some eye doctors with a degree in optometry choose to practice. Though this is not practiced in general, it entails intense visually therapeutic exercises that require one or two visits to the surgery a week and exercises to be practiced at home. The aim of this form of vision therapy is to strengthen the vision to a greater extent than eye glasses alone may be able to.

How to get a Degree in Optometry

In order to obtain a degree in optometry you are first of all require to have completed high school and gain admission to a college where you will complete a bachelors degree in a science subject such as chemistry, biology or sometimes physics or mathematics. After graduation for college you will need to gain admission to optometry school. In order to be admitted, most optometry schools will require that you pass an admission test to asses your scientific knowledge and academic prowess.

In order to graduate from optometry school, candidates must pass a very rigorous examination set by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO). The exam is taken in three parts and includes all aspects of general science, clinical science and patient care. Once an optometrist has graduated, he or she is required to attend classes in ongoing optometry education in order to stay abreast of ongoing advances in the field

You should choose an accredited school of optometry and bear in mind that tuition fees for an optometry degree can range between $20,000-$35,000 per year. There are some online courses available and these can be used towards an optometry degree but these courses are limited.

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