Your complete guide to studying Optometry

Everything you need to know about studying Optometry

part of Medicine & Health

What is Optometry?

An Optometry degree is a higher education programme that trains you to become an eye-care professional who can consult patients, perform eye tests, and prescribe medication and corrective eyeglasses. Not to be confused with Ophthalmology.

Optometry specialisations

There are several specialisations or areas of focus that Optometrists can pursue, depending on the type of patients or the challenges they treat. The most common specialisations in Optometry include:

  • Paediatric Optometry;
  • Geriatric Optometry;
  • Contact Lens and Cornea;
  • Low Vision Rehabilitation;
  • Sports Vision.

What will you learn during an Optometry programme?

During an Optometry degree, you'll learn a range of skills to excel in this profession. If you're wondering why Optometry is a good degree, here's what you'll learn:

  • the structure and function of the eye;
  • you'll get clinical practice;
  • the use of drugs and medications in the treatment of various eye conditions;
  • knowledge on the business and management aspects of optometric practice.

Common courses include:

  • Ocular Anatomy and Physiology, where you learn about the different parts of the eye such as the cornea, lens, retina, and optic nerve;
  • Optics and Refraction, teaches you about the principles of light, optics, and refraction as they relate to the eye;
  • Contact Lenses Practice, which is needed to know how to fit contact lenses;
  • Paediatric Optometry, with a focus on children's eyes and vision problems;
  • Low Vision, teaches about impaired vision that cannot be corrected by glasses or surgery.

An Optometry degree is valuable because it allows you to have a medical practice that is stable, keeps regular business hours, and requires fewer years of study than a medical degree. This degree allows you to have a rewarding professional life.

Skills required to study Optometry

The main Optometry degree requirement is a solid foundation in scientific subjects. Apart from that, an ability for clinical skills is also very important because you will do consults and will need confidence and precision. Finally, Optometry also requires empathy and communication skills in order to interact with patients successfully.

What can you do with a Degree in Optometry?

You will work in healthcare and help people every day, while being able to maintain regular business hours and a good work-life balance, as there are rarely emergencies in this field. Once you graduate with an Optometry degree, you have several job options, including:

  • Corporate optometrist – as part of a large company;
  • Independent optometrist – opening your own practice;
  • Clinical optometrist – working in a hospital or medical clinic;
  • Vision science researcher.

An Optometry degree is worth it and leads to a stable and meaningful career.

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