Indeed, our eyes give us an identity. Like fingerprints, the structure of the eyes differs from one person to another. Our iris is composed of different lines, dots, and colours, making each eye unique and beautiful.
Eyes play a vital role in our everyday living. Losing eyesight is really hard to imagine. Our eyes help us appreciate more the beauty of life and the things around us. Thus, it is important to always take good care of it. But, to whom are we supposed to go?
Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, and Optician
It is quite confusing to know which of which should we go to properly care for our eyes. Each provides a significant role in giving us the right eye care. As we know that an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that specialises in the eye, and an optician is someone trained to design and verify eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight, then what is an optometrist?
An optometrist, known before as ophthalmic optician, is a primary health care provider who diagnoses, examines, and treats visual diseases and disorders. They manage vision changes and sight testing. This includes vision depth, colour perception, contrast sensitivity, and the ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. They are professionals dedicated to improving and preserve our eyesight
.Although not a medical physician, an optometrist finished three to four years optometry school and has earned a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. They are licensed to perform eye exams both for visions and health problems.They are also allowed to prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct refractive errors. They give advice on visual problems, recommend treatment or visual aids if needed, and provide medical prescriptions.
In some countries, an optometrist is permitted to participate in pre- and post-operative care with the ophthalmologist performing the surgery. Like doctors, they are required to continuously complete education requirements in order to maintain their license.
How much does an optometrist earn?
The salary of an optometrist varies depending on some conditions. One can earn around RM60,000 per annum depending on work experience and location. In the UK, particularly in England, an optometrist earns better. They get paid from £25,000-40,000 (RM145,000-RM232,260) per annum. Senior consultants can earn up to £79,000 (RM458,728) per annum. An Optometrist’s rate varies as determined by the organisation, role, and responsibilities. Optometrists working on their own successful practices may earn more than those who work in public and private sectors such as hospitals, schools, and clinics. However, those who are committed to these sectors are able to move from one eye center to another to let them widen their field experience.
Nowadays, the demand for an optometrist is on the rise. In the United States, there are over 32,500 registered optometrists according to United States Bureau of Labour Statistics. The majority of them are employed in different practices as healthcare professionals.
Aging mainly cause eyesight problem, and since the aging population is projected to increase, the more likely we need an eye expert. Aside from that, technology era leads to a greater chance of reducing visual performance and increase the occurrence of eyesight problems. As the number of eye examination keeps growing, the need for optometrists foretells to also increase.
Given that career prospect and the employment rate for OD graduates will then be higher than the average, certain universities today offer degree programs for optometry. In Malaysia, specifically Kuala Lumpur, a Bachelor’s of Science in Optometry (Hons) is offered by UCSI. It is a comprehensive degree where students learn and perform thorough examinations for internal and external eye structure. In order to gain an intensive grounding in optometry, students are allowed to have hands-on experience with medical instruments and utilities that will help them gather accurate test result.
As UCSI demystify the programme by immersion in the process, students further develop their own treatment method to ensure proper eye care management. This four-year, full-time degree provides students proper and in-depth training that will advance optometric clinical skill in all fields of vision care.
Indeed, optometry is an important healthcare profession. One needs to have a passion and dedication as the job requires continuous learning. As much as there is more to learn, optometrists also need to have a genuine heart for helping other people. While it is a challenging profession, the fruits of the labour as well as being able to save people vision is definitely rewarding.
For more information please visit UCSI University