INTRODUCTIONOptometry is the Primary Eye Care Profession dedicated to care for the most treasured of human senses - Vision. Optometry as a skill is 700 years old - as old as spectacles. The present scope of Optometric practice is far more than the historic role of determination of the refractive state of the eyes and the prescribing of glasses.
Through academic and clinical training, optometrists acquire knowledge and skills needed to diagnose, treat and prevent problems of the visual system. Providing health education, managing preventive regimen, supplying vision care to special groups of patients are all part of an optometrist's work. They must recognize ocular and visual signs of disease understand the wide range of health problems affecting patients and refer patients to appropriate specialists. Public health activities include vision screening for communities, industries and schools. They also prescribe Vision therapy eye exercises to patients complaining of Visual symptoms such as squint etc.Some optometrists develop special interests in a particular aspect of vision care. Specific areas include:
• contact lens practice
• low vision
• sports vision
• children's vision
• consulting in industry
Optometry is the profession that forms the first line of defense against the massive problem of visual impairment. It is a dynamic health care profession that provides a wide range of interesting, rewarding and challenging career opportunities. The profession provides an intellectually stimulating career with a humanitarian role in today's society.
The need of vision care in our health conscious society is high and, as the population ages, opportunity in Optometry will continue to grow. The demand for Optometrists greatly out numbers the limited supply and this scenario is not likely to change for the next decade. Optometry is a rewarding career for those prepared to accept the responsibility of caring for people's vision.
• An Optometrist has multiple career opportunities.
• Most new graduates work initially as employees of optometrists in private practice, with large optical chains, in public clinics and occasionally with ophthalmologists.
• Independent practice by starting their own eye clinic, optical shop, lens manufacturing unit etc.
• They can get employed with Optician showrooms, Eye doctors, Contact Lens and Ophthalmic lens industry, hospital Eye departments etc.
• Optometrists can also seek employment with any multi national organization dealing with eye care products as professional services executives.
• Can get employed in the teaching field and research.
• Optometrists could also take up the work of occupational health specialists in the vision care of industrial workers.
Dr. Pham has seen thousands of patients in the diagnosis, treatment and management of contact lenses, eyeglasses and ocular diseases. He is also skilled in seeing pediatric patients and hard-to-fit contact lens cases. Dr. Pham was named "Optometrist of The Year" in 2004; he exhibits great care for his patients and their vision.Dr. Pham is a native San Antonian, practicing optometry and serving the community with the highest standard of care.
Charles Prentice's pioneering studies in optics earned him the praise of prominent ophthalmologists at home and abroad. But his status as a leading refracting optician also inspired contempt among medical doctors who regarded Mr. Prentice's trade as a threat to medicine. Like him or not, turn-of-the-century eye doctors could hardly deny Mr. Prentice's monumental impact on vision care. The man AOA dubbed the "Father of Optometry" is the subject of this month's "Visionaries," a yearlong series on influential people in optometry's past. Trained as a mechanical engineer in Germany, Mr. Prentice applied his knowledge of math and physics to the field of optics. In 1890, his papers on the "Law of Decentration" and "A Metric System of Numbering and Measuring Prisms" won him a worldwide reputation as a brilliant innovator. In addition to his scientific endeavors, Mr. Prentice spearheaded efforts to organize, regulate, and educate O.D.s in the profession's nascence.Mr. Prentice and a handful of others formed the Optical Society of the State of New York in 1895, in part to counter M.D.s who accused refracting opticians of violating medical practice laws. In 1896, Mr. Prentice drafted and lobbied for a bill that eventually became New York State's optometry law. Mr. Prentice successfully argued that fitting glasses constituted the treatment of light, not disease, and so did not infringe upon medicine's purview. In 1910, Mr. Prentice persuaded Columbia University to establish an optometry program. He devised the curriculum, chose instructors, and lectured frequently. A 1929 editorial in The Optometric Weekly noted, "It is the achievements of men like Charles Prentice that have made present day optometry possible."
It's a long way from teaching in a one-room schoolhouse to worldwide recognition as one of optometry's leaders. Along the way, Henry Hofstetter, O.D., Ph.D., left his mark on the profession at home and abroad. The former elementary school teacher has visited more than 40 countries over the years, meeting with leading optometrists, visiting practices and spreading the "gospel" of American optometry." I think of him as an ambassador for optometry and visual science," said the late Glenn A. Fry, O.D., Ph.D.Studying under Dr. Fry, Dr. Hofstetter was the first in the country to earn a doctorate in physiological optics. That, along with the publication of his influential Optometry: Professional, Economic, and Legal Aspects (1948), earned him a widespread reputation. Says Gordon G. Heath, O.D., and Ph.D., who succeeded Dr. Hofstetter as director at Indiana University. "The book made him a household word in the profession. He was very much in demand as a lecturer." He was also sought as an administrator. The same year his book was published, Dr. Hofstetter, then 34, was named dean of the Los Angeles College of Optometry. When an Indiana University selection committee was looking for someone to head its nascent optometry program in 1952, Dr. Hofstetter topped the list. Although nominally retired, Dr. Hofstetter remains active. Among his many projects are two that enable him to indulge his interests in linguistics and history: He's co-editing a fifth edition of the popular Dictionary of Visual Science and editing the Optometric Historical Society's newsletter.
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