Updated on Aug 31, 2013 - 9:52 a.m. IST by Pooja Mishra
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The term optometry is derived from the Greek word ‘optos’ which means eye or vision and ‘metria’ which means measurement. Optics is a science, which deals with the structure, function and working of the human eye. Optometrists are health professionals who have specialised in eye care and they deal with eye testing and providing solutions to patients who suffer from partial sight, hereditary vision defects, squint, weakening of eye muscles etc. They suggest the use of proper vision aids such as spectacles or contact lenses. They also provide pre-operative and post-operative care to cataract patients. However, optometrists are not ophthalmologists, the latter being physicians trained to even undertake eye surgeries, when necessary. Sometimes optometrists discover eye conditions caused by systemic problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and refer their patients to other medical doctors. 

How to enter the filed of Optometry
To practise as an optometrist, it is essential to possess a Bachelor’s degree in Optometry (B.Optom). This is a four-year course in which the first three years of learning is followed by a year of internship to gain clinical experience. To apply for the B.Optom course, a student should have passed the HSC (10+2) course with a minimum 50 per cent marks in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Prior to seeking admission, students have to appear for the EYECET examination which is a centralised common entrance test to determine the applicant’s aptitude for pursuing a course in optometry. Many institutes including All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) conduct an entrance test for the admission to its BSc programme in Ophthalmic Technology. There are many institutes around the county which offer optometry like Academy of Optometry, Kolkata, AIIMS, New Delhi, Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry, Hyderabad etc.
 
Skills required
The optometrist should have some personal skills such as manual dexterity, patience and confidence. The essential factors to be a licensed optometrist include good vision, mechanical aptitude, dedication, self-discipline, coordination and ability to tactfully handle the patients. An optometrist must be dependable, possess excellent judgment and pay close attention to detail.
 
Job opportunities
Optometrists working in government hospitals can start off with a decent pay package and those who opt for private clinics can negotiate for higher slabs. Apart from assisting ophthalmic doctors in government hospitals and private clinics an optometrist can find job opportunities in various areas.
 
After few years of experience, they can start their own practice. After completion of master’s degree in Optometry, one can proceed for PhD and apply for a teaching job in any medical college.

Since the eye is one of the most important human organs, optometrists can look forward to a career that offers enormous scope for growth and a wide range of options for practice in future. After all, it’s a career that helps you lead others from darkness to light, literally. 

 

Select List of Colleges offering the programme
Institute 
Course
BSc (Hons) in Ophthalmic Technology, Optician and Refractionist Course
Diploma in Ophthalmic Assistant
Bachelor in Clinical Optometry, Master of Optometry
Diploma (Opthalmic Assistant)
Gandhi Eye Hospital, Aligarh
Optician and Refractionist Course
Optician and Refractionist Course
Bachelor’s Degree in Optometry
Diploma in Ophthalmology
Certificate (Ophthalmic Assistant)
Bachelor of Optometry and Vision Science (BOPTM)
Bachelor of Optometry and Vision Science (BOPTM)
BSc Optometry
Bachelor of Optometry and Vision Science (BOPTM)
S.D Eye Hospital, Hyderabad
Optician and Refractionist Course
Bachelor’s in Optometry
BscOpt (Bachelor of Optometry)
Dr. Anand College of Optometry and Vision Science, Salem
BSc (Hons) Ophthalmic Techniques
Diploma in Optometry, BSc Optomtery
M.Optom, B.Optom
Course duration: BSc (3 years + 1 year internship), Diploma in Ophthalmic Assistant: 2 yrs, Diploma in Optometry/Ophthalmic Technology: 2 yrs, Certificate (Ophthalmic Assistant): 2 yrs, Diploma in optometry: 2yrs, M.Optom: 3yrs

 

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