What Does An Optometric Technician Do?

Optometrists rely upon optometric technicians to help them keep their offices running smoothly. They enable the optometrists to see more patients and devote their full attention to more complex activities. By getting patient data, answering patient’s questions and giving vision therapy, they help a great deal in the efficient running of an optometrist’s office.

When a patient goes to an optometrist’s office, an optometric technician obtains the patient’s medical history. The technician asks about the patient’s personal information like his name and address and determines the reason for seeing the optometrist. The technician also asks whether the patient has already been prescribed glasses before and what his prescription strength is.

They will also try to find out if the patient has existing medical conditions for which he has already sought medical attention for. This is important because certain diseases like diabetes and autoimmune disorders like lupus and multiple sclerosis can also cause vision problems. The optometric technician is then able to come up with an initial evaluation of the area that the optometrist needs to focus when he sees the patient. In succeeding visits, the optometric technician sees to it that additional data and information are added to the file of the patient.

Optometric technicians may also be asked by optometrists to do vision tests on patients. These include color vision, depth perception and visual acuity tests. They can also conduct visual field testing and check for eye pressure. The results of these tests are then included in the patient’s file for the optometrist to interpret. Before optometric technicians perform these procedures, they see to it that the patient understands what will happen and entertains any question they may have. They also teach patients the proper way of caring for their prescription lenses and contact lenses.

Optometric technicians also carry out the optometrist’s orders for treating the patient. For example, the optometrist may determine that the patient is suffering from amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (crossed eyes) or some other vision disorder that prevents the patient from focusing correctly. The optometric technician will then carry out the vision therapy to exercise the eye using special lenses, filters, instruments and a sophisticated computer system.

Vision therapy, which typically lasts for 45 minutes, also entails working with the brain so that it is able to process visual data more accurately. Depending on the complexity of the problem, vision therapy can help cure these conditions in anywhere from 15 to 40 treatment sessions.

In addition to dealing with patients, optometric technicians also grind lenses and make and repair eyeglasses in the laboratory. They also see to it that the ocular equipment used in the clinic is clean and well-maintained. If they see any problems with these, they immediately inform the optometrist and arrange to have them fixed by qualified technicians. They also regularly check the clinic’s inventory and order the needed supplies. In a small practice where there is no receptionist or secretary, the optometric technician may also perform administrative tasks such as billing, setting patient appointments and keeping records.

Career Spotlight: Optometric Technician

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