Optometrists diagnose and treat visual problems and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes. Optometrists must complete a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree program and obtain a license to practice in a particular state. O.D. programs take 4/5 years to complete, and most students have a bachelors degree before entering such a program. They should not be confused with ophthalmologists or dispensing opticians. Ophthalmologists are physicians who perform eye surgery, in addition to diagnosing and treating eye conditions. Dispensing opticians fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions written by ophthalmologists or optometrists (

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Work Environment

Most optometrists work in stand-alone offices of optometry. Optometrists may also work in doctors offices and optical goods stores, and some are self-employed. Most work full time, and some work evenings and weekends to accommodate patients' needs.

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