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Eyes have it

Optometry is a science that is associated with the structure, working and function of the human eye. This healthcare profession is related to the examination, correct diagnosis and proper treatment of the eyes.

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:22 IST

The lowdown
Optometry is a science that is associated with the structure, working and function of the human eye. This healthcare profession is related to the examination, correct diagnosis and proper treatment of the eyes. It deals with optical symptoms, using lenses and other optical aids, refractive errors and their correction. An optometrist is a doctor of optometry (OD), and not a medical doctor. He or she will work through various vision therapies to treat abnormalities, and prescribe drugs for the eyes.

Clock Work
9am: Start the day in the OPD by preparing patients for the ophthalmologist to see
11am: Tea break
12pm: Conduct special diagnostic procedures like visual fields, OCT, FFA and electrophysiology tests, etc
2.30pm: Lunch break
5pm: Assist the ophthalmologist in surgical procedures like lasik etc
5pm to 6pm: Check mails, reply to emails
6pm: Leave for home

In India the profession is at a nascent stage but it’s the second highest paying profession abroad. One can join a hospital or start one’s own venture

Sushil Mishra, fellow optometrist
Fortis Hospital

The payoff
In India, the current pay scale for institutionally qualified optometrists is around Rs2.5 lakh to Rs6 lakh per annum, according to their experience. They can also start their own venture

Skills/TRAITS
. One should be willing to serve people.
. The job of an optometrist involves working with lenses, which requires a high level of accuracy and precision.
. One should be a hardworking person

Getting there
After completing Class 12 (science stream) with at least 50% marks, one should do a bachelors degree in clinical optometry. Those who have completed a diploma course in clinical optometry are eligible for direct admission to the third year of the degree course in optometry

Institutes
. Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences,
. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS),
www.aiims.ac.in
. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202002 (UP)
www.amu.ac.in

Pros and cons
. Secure job and income
. Recession-proof profession
. Option to choose one’s own timings, work on part-time basis if one has to study further or if life situations demand
. Institutionally qualified optometrists are indispensable no matter where they work – a small, medium or a large eye
hospital/institution