Optometry Course: Details, Eligibility, Fees, and Career

It has been observed that the interest in optometry courses has increased which means more students are looking for optometry courses. Here is an article that will guide you through the very details of optometry courses, career, eligibility, fees, and more.

What is an Optometry?

Optometry can be defined as a profession that comes under the health care sector which involves an examination of eyes which involves different visual systems for deficiency and weakness as well advising correct fractional error in the eyes with the right set of glasses or contact lenses which also includes treatment of the eye diseases if required. 

Routinely, the field of optometry begins with the primary focus of correcting the fractional error by giving the right set of spectacles. In today’s modern times also with the updated technology education curriculum for optometry has included the study and training about the diagnosis and management of ocular disease too. In many parts of the world, this profession is established and well-regulated as well. 

Who is an Optometrist?

An optometrist is popularly known as Doctor of Optometry in Canada and the United States wherein high degree is given by the United Kingdom and worldwide too for those who hold a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree who is also known as health care professionals in health care sector which go through detailed and complete eye examinations. They can diagnose various eye irregularities including vision errors too. They are also authorized to diagnose many other eye diseases as well. Since this profession is well-regulated the location of an optometrist may vary with different locations as well. An optometrist usually works closely with doctors who are eye specialists, ophthalmologists as well as opticians too so that they can provide the right solutions to the public in general. 

Role of an Optometrist-

How do Optometrists work in the medical field?

As we all know the correct doctor for the correct patient is very important nowadays. Optometrists popularly known as Doctor of Optometry are considered to be trained professionals who can easily work with practitioners, nurses, and other doctors as well so that the patient is been treated well and proper way. If any patient is being referred to the optometrist, then the result is always better, and patients are treated quite well. 

Like many other professions in the health care sector, an optometrist is the one who passes through education which teaches them to be specialized in their work. Firstly, they finish their education with a Bachelor of Degree in Science, after which they complete four years degree in Doctor of Optometry from a recognized university.

 How Optometrists are helpful to the patients?

Optometrists are considered to be those specialists who play a very vital role in creating the vision of a person in the best possible way. Along with the treatment of the vision of a person, they also tend to focus on the overall health of the patient too. They all are professionally trained to play the following roles which are –

  1. Managing, treating, and curing the vision of the eye and the structures associated with it. 
  2. Realizing and treating the ocular diseases of a person as well. 
  3. Managing, treating, and diagnosing the vision of an eye which appears to exist for a very long time. 
  4. Providing any scheduled medicine which is important for the eye.
  5. Removal of dirt from an eye or the below surface of an eye can lead to the creation of dead bodies that does not allow a person to have a proper vision. 
  6. Single-handedly managing the diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy as well. 
  7. Optometrists are also responsible for giving primary health care as well. 

Complete Eye Exams-

While conducting an eye exam for any patient an optometrist examines the structure of an eye in detail to find out if a person is suffering from any diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration. This exam also helps them to find if there is any bleeding, tumors or if there tears in the eyes. 

They also search for any other serious medical conditions if any patient has high blood pressure, diabetes, or any other serious diseases during the exam. If these diseases are not detected in the early stage, then it may also cause unnecessary permanent loss of vision which then becomes very difficult to be treated in the later stage. 

These comprehensive eye exams consist of various stages of tests as these tests also help to give the necessary prescription of eyeglasses or contact lenses required for a patient. Some of the tests which are part of these comprehensive eye exams include the following-

  1. Tonometry and Diagnostic Treatment
  2. Tests for posterior segment
  3. Tests for anterior segment
  4. Proper analysis and treatment of eye diseases. 
  5. Checking on medical history
  6. Checking on visual Acuity
  7. Checking on visual function
  8. Tests on Refraction of a patient’s vision
  9. Checking on Binocular vision efficiency. 

List of Services funded by Alberta Health-

Optometrists under Alberta are regulated under the Health Profession Act. When a patient is been referred to an optometrist then one can be confident that proper care will be taken in the best possible manner. The list of services which is covered under Alberta Health includes the following-

  1. Complete eye exams in the routine scheduled for children and senior people as well as the age 18 and senior under the age of 65. 
  2. Urgent or necessary medical care is required for eye problems such as vision disturbances, red-eye, and other infection as well. 
  3. Continuously monitoring the patient’s medical history as well. 
  4. Post-surgery visits to the doctors.

The proper time to have eye exams for all age group is

  1. For babies- Between the age of 6 to 9 months
  2. For Toddlers and Pre-schoolers- At least one eye exam should be conducted between the age of 2 and 5 years.
  3. For Kinder Garten- After they begin their kinder garden schooling
  4. For school kids- At least once a year.
  5. For adults- At least once in two years.
  6. For seniors- At least once a year. 

What is the difference between an Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, and an Optician?

Selecting the right eye care doctor is very important. This is because when we go to an eye care doctor for our vision problems it means we are trusting them completely for our precious eyes which if handled inappropriately then we might lose our eyesight permanently. 

The first step an individual should determine is that there are three types of eye care professionals-

  1. Ophthalmologist
  2. Optometrist and
  3. Optician. 

Now let us read the difference between all three eye care professionals mentioned above-

1. Who is an Optometrist?

An optometrist can be defined as an eye care professional who has also earned a degree in optometry. They examine eyes for both vision problems as well as other health problems after which they prescribe the right set of glasses or contact lenses required. They also provide proper vision care as well as therapy if required. Some of the optometrists are licensed in the UK too to provide medications related to certain diseases. An optometrist can also participate in the procedure of pre and post-surgery which is performed by an ophthalmologist. In the United Kingdom optometrist are not allowed to perform any surgery. An optometrist is required to complete their necessary degree in optometry and also complete one-year training under an experienced optometrist. Like ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians are also required to stay updated with the current changes in their professional field as well as the educational field too. 

2. Who is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist can be defined as a medical expert who specializes in treating eye and vision care also. They are also specialized in performing surgeries required and also provide proper prescriptions mentioning whether a patient requires a suitable number of glasses or contact lenses whichever suits them best. They undergo training for about five years from a leading school in medicine along with two years as a new doctor which makes a total of seven years of total extensive specialized training.  

3. Who is an Optician?

A dispensing optician is different from an optometrist. But they play a very important role in the team of eye care. They simplify the prescription provided by an optometrist and sell suitable eyeglasses or contact lenses that fit the best to the patient. 

A dispensing optician residing in the United Kingdom is required to complete and pass a three-year course of ophthalmic dispensing from an approved and recognized institute. 

Optometry Course: Details, Eligibility, Fees, and Career

optometry course

Bachelor of Optometry course-

Introduction to Bachelor of optometry course-

There are many other health care courses that an individual can pursue at an undergraduate level which also includes a bachelor of optometry course, also popularly known as B.optom. The duration of this course is generally four years which can be done from medical or health care colleges anywhere around the world. Optometrists can be defined as eye care doctors whose responsibility is to take care of the eye vision and diseases related to it. Apart from providing a solution to the problems related to eye vision they are equally responsible for other health problems of the patient as well and treat accordingly.

It helps to determine the pre-existing diseases a patient has so that it does not lead to unnecessary loss of vision as well. They undergo a comprehensive test for the patients and provide necessary solutions whether a patient needs a contact lens, a pair of glasses or if in any worst cases surgery is required. They can also participate in the post-surgery process as well for the better cure of the patient. 

The curriculum of this course is designed in such a manner in India so that students are extensively trained and qualified concerning the refractive conditions of the human eye like visual problems, cure other diseases and abnormalities of the human eye, and equally participate in other activities as well. 

This course consists of three years of education and one year of internship to provide practical knowledge too to the students enrolled for it. Through this course, students can learn about the different types of processes to cure diseases and also understand the system of how vision works and also about optical systems in detail. This course also includes in-depth knowledge about how essential the use of contact lenses and spectacles is as well. Along with this it also helps the students learn about the production of these materials as well. Students who can properly complete this course are easily able to diagnose eye problems as well as other health problems in a detailed manner as well. 

Some of the key highlights of the optometry course are as follows-

  1. Name of the course – Bachelor of Optometry
  2. Level of the course- Under-graduate
  3. Duration of the course- 4 years (including one year of internship as well)
  4. Mode of the course- Full time
  5. Qualifications required- 10+2 science
  6. Average score requirement- 50% or more
  7. Subjects preferred- Physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics.
  8. Admission procedure- Entrance or merit basis.
  9. Average course fees- INR 55,000.
  10. Average salary to be expected- INR 3,60,000 per annum. 
  11. Areas of employment- Government or private optometric clinics, Hospitals, manufacturing stations, etc. 

Eligibility criteria to pursue this course-

  1. Minimum qualifications required- 10+2 science
  2. Minimum marks required- 50% in aggregate
  3. Minimum age requirement- 17 years or more. 

To know more details about courses to pursue after class 12th in the science stream please click here

Admission procedure for Bachelor of Optometry Course-

There are many methods which college or institutions follow for the admission of the students in this course. But amongst all the methods two most popular methods followed across India are – entrance-based and merit-based processes. These are commonly accepted methods followed. The steps for this admission procedure is explained below- 

Entrance and merit-based admissions-

  1. Students willing to enroll are asked to go for the examination of university level for admission in this course. 
  2. Many and colleges conduct these examinations on their own but some of the institutes also conduct examinations for Allied health science and other health care examinations. So, students need to go through the eligibility criteria before applying to the college for admissions.
  3. After the students have appeared in the entrance examinations, a merit list is been published by the college and the universities based on the scores gained by the candidates. 
  4. As per the scores attained by the candidates, they are called for the further selection process which can be a personal interview or group discussions. 
  5. After completing the process mentioned candidates are been selected based on the overall performance and admission is been offered to the desired candidates. 

Admissions to this course are been offered based on the various entrance examinations been conducted by the college and the universities. Following are some of the exams conducted by the college and universities-

  1.  EYELET
  2.  AIIMS EXAM
  3.  JNU ENTRANCE EXAM
  4.  DU ENTRANCE TEST
  5.  CMC

Admission based on Counselling- 

  1. This is defined as the most common method of admission which is followed by many of the college and universities. 
  2. This mode of selection can be followed both under entrance-based as well as merit-based admission procedure as well. 
  3. Colleges and universities choosing for counseling option for admission procedure will publish the merit list which will contain the list of the candidates who are decided to be chosen as per the qualifying exam or the entrance exam given by the students. 
  4. Under this admission procedure, students are being given the option of choosing their preferred choice of course and college.
  5. Finally based on the performance of the candidates the list of the students selected is published on the merit list. Admissions have been offered to the students based on the seat selection available as per the choice made by the students. 

Each of the colleges and universities has its own rules and regulations, therefore before applying for any college then students need to go through the admission procedure in detail.

Syllabus for Bachelor of Optometry course-

Subjects that have been taught in the duration of the course for three years include the following-

The first-year subjects that are covered are-

  1. Human Anatomy and physiology
  2. Basic biochemistry
  3. Physical optics
  4. Ocular pharmacology
  5. Ocular anatomy and physiology
  6. Ophthalmic opt
  7. Geometric optics
  8. Ocular microbiology

The second-year subjects that are covered are-

  1. Optic dispensation
  2. Optometry investigation
  3. Disease and illness of the eye 
  4. Visual optics
  5. Optometric instruments
  6. Clinical examination for visual systems
  7. Clinical and advanced refraction
  8. Fundamentals of computer

The third-year subjects covered are-

  1. Contact lenses
  2. Eye and nutrition
  3. Public and community optometry
  4. Geriatric optometry
  5. Disease and illness of the eye
  6. Binocular vision ocular motility
  7. Pediatric ophthalmology
  8. Mechanical optics. 

For the fourth year, it is dedicated fully to the internship program.

Career options available after completing Bachelor of optometry course-

Students after completing the Bachelor of optometry course have lots of scope in this field. An optometrist is the one who is always in demand. A large number of people need proper eye care be it small children, adults, and even senior citizens. They come under the category of the health care professionals who are responsible for the important part of our body. This is one sector wherein private companies flourish a lot. 

There are a lot of opportunities available as an optometrist both in government as well as in the private sector as well. Some of the career options available are as follows-

  1. Options in the corporate sector
  2. Basic research and professional research 
  3. Private practice
  4. Public practice
  5. Options in industries and companies
  6. Work in optician shops
  7. Education sector
  8. Scientific research. 
  9. Eyecare hospitals and institutions. 

BSc in optometry course-

BSc in optometry is defined as a full-time undergraduate course of 3 years which is divided into six semesters. It includes the study of general physiology, ocular low vision aids, hospital procedure, geometrical objects, nutrition, etc. The basic eligibility is 10+2 science. Admission for BSc in optometry course it can be taken based on an entrance exam and as per the procedure, the merit list has been prepared. 

Fees for this course may vary for different colleges and universities. It may vary from INR 10,000-1 Lac. The graduate students who have completed this course can expect a salary range between INR 2.5 LAKHS TO 8 LAKHS depending on the candidate’s merit and as per the expertise of the student. 

After completing the BSc, a candidate can expect a job in the industries like a contact lens, eye consultancy, optician showrooms, and can also work with companies who deal with eye care products. They are even offered jobs as an optometrist, sales executive, teacher, eye doctor, etc. 

After completing this course any student can also choose to pursue studies at a higher level such as MSc, Ph.D., and also study research related to vision care as a profession. 

Conclusion

Pursuing an optometry course is very beneficial for any candidate. It can give me a very satisfying career in the medical field. As mentioned above too it has many opportunities across the industries. This is a very demanding profession as well reason being that all people require eye care as this is one of the most sensitive parts of the body.

People of all the ages such as children, adults, and even senior citizens require proper eye care. Their role also plays a very important role as along with detecting the diseases related to the eyes but also taking proper care of the other diseases as well like diabetes, health problems, etc. Every individual pursuing this course also has an opportunity of working as a sales executive, teacher, working as optician, or in any care center that also deals with eye care products and services and treats students in the best possible way manner.

 

To know more information about which courses to pursue MSC please click on https://www.masterstudies.com/MSc/.

 

Vaibhav Kakkar

Vaibhav Kakkar is an Indian Entrepreneur and digital marketing expert. He is the founder of IIMSKILLS, Coursedekho, and Advisor Uncle and writes blogs on digital marketing, the content industry, career development, and education. He has been instrumental in helping various brands across different sectors with their marketing initiatives. He is the author of the book Word Castle "Building a content marketing business" and is a mentor to budding digital marketers.

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