Q: What services do doctors of optometry provide?
A: Doctors of optometry provide a wide range of services including the following:
- Examine eyes for health and vision problems
- Diagnose and treat eye disease
- Detect and identify general health problems manifested in the eye (i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, sickle cell anemia, etc.)
- Diagnose and treat glaucoma
- Provide pre-and post-operative care for pathologies and trauma
- Remove foreign bodies from eyes
- Provide emergency treatment for eye accidents
- Prescribe glasses or other devices for specialized vision needs such as hunting, computer work, playing piano, etc.
- Provide rehabilitative services for victims of head injuries with impared vision
- Work with pilots, athletes, in need to improve vision performance
- Evaluate eye coordination for reading and provide vision therapy to improve academic performance
- Set up industrial vision programs
- Consult with businesses on environmental vision
- Work with schools and community groups on vision screening, career days, programs on eye care, etc.
- Work with Parents as Teacher, educators and parents to enhance the learning potential of preschoolers and students and to inform parents of the importance of preventive eye and vision care
- Provide low vision services for those with significant visual impairment
Q: Is optometry cost effective?
A: Historically, professional fees charged by optometrists are less than those for the same services charged by other eye care specialists. Costs for eye care have not escalated at the same rate as other health care costs in recent years. The cost to provide eye and vision care to all of Missouri’s Medicaid recipients is only a fraction of one percent of the entire Medicaid budget.
Because optometrists provide excellent primary eye care services and are well-positioned geographically, patients save can save time and money by seeking eye care in their own communities. Optometrists should be part of any eye and vision care plan.